Upscale Design uses a mix of Faux and Live

The interior plantscaping design for this upscale shopping center relies on both live and faux elements. The durability of the artificial onion grass utilized in the custom planter benches are a reliable option for such high traffic and heavily used area. The same holds true for the artificial topiary boxwood spheres which are placed in unique planters with molded geometric patterning. Live Dracaena plants are placed in modern rectangle planters behind the benches to provide both privacy and and throughout the shopping mall to create an interesting design element. The color palette is kept minimal and fresh relying on metal, wood and light upholstery which provide a neutral backdrop to the bright presence of the  plant material.

National Accounts Program Project Spotlight

Blondie’s National Program has recently installed a interiorscape design at an upscale shopping mall located in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. 44 new Fiberglass Decorative Tapered Square Planters were placed throughout the mall, all with a coordinating bronze finish and 175 live plants in such varieties as Dracaena Limelight, Dracaena Lemon-Lime and Aglaonema Silver-Bay were brought in and placed in groupings for a cohesive and streamlined design. 21 custom planter inserts for the Food Court were fitted with over 215 Square Feet of 18″ Preserved Prairie Grass. The grasses were selectively hand-pruned after the installation to insure that the grasses did not flop over or impede on diners. The overall effect is a simple, clean design that unifies the food court, providing both privacy and aesthetic appeal.

 

Greenwall Installation | Embassy Suites Hillsboro Or

For this Greenwall installation Blondie’s designer and national account developer Daria Snyder selected a trough system that attaches to a grid structure. Because of this wall’s high visibility, its planter trays that hold 6” plant material, can easily be planted or are accessed easily for plant replacement assuring ease of maintenance and seasonal rotations. This system relies on water wicking technology which has long been a successful method for regulating and extending watering cycles in a commercial environment. The walls dimension is 10’ H x 10’ W and incorporates approximately 200 6” plants. The plant palette was custom selected for the site’s location and relies on the contrast of color and texture of the plant material. This project highlights Blondie’s National Account Program and how it is set up to seamlessly function and manage national and international projects. After developing a design program with the client, we build a team of regional specialists and a local plantscaping company is brought onto the project and trained to assist in the installation and on-going maintenance of the project. By staying on as a project consultant, Blondie’s is able to monitor the quality and success of the installation and is a consistent presence in managing the project. With this type of hands on approach Blondie’s is able to offer custom high quality designs for multi-location and international brands.

Blondie’s year in review | 2014

While it’s true that we have had a busy, busy year full of exciting projects and installs, none of it would ever be possible without our wonderful clients. The joy that we experience while  working together to design, specify, install and maintain accounts is beyond measure. New Year’s is the perfect time to acknowledge and thank our clients, vendor partners and all the Blondie’s staff that make it come together as one unstoppable team that makes the magic happen. We have so much to look forward to…here’s looking ahead to 2015 !

Plants in the Healthcare System: The Plantscapers Solution

As professional horticulturalists, Blondie’s Treehouse Inc. has worked closely with healthcare professionals to establish industry standards that maximize the benefits of having green plants within the healthcare system while minimizing the potential risks of soil borne pathogens.

Benefits of including plants in the healthcare system:

  • Levels of dust and other air-borne particles can be reduced by as much as 20% by the addition of foliage plants
  • Live indoor plants convert harmful VOC into carbon-based materials that they then use in the photosynthesis process to make their own food. The resulting byproduct is oxygen.
  • Plants are a beneficial and cost-effective addition that softens the look of a harsh, clinical environment.
  • Horticultural Therapy is a time-tested practice of using plants and gardening tasks to support the recovery of patients of all ages. Research shows that therapeutic gardens actually improve clinical outcomes, often helping patients to leave the hospital faster, take less pain medication, and suffer fewer complications.
  • The tranquility of a garden or interior greenscape is beneficial not just to patients, but to their families and the health care workers as well.

Below are the standard procedures for responsibly introducing plant life into the healthcare system:

 

  • Location.
    • Strategically placed plants in less sensitive areas.
    • Look but don’t touch. Plants placed in hard to reach areas or in extra tall planters.
    • Research has shown that a window view helps alleviate patient stress and improve recovery. This means that plants can be placed in visible areas without having to directly share the patients physical environment.
  • Top Dressing
    • Because all of the pathogens of concern are only active and harmful once air born, a top dressing of stone, pebbles, decorative glass, etc. can provide the needed separation between the air and the soil.
  • Green Walls
    • Installation of a strategically placed living wall can prevent people from approaching the wall and touching the plant material.
    • In a modular Green Wall system a landscape fabric can potentially cover the soil as the young plants are inserted into small incisions made into the fabric.
    • Green Walls can be highly visible to all windows that look upon it, maximizing their benefit.
  • Maintenance
    • It is of upmost importance to have a dedicated maintenance program for every new plant installation. It is through consist monitoring that plants maximize their benefits to the environment. Several key points to having a maintenance program are:
      • Consistency in watering. Plants thrive with consist watering. It prevents them from being stressed out and defoliating and attracting gnats and the like.
      • Dusting. Plants must be dusted and cleaned regularly for the health of the plant and maximize the health benefits to the surrounding environment.
      • For mold to form in soil it requires bacteria from a decaying source such as rotting leaves, consistently damp soil, and little or no light. Properly maintained plants such as those that are cared for by an interior landscape professional will not have the opportunity to produce mold.
      • Proactive care. A trained technician will be able to make the necessary adjustments to the treatment of the plants in order to prevent concerns from developing into a problem.