Solutions: Add indoor plants for lively mix at home

Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News

Indoor plants have made quite a comeback in recent years, especially low-maintenance varieties that appeal to those with busy lifestyles.

In response, Kelly Green, owner of Southern Green, offers unique species and containers as an art consigner at Tootie and Tallulah’s Annex, a gift, art and home consignment shop in Berkley that’s owned by Jeri Brand.

The boutique plant business with a Southern aesthetic was designed to create hospitality and warmth in an eclectic home. “People can give them as a gift or pick one up to use as a statement piece in their own home,” says Green about the custom pairings.

A great deal of thought goes into her creations. “I don’t put anything in the store that I haven’t grown in my own house and the plants come with instructions that I type up myself. I do a lot of online research, too,” she says.

Green grew up in Tampa, Florida, where she says indoor plants were standard. “Even as a kid, I would enjoy bromeliads and plants like that.”

She favors containers with a whimsical twist. “I try really hard to find things that are unique, like heads with a plant on top that looks like hair. It’s so funny how popular they’ve been,” says Green.

Her distinct selection of mostly ceramic containers includes vintage and new varieties. She tries to keep it fun like the one that comes in the form of a pink koi.

Customers also have the option of bringing their own container to fill with a live plant and vice versa with a plant they have that needs a container.

Her experiments began in her sunroom and went from there. “The response has been so positive,” she says. “Live plants really add an aesthetic to a home.”

Among her picks are tropical plants like sansevieria that she says are virtually indestructible and do well in low light and little water.

Green makes tablescapes upon request. “I love a live centerpiece. It makes a real statement,” she says.

Special orders are available as well. “I will do custom and make what people want, but at the same time add some flair to it,” she says.

Upcoming events include a staghorn fern workshop that will be held this summer. “They look like antlers and they’re fun and hearty. You mount them on a piece of wood and hang them up. They make a really cool object of art,” says Green.

Another workshop was so popular it became a fixture. The terrarium bar, open during store hours Tuesday through Saturday, lets customers select a glass container and plant (starting at around $10 for both) and embellish them with accents like colored moss and crystals.

The workshops and terrarium bar are also available for private parties.

“People enjoy the uniqueness of it,” says Green who believes the recent uptick in live plants may be due to the fact that people are becoming more aware of their health benefits like cleaning the air and boosting your mood.

Their visual appeal is an added bonus.

For information, call (248) 850-7637 or go to

Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at