Two iconic hotels – two cool styles

Last week I stayed overnight at the Bel-Aire Hotel and attended functions at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Wow, amazing flowers and botany. The two hotels couldn’t be any more different. Both iconic but both defining different ‘atmospheres’ and tones.

The Bel-Aire was quiet and serene (see photo of real swans floating on pond at front desk). It had a very exclusive vibe and when you walk over the old covered bridge to the lobby you can smell the scent of real wood fire burning. Nice. The landscaping is so beautiful.Although this hotel had just undergone a 3-4 year remodel you can see that they respected the traditional flora and fauna that existed and made minimal changes. You can see by the size of the California Sycamore and the ferns in a few of the pics that these guys have been around for a long, long time.

The Beverly Hills Hotel did not disappoint. Very different from the Bel-Aire but equally interesting. The energy when you walked up the red carpet into the lobby was vibrant and very cool. You almost feel famous just because you’re there! Almost;)

All floral statements were very grand, opulent and showy unlike the understated vibe of the Bel-Aire. The flowers were amazing. I can’t imagine how many people and how much time go into these arrangements.

The photos aren’t great but I did my best trying not to take too long snapping the shots so I didn’t look like the corny tourist!

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Moss art – Chapter 1

So as I’ve discovered, moss can be a key component in visual art. I have spent some time compiling images of some interesting mossy art.  I’ve picked images that use moss on a very grand scale such as the image below and then on a really small scale such as the lightbulb terrarium.

What I’ve realized is that there really is a whole world of art out there dedicated to moss. I am intrigued. So I decided to  change this post from just Moss Art to Moss Art Chapter 1. Meaning, more chapters  to come…

The Mudmaid

Oh how I love to look at this image. It evokes such peaceful and soothing emotions. She looks so comfortable under her mossy blanket!

The Mudmaid – The Lost Gardens of Heligan –



I fell in love with this image as soon as I saw it. The clever people at Terrain ( have made this beautiful holiday terrarium. A nice mix of real/live botany   with a whimsical flare. The purple cyclamen unusually capture the holiday spirit in a sort of modern way don’t you think? Now where is the cute little elf hiding?








And how cute is the lightbulb terrarium? The little alligator, the piece of moss, the little legs to hold the bulb upright. People truly are amazing with their creativity.

This image comes from the cool site the








This image is from the artists at Two moss chandeliers and several living moss embellishments on the pillar. Pretty cool.

Embrace the ‘Moss’

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Who would think that moss could be so beautiful. Up until recently, I have always been so frustrated with moss. Once it starts to grow, it seems impossible to get rid of.  Our yard gets moss every year around this time and the bricks begin to look green rather than the reddish color that we get so used to during the summer. I’ve tried to dry it out, scrape it etc. but then I realized one day that it is quite lovely. I mean, “hello?” it’s natural and pretty!

My discovery came when I was taking a picture of a succulent arrangement that I had just made and set it out on the bricks in the back to take the shot. What I realized was that the mossy bricks with some sunlight cast on them and the arrangement sitting in the middle was quite special. Now, with a new perspective, I’ve gone back out into the yard and looked at the bricks and can’t believe I was trying to get rid of it. I love the natural and real feel of  the  yard. The moss essentially reminds us of what season we are in. The sun casts lower in our yard during the fall and we get the beautiful gift of an intricate, natural green carpet on certain areas of our old brick.

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