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4010 Mt Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA, 94549

Located in the Bay Area, CA, we're a family-owned garden center offering unusual and hard-to-find plants & gifts. Established 1946.

Life is Beautiful Blog

Employee Spotlight: Allison Ferry

Lauren Brookhart

Meet Allison, our houseplant buyer and designer! Find her designing exquisite terrariums, tillandsia assortments and vertical gardens from her lush workspace in the florist. If you’ve got a question about your houseplant, she’s your gal! This week we talked to her about what she’s up to, her favorite plants and summer indoor plant care!

What’s your favorite part about working at Orchard Nursery & Florist?

Designing and being creative is the best part about my job. It's fun to come into work and create something unique with all of our beautiful plants! 

What is your favorite season?

Fall is so much fun at Orchard! The Harvest Festival is in full swing and we all collaborate to create an amazing atmosphere for our customers.

What do you do in your spare time? Any hobbies?

I’m a singer. I enjoy hiking, yoga and painting. And I love my cat, Kaboodle.

What do people not know about you?

I once played Sandy in the musical Grease senior year of high school. I also know how to shear a sheep!

What is your favorite indoor plant?

 Allison with our chandelier Staghorn Fern.

Allison with our chandelier Staghorn Fern.

I do love Staghorn Ferns. They easily adapt to different environments and in the wild, grow on the tree tops! We carry them in assorted sizes that hang on your wall, creating a stunning focal point. And even one much like a chandelier! 

What are some of your recommendations for houseplant care in summer?

It’s important to take notice of the sort of lighting your houseplant is receiving in summer. The lighting and heat is vastly different than in our winter and milder months of the year. If you are noticing crunchy tips or bleached spots, move your plant to a shielded or shady corner of your home for the next few months.

How much should we be watering houseplants?

You should be watering much more often in the summer months. Depending on your sun exposure, that could mean twice as much! This is true not only for houseplants but succulents and cacti as well. Be sure to check the soil and find a watering schedule that’s appropriate for the plant. Indoor plants crave humidity so because we live in a dry environment, it’s important to keep them hydrated. I love our elegant spray bottles that make misting a breeze. The spray bottles are also useful when dusting leaves. Keeping leaves dust-free not only increases the sunlight they absorb but can help deter pests.

 Espoma Organic Fertilizer

Espoma Organic Fertilizer

How often should indoor plants be fertilized?

We are now in what we call the “growing season” meaning it's the time to be fertilizing! Your houseplant is using all their energy to push out new leafy growth and feeding them helps them through that process. Although it varies on the plant (between orchids, African violets, cacti and houseplants in general) most plants want to be fed every or every other watering.

You’ll want to continue fertilizing regularly until late September, early October when the growing seasons ends. During the colder months, fertilizing every month is sufficient. I recommend using Espoma Organic Plant Food available for a range of specific houseplants. The liquid concentrate contain natural proteins and beneficial microbes that promote growth and greening. Easy to use, just apply a few drops when watering.

What’s in store for the next few months?

We are going to be carrying more Cymbidiums! Also known as Boat Orchids, they boast beautiful, long-lasting flowers that bloom through Fall. A low-maintenance and hardy orchid, they can outside thrive on your patio. 

Anything we should be marking our calendars for?

Be sure to look out for my succulent pumpkin decorating class in September! If you are interested in booking a terrarium or kokedama class for a group of eight or more, get in touch with me! 

Next time you’re at the nursery, make sure to stop by the floral department and say hi!