Almost everybody I know decorates with fresh cut flowers, but if there's one person who understands living plants as elements of decor, it's Tara Heibel of Sprout Home. Garden Design editors have sniffed out her style this year. Here's why.
Heibel's Chicago store — and the new Brooklyn location run by Tassy Zimmerman — doesn't rely solely on dirt gardeners for clientele. Instead, Heibel has positioned plants as objects of desire that anyone can love, from African mask alocasias to dwarf bamboo to black-foliaged cimicifuga. Her tillandsias stacked in a cylindrical vase could smoothly replace tchotchkes on your mantle, table or shelf.
That's not to say to cut flowers are neglected. Our executive editor Joanna Fortnam tells me that during July's store-opening party in Brooklyn, guests oohed and aahed over a vase of ceramic guns sprouting two perfectly opened roses. Also, Queen Anne's lace, iris, alliums, tropical leaves and more are available by the stem.
If you do have a hankering for a great vase, look no further. Both locations, particularly Chicago, carry expertly curated lines of home-decor items. Our horticulture editor Jenny Andrews fell for a narrow-necked teal vase with a 3-D burst of flowers on its side.
Heibel's perfect taste is apparent indoors and out at both locations as Zimmerman has extended the soul of Sprout eastward. Behind the Brooklyn shop, a plethora of cool plants waits for an urban gardener to scoop them up for patio containers. If you're in Brooklyn and can't decide which plants you must have, Sprout Home can help. Below, Heibel tells us which ones are wowing this fall, and why. For more information, call 312-226-5955 (Chicago) or 718-388-4440 (Brooklyn), or see sprouthome.com.
Tiger Eye sumac. "For its amazing fall color display and jagged leaves."
'Wiltonii' blue rug juniper. "Forms a dense mat of blue foliage like a carpet. Fabulous when draping over retaining walls."
Sedum. "Some of our favorites are S. sieboldii, S. 'Purple Emperor', and S. rupestre 'Angelina'."
Ligularia 'Britt Marie Crawford'. "Because it offers a beautiful contrast between large, dark chocolate-maroon leaves with purple undersides and orange-yellow flowers."