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  • Writer's pictureKat Cervoni

Welcome to The Cultivation

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

May 5, 2020

The Cultivation by Staghorn Living is our new weekly newsletter that offers expert insight for garden-filled living indoors and out. Rooted in 10 years of design-build landscape projects, we present ideas and hands-on guidance for everything from planting tricks and patio decor to the tools and tips we treasure.

Creeping phlox having its moment — bright and fragrant in May. Photo by Liudmyla Liudmyla, courtesy iStock

Since starting Staghorn in 2014, we have transformed all manner of gardens in and around New York City. We believe outdoor spaces should enhance time with family and friends, provide a respite from stress, and connect people to natural beauty 365 days a year.

Spring is always a time of wonder. This year, it has been remarkable for unprecedented reasons. While we haven’t been working as we usually do, we have been trying to help people stay connected to the outdoors via Zoom calls and custom gardening packages. Though we’ve missed our usual routines, we’ve used the time to reflect on our mission and our future.

Today, we are introducing our newest venture, The Cultivation, a newsletter with weekly inspiration for your outdoor and indoor spaces — think seasonal gardening tips for inside and out, curated collections of the stylish and the sturdy, and insider finds, such as my all-time favorite pruners.

Like our namesake plant, the Staghorn sumac, we’re persevering through tough terrain and changing with the seasons. When the time comes, we will be eager to get back to onsite work in your gardens. Meanwhile, we are thrilled that for now and going forward we will also be in your inbox.

What's Inside

Each week, The Cultivation will share home and garden ideas, tips for what to plant and how to plant it, and a bit of botanical lore because we geek out on that stuff and soon you will, too.

We want The Cultivation to spark conversation. First topic: What does home means to you, especially now that you're spending so much more time there? What do you need to make your home your haven? Please email us to share your thoughts.

Welcome to The Cultivation. We can’t wait to grow with you.


Indoor Plant of The Week: Pilea

Photo by Matthew Lloyd, courtesy iStock

Right now, I’m a bit obsessed with the adorable, easy-to-care-for pilea. This pet-friendly plant has nearly circular foliage — which I find both charming and cool design-wise. Place one in your new “home office” (i.e., by your sofa) if it’s a well-lit space. Otherwise, keep this fast-grower close to a window or in a window sill. Water only once every two to three weeks. Click here to have one delivered and ready to enjoy via Leon & George. Want to share the love? Pilea is easy to propagate, so you can start a new plant with a cutting from your own. Click here to see how.

Perfect Indoor Planters

The right pot makes all the difference to happy houseplants. And whether you’re looking to create a cluster of leafy loveables in coordinated containers or prefer a single statement piece, a good planter is relatively affordable upgrade for any room. Here are the ones I've been eyeing lately.

There’s something undeniably special about hand-thrown ceramics and these simple, white planters with delicate rim details are my current favorites. They're perfect for a clutch of kitchen-counter herbs. The drainage hole and saucer are huge plusses in my book! (Definitely indoor-only — not frost-resistant).

Modern but not hard-edged, these lightweight composite pots, which come in a range of gorgeous neutrals and three different sizes, are great for clustering or as a single statement piece, indoors or out.

What To Plant Now

Now is the time to plant your herbs! Having fresh herbs on hand is more important than ever because you’re cooking more and going to the store less. So rather than buying yet another $2.99 plastic package of sad cilantro (most of which you’ll let go to waste), get some growing! It’s easier than you think. Never planted herbs before? Don't worry, we can do it together. Small, starter herbs should be relatively easy to get at places like The Home Depot, your local hardware store, or even some supermarkets. They’re easy to care for, don’t need much counter space, and make a super kid-friendly project. If you're planting them indoors, be sure to keep them in bright light (by a window is great). Herbs also play well together so they can be clustered. Some are more finicky about watering than others, so here are a few ideas for which ones to group together.

You can plant more than three together — in fact, it’ll probably be okay if you plant all of them together. The two with the most opposing watering needs are basil and rosemary. Basil needs very consistent moisture and rosemary doesn’t, so don’t plant them side by side.

Plant Lore: Beech Reading

In the age of e-books and Insta posts featuring bookshelves organized by color, it can be hard to remember that early publications were literally written on bark peeled from the trunks of trees. After what must have been a lot of trial and frustrating error, early bookmakers landed on a favorite tree for their wares and named them after it, too. Which tree, you ask? In Old English, the bece or boece, which we modern folks call beech.

Photo by Goldi59, courtesy iStock

This light gray, mammoth species — they always remind me of elephants — has an almost eternal lifespan (most will live up to 400 years) and a distinctively smooth bark. Because of their hulking scale and luminous hue, they’ve long been a favorite choice for parks and estates.

Thanks for joining us! We hope you enjoyed this issue of The Cultivation. Since our biggest goal with this newsletter is to provide content that captivates, educates, and inspires you, let us know if there's something you'd like us to include next time. Please send your thoughts to us by contacting us here. See you next week!

Very special thanks to Alanna and Lisa of Well Said for their encouragement, incredible expertise, and for helping us get this new endeavor off the ground. :) 

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