Stewarts Office Plants

We supply many businesses across the South, from Sussex and Surrey, through Hampshire and Dorset to Wiltshire and Somerset. For more information about the services we offer visit our home page, or contact us here. In this blog you'll find news, interesting snippets, stories and pictures of our staff's adventures out on the road.

Friday, August 27, 2021

You'll never guess what, it's another giant Boston fern!


The latest contender
So I tap away when I can on this blog with - if I'm honest - the intention of driving some traffic to our website, as frankly we aren't the most aggressive firm at marketing office plants. Maybe why our existing customers like us so much. 

But it seems the one thing this blog has achieved is making me the Norris McWhirter of giant Boston Ferns. 

Yes, you guessed it: out of the blue I have been emailed by another US owner of a giant Boston Fern, also convinced they have the biggest one. 

If this is your first foray into the topic, this is the post that started it all. 

This was the first challenger.

This was the most recent one. 


Where this one - the pride and joy of Barry and Jen Hartranft - seems to excel is in length, whereas the previous one in the car dealer I would say wins out on sheer volume. This raises a supplementary question: is it frond length or total volume that determines what constitutes the "World's Biggest Boston Fern"? 

I know the USA is a very large country, but I think the owners of all three challengers to the crown should meet at some central location and argue this one out, then just let me know their decision. 

All joking apart, as a houseplant professional it gladdens my heart to see such enthusiasm, and am both happy and amused to be kept updated on the topic.

Though I should probably own up that the original plant of ours died some years ago after the client moved it to a too-dark area. Sorry....

Jonathan

Barry Hartranft and his amazing ferns






Friday, July 16, 2021

Anyway... here's that giant Schefflera in situ


So last time I posted in early May (sorry) it was with this gigantic Schefflera destined for the Stewarts Broomhill coffee shop. 

On the left is Sandra planting it in the special box our talented handyman Ash had built to accommodate it. 

Then below is a picture I snapped this morning showing it all settled in and the coffee shop open. As usual my great height makes things look tiny when I take pics, but the chairs give an idea of scale. 

My bit of Stewarts didn't supply the artificial plants on hanging frames, just for the record.

Jonathan











Wednesday, May 05, 2021

A recent installation

 

I try not to fill this blog with 'look at the job we just completed' posts as they can get a bit repetitive, but this one more or less took over my winter - let's say the client was a little indecisive and leave it there - so I am happy to boast about it. 

The other good news element of it is it's a long-standing client of ours from Weybridge who has moved to - for us - a rather better location in Guildford, and gone from a 14 planter contract to 45 planters. 

It's a very modern, very quirky office and features outdoor balcony plants, built-in cabinet-top planters and the free-standing 'Polystone' planters shown here. 

To complicate matters we got all ready to do the installation and found we could only use the lift from 7-8am (and we are two hours drive away), so it made the install days a bit more challenging. The first time we went we took about five bags too many of compost up (did I mention it's on the 5th floor?), ran out of 'lift time' and Yours Truly had to carry them back down the stairs. I'm getting too old for that kind of thing. 

Anyway, I'll let the pictures do the talking. I had to include an image of the illuminated wall art. I'm a big fan of bulldogs as I own two British bulldogs, so this Frenchie appeals!

Jonathan




Biggest Schefflera we've ever ordered

 

I hesitate to use the Betteridge's-Law-braking headline "is this the biggest Schefflera Amata in Europe?" as (a) I know it isn't and (b) after the long running 'World's biggest Boston Fern' saga, I'm a little wary of such claims. 

But I can say with confidence that it's one of only two of this size in the whole of Europe, as when I enquired of our Dutch supplier on 2.5-3m Schefflera Amatas I was sent pictures of both of them and told to make my mind up fast!

You may know this plant as one of the Umbrella Plants; it's an open secret that I love them.  

Eleanor tells me she is about 5'7", so 1.7m tall, so I'd say it's comfortably taller than its advertised 2.8-3m size judging from this image. What's surprising is what a small rootball it has, given its size; it's making it a trifle hard to keep it upright. 

As a species they are also very easy to damage the foliage of in transit. Luckily it's going all then way to the Stewarts Broomhill coffee shop over the road. Still, will be an interesting carrying job!

Jonathan



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Mosspoles, canes or wire frames?

 

Devil's Ivy on a 'mosspole'
It's long been the tradition that trailing plants such as Epipremnum (Devil's Ivy) as shown here, or the old favourite Swiss Cheese Plant (Monstera) are grown up a moss-covered plastic pole for support, known in the trade as a 'mosspole' for short. 

However it is increasingly possible to buy the same species grown up either bamboo canes or a wire cage. See image below of Philodendron Brasil (left) and a rather fantastic Scindapsus Trebie (right)that arrived from Holland this morning. 

Many people believe that the mosspole is better for the plant; I suppose in theory if you misted it on a daily basis the plant may gain some moisture from it, but in an office setting the moss is bone-dry and it's simply there for support.

In fact empirically I have found that plants that are available either on a mosspole or on canes/a frame perform far better when they are not grown up a mosspole. 

In particular they seem to last longer and perform better in low light.

Why is that? Short answer: I don't know. 

I suspect that the plant puts more of its energy in to growing strong roots and less in to attaching itself to a pole. But that is a pure guess. If anyone has a better theory, educate me!

Jonathan 

Philodendron Brasil on cage and Scindapsus Trebie on canes


Tuesday, February 09, 2021

The 'biggest Boston Fern' competition heats up!

Well, here's an odd one. 

I've been typing away for something like 15 years on this blog and I'm never sure

Our giant Boston Fern. 
anyone that isn't a close friend or current/former employee is reading it, with one topic exception.

Back in 2012 I wrote a un-serious post about a serious contender for the world's largest Boston Fern, which was under our care in a Hampshire call centre. 

A couple of years ago I was contacted by an American gentleman who was sure his was bigger, and allowed me to post a picture.

Last week I was contacted by an American car dealer who are quite justifiably proud of their Boston Fern: so proud in fact that they are seriously attempting to establish if it is the world's largest, and stumbled upon my blog while doing so. 

It really is a monster; in the words of the owner of the dealer: "The fern measures over 7 feet tall and commands an area that is 8 feet by 8 feet!" 

They are attempting to find out if such a Guinness World Record exists. I think they must be in with a chance. I will update if I hear so. 

Obviously if anyone thinks their Boston fern is bigger than this magnificent specimen, I want to be told!

Jonathan

New contender for world's largest Boston Fern







 





Friday, January 29, 2021

Planter with built-in hand sanitising station


 Here's a neat and topical idea by one of our planter suppliers: tall slim plant pots with an inbuilt hand-sanitising station!

I'll freely admit that my post is based entirely on the image above, so I now know what you do.

But it seems like a winner, and Stewarts are very happy to supply them to you. 

Sure, it'll be cheaper to buy a bottle of hand-gel from the chemist, but if you want a big, statement sanitising station just inside your office or restaurant entrance for example, in your company's corporate colour perhaps, that people arriving simply can't miss, this has to be a winner. 

We could also offer them on a fixed-term lease basis to mitigate the up-front cost. 

If of interest, contact us and find out more!

Jonathan

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A January update on that Christmas tree

 

Christmas tree in late January...

You'll see in the post below that I told the story of a poor lonely Christmas tree in a closed office in Bristol just before Christmas.

Well, good news! When I visited my client yesterday the office in question was open and had a few people there to keep the tree company!

The only fly in the ointment is my nagging feeling that January 19 is a little bit late to keep the tree up; maybe they were just getting their money's worth having not seen it in December? Isn't it bad luck though? 

That said - and I couldn't photo this - 'my' client occupies three storeys and is only occupied by the receptionist and the office manager on the 2nd floor. The latter has festooned her entire desk and surrounding desks with tinsel to cheer herself up, and as she quite reasonably pointed out, there's no one else in the office to be bothered.

In an empty office no one can hear you sing carols. Merry Month Late Christmas Everyone!

Jonathan

PS we've had quite a few customers unclear as to whether we are still continuing our maintenance service during lockdown. As this post shows, yes we are, as long as you still want us!