We love odd requests and after years of making rectilinear shapes a client said go round and go big. We worked with a custom wood and metalworker on this giant 5'-0" diameter installation. The reclaimed wood brings a sense of history while the steel inner frame is highlighted with a reveal between the two. Whenever possible we like to contrast solid/heaviness with open/airiness to highlight the unusual ability of air plants to live without soil. The weight of the wood balanced perfectly with the lightness and transparency of the airplants to create a really special piece. A custom hanging system was designed to suspend the piece adjacent to the front door and guests are always drawn in by its welcoming and intriguing form. The planting initially focused on color and bloom but over time became more focused on foliage and contrasting plant structure to bring interest. We have noticed many of our clients over time come to prefer the more subtle beauty of air plants natural foliage colors rather than the fleeting drama of their blooms. That's not to say the flowers aren't amazing too!
Many years later the client is still enjoying how the wood, steel, and Tillandsia have weathered and grown. This was an easy situation to keep the air plants happy as they have the benefit of the mild but sunny coastal climate, fresh air circulation, and light shade from deciduous native Sycamore tree above. The large leaves of the Sycamore are perfect, however fine leafed deciduous trees can be problematic as their falling leaves can become entangled in air plants small leaves and become a nightmare to clean. A simple periodic spray from a nearby hose was all that was required to keeping this piece looking great. Frequency varied by time of year with more frequent watering during hotter summer months.