It might have been because of Valentine's Day, but upon my most recent visit to our Williamsburg, Brooklyn outpost of Sprout Home I found myself getting swept up by the Victorian-inspired influences that culminate in the neighborhood. Everywhere I looked there was evidence of 19th Century romance and mysticism, whether it be in a restaurant where I was getting a bite to eat, a home of a friend, or just walking down the street catching a glimpse in to a private yard. These objects and architectural artifacts incorporate so seamlessly with modernism, giving an environment a certain warmth that is sometimes missing. You can take cue from this mixing of ages and add little touches of heirloom to your home, which includes incorporating the idea in your plantings.
The next time you are looking for a plant container try drawing from the Victorian era and see how it changes the outlook of your space. Evoking this feeling has as much to do with material and texture as it does with shape. Stone and concrete mixed with rusted steel -- nature meets the Industrial revolution. Stick to natural tones, letting the material speak for itself and admiring the beauty in its simplest form. A beveled glass terrarium filled with moss and ferns, lush and simple -- like a treasured curio -- would be a perfect companion on a bookshelf. A rough-surfaced concrete urn planter that looks as if it has seen better days filled with a Begonia Rex can soften the banal urbanity of your window frame. Some plants themselves scream victorian era in form as well -- try checking out Fuchsia or Abutilon if you want a flowering speciman or of course any type of fern would always be an appropriate selection.
The same concept can be taken with cut floral if you want to evoke the Victorian era, if only for a little while. Even something as simple as a quilted glass mason jar filled with garden roses can give you that antiquated and romantic vibe. Try using the 'Amnesia' rose, 'Mojolica' spray rose or 'Sweet Juliet' garden rose as the base for your next arrangement. During the Victorian era they believed in the language of flowers. The flowers and arrangements had meanings depending on the type of floral used allowing people to send coded messages -- could be a fun way to give floral this Valentine's Day.
"The Book of Life begins with a man and woman in a garden. It ends with Revelations." -- Oscar Wilde