What’s Budding

Budding 11-2018

Santa Has Professional Help

The services we offer for holiday decorating have really expanded over the years. Michigan-grown poinsettias include a deep saucer inside the foil to protect surfaces and allow watering without worry. We still hand tie satin bows, and offer wired ribbon bows in over 50 patterns and colors. We even rent poinsettias for large events. Topiaries, cyclamen, white orchids, red bromeliads and Christmas cactus round out the potted offerings.
Our fresh wreaths are mostly Michigan-grown as well. We love working with a local tree farm for all our fresh balsam door wreaths, and for much of the greenery we use to decorate our outdoor color pots for winter. We add red twig dogwood, birch poles or painted branches for color accents, and cones. Ornaments can be added to bring your theme to life. We also offer fresh greens garlands, which can be hung with or without lights. We cut most of the materials we use locally, so it is fresh and holds its color and shape well into the New Year.
We create original fresh greens arrangements for indoor events and decorating, and can add fresh pine, fir, cedar and holly in floral arrangements with advance orders. I love walking through the design room and seeing Dave’s fingers fly as he ties bows or adds flowers to arrangements with the smell of balsam in the air.
The Plant Professionals installs LED lighting, wreaths, garlands and other lit décor on building exteriors, on trees, fences and light posts. We take on a few new projects each year, mostly commercial, often requiring a boom lift for access to high locations. We send our new installers to safety certification training each year, so they can competently and safely use the boom and scissor lifts.
We decorate indoors primarily with artificial trees, wreaths, garlands and arrangements, and all are flame retardant. All the new items we offer feature LED lighting for safety and efficiency. We do still carry mini-lights for repair of existing client items. We also have LED-lit artificial birch trees, and create scenes–including Mylar streams, snow flocking, branch forests, polar bears, elves, gnomes, angels, Santas, penguins, nutcrackers, and deer. Our installers go out in teams, displaying the beautiful items that Alexa and the design elves have crafted, based on selections made by our clients working with Carol or me.
Because of our extensive experience and deep staffing, we have built a large and diverse holiday decorating clientele. We offer long-term rentals for those who prefer flexibility, and can store purchased décor for our clients as well. We added our Tinsel Town building in 2018, specifically to expand room to store clients’ holiday. With storage space at a premium for most homes, offices and associations, our services are often the most cost-effective, as well as beautiful.
Businesses with multiple branches or locations enjoy the ease and unified look that our approach provides for them. We can design, install, take down and store, and adding a new branch is simple whenever needed.
We seem to function with glitter on our faces and clothing from October onward, with many hands involved in the design and proposal process, ordering products from many sources, coordination of schedules, creating new items, marshalling an army of installers, dealing with weather and its effects on vehicles, equipment, roads and people. Sometimes we have staff 30 feet in the air on an outdoor lift in a cold breeze, hanging lights, wreaths or banners. Whatever the need is, if it is holiday decorating, we are happy to help!



On the Green Side

What is a Good Potting Mix?

“What is a “good” potting mix to use when I need to repot my plants?” The Plant Professionals gets this question often. There are many options available.

Indoor plants depend on quality potting mix to provide nutrients, aeration and moisture retention, as well as physical support.

Container-grown plants need good drainage and a potting mix that is designed to stay “fluffy” and resist compaction. The roots need access to oxygen. They need a mix that won’t dry out too quickly, so the roots can access water. It is important to read the ingredients on the bag. The ingredients should be a soil-less combination of peat moss, pine bark and vermiculite. Some potting mixes contain additives that help retain moisture, some contain fertilizer, and others contain both. Even with a mix that has additives to retain water, you still need to monitor moisture levels and water regularly. We recommend fertilizing with a general all-purpose house plant fertilizer from March through August once your plant has at least six months in the home or office.  

If a mix contains sand or soil, it is not well suited for containers. Also, if the manufacturer doesn’t list the ingredients, there might be a reason. While basic peat moss, pine bark, and vermiculite potting mixes will work for almost all container plants, you may want to purchase a specialty mix for orchids, succulents, or cacti. Be sure to only buy pasteurized mixes where the bags are stored in a dry location, to avoid fungus gnat eggs and larvae. There are several fine commercial mixes, and some nurseries and garden centers blend and package their own. Be sure to ask for assistance as you shop, or call us for recommendations. Talk about what you are re-potting and why, to receive the most helpful information.

Digging In

digging in 11-2018

The Growing Popularity of Raised Beds

Raised beds have been experiencing an upsurge in popularity recently. A longstanding favorite among organic farmers and urban gardeners, raised beds have been making the talk show rounds and have by now permeated pretty much every corner of the gardening world. A raised bed is simply a garden plot that sits higher than the surrounding ground level. It’s a simple concept, but the possibilities of size, shape, and materials are virtually limitless. In this article, we will discuss some of the benefits of raised bed gardening and how you can go about setting up the perfect bed for your needs.

There are a myriad of advantages to using raised beds…Read More


The Buzz

buzz 11-2018

Make and Take Fun!

For those who love a design experience with a social element, we offer Make and Take classes for decorating fresh balsam door wreaths. We schedule classes for social groups, families, service and garden clubs and business groups from mid-November to mid-December. Groups from eight to 40 can be accommodated. Daytime and evening dates are available, and can be done as a fundraiser. Call and ask for Kathy or Dave for more information and pricing.