Wrapping up Flora & Fauna: Shop Profile

It's the end of the month (can you believe May is over!?!) and we treated ourselves to a Flora & Fauna field trip to wrap up our month-long theme.  Seed To Stem is the brilliant result of two talented ladies, Candace Atchue and Virginia Orlando, who have set up a shop unlike any other botanical boutique you've seen.  

They specialize in arrangements using succulents, orchids, air plants, and other specimens prized for their structural beauty.  


Lucky for us, Seed To Stem is in Worcester, MA, not too far from where we live in the Boston area.  We spent most of a morning drooling and squealing and generally making fools of ourselves as we discovered one little treasure after another in Candace and Virginia's shop.  Along with living plants, they also sell taxidermy (for which our passion runs deep), animal skulls and bones, vintage ephemera they've found on their travels, terrariums, notecards, jewelry and books, all curated along the lines of their very distinct aesthetic.  How to describe it?  I'd say it's summed up by their own tagline: Connecting Humans With Their Roots.  The shop is full of natural, organic elements with man-made objects that are obviously handcrafted.  

Along with their shop, the two women also make creations for weddings, everything from bouquets to tablescapes, all incorporating succulents and other non-traditional bridal decor (which we think is pretty awesome).  They support other artists as well.  Seed To Stem commissions beautiful blown glass for their terrariums and they sell industrial style light fixtures made by a local craftsman.

We had a terrific visit and learned a few things too.  First of all, air plants and succulents are VERY DOABLE if you want some low-maintenance houseplants.  For the air plants, simply fill a large bowl of luke-warm water once a week and give your plants a dunk for about a half hour.  That's it.  You can put them anywhere or even glue them onto a branch or bone or something.  The little roots are solely for helping the plant wrap around its host so it's not like you'd be sealing off a nutrient supply line.  They get all their nutrients from the air. 

Succulents need to be watered once a month, making sure to let the soil go completely dry before soaking them (make sure it's dry down to about your first knuckle).  You can use a layer of sand and then regular potting soil or just buy the cactus kind which has sand blended in.  Candace and Virginia really made these plants feel accessible and we left Seed to Stem with a few to try out.  

Can't wait to go back and see how their shop evolves!  We will be thinking fondly of their mascot, a beautiful fox, watching us walk out the door...

xoxo Zandra & Karen June