A thank you and a bit about Erica

Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to read this and look at my website and I hope that you find all you are looking for.

I started PLANTS ENHANCE in 1987 and to begin with I was working with live plants.  I rented out the plants to offices and commercial premises and then watered and maintained them every two weeks in order to keep them looking good and changing any plants and trees that were not at their best.

I soon realised that some areas of the offices where just not right for live plants and I was going to have to go down the route of artificial plants.  Now I am not at all arty or crafty and cannot arrange a flower for anything so I struggled to begin with taking a flat artificial plant and making it look life like.  Also the standard of the artificial plants and trees on offer was not only very limited but they also looked like plastic.

I have seen the standard of artificial plants and trees as well as flowers just come on in leaps and bounds and it is sometimes difficult to tell the real from the fake.  I gradually learnt how to arrange the fake plants but the artificial side was only used if the live plants could not survive.

PLANTS ENHANCE was very much a family business with my husband and all three children joining me in the business at various times.  The husband and I parted in 2007 but all three children remained with PLANTS ENHANCE.  My eldest son, Oliver had taken over the running of the live side of the plants employing his brother and sister to water the plants – yes it was interesting sometimes! 

Around 2008 Oliver and I decided to break into the world of ecommerce and PLANTS ENHANCE ON LINE was born.  Shipping live plants would be a real headache so we decided to concentrate on the artificial plant side.  I found myself working on a computer all day and gradually I got the hang of this strange world of not only computers but also websites.  We were still using the abacus when I was at school so this was very much new territory for me.

Oliver married and moved away and it was agreed it would be easier to split the businesses and he would stay with the live side and I would take the website on.

It is the best move – well apart from marrying my TNT driver back in 2011! – that I have ever made.  I love it, I like sourcing new plants and trees and I really have a passion for the artificial fruit and am always on the look out for more to stock.  I love chatting to you either on the phone or by email and I even take my own images now which was another massive learning curve.

Anyway I am sure that you are now ready to go into a darkened room and lie down so I will say thank you so much for reading this and more importantly looking around the website.  I hope you find what you are looking for if you can’t or want any help then just email sales@plantsenhance.com or give me a ring on 01934 524861.

  I hate having my picture taken!!

How to secure a boxwood ball in a planter

How to plant a plastic boxwood ball into a window trough, round or square planter.

When you get your plastic boxwood ball you will see 2 pieces of plastic sticking out, remove these and you will see either end of a tube that runs through the middle of the boxwood ball.  The gold string just needs removing – I have no idea why it is on there!

This tube has a diameter of 15mm.  

To secure your boxwood ball into a trough, square or round planter you will need

1 no: canister of expanding foam – one canister will fill a 40cm diameter by 40cm high planter and 2 window troughs 800mm x 200mm x 180mm.

15mm dowel – this is a round wooden pole that fits into the tube in the middle of the boxwood ball.  You will need to get a longer dowel than the height of the boxwood ball as the dowel also needs to go quite some way into the planter.

1 no: bag of coloured stone or gravel to use as the top dressing and also to give some weight to the planter to stop it blowing over.  A 20kg bag will give you more than enough – depending on the size of your planter obviously!

All of these things are available from places like B & Q or your local builder’s merchant – the expanding foam will be a lot cheaper from the builder’s merchant and you need the canister with the nozzle attached to the side.  I explain this in more detail here.

Spray a little water over the inside of the planter to help the foam adhere – I just flick a bit from a bowl, it does not have to be too precise!  Follow the instructions on the canister and fill the planter up to around half way.  Leave the foam to expand – I usually reckon on 24 hours as it is a lot of foam to cure and the top may seem set but the middle might not be.  As you need to give a good top dressing of stone you really want the foam to stop about 15mm/6” from the top of the planter.  If the foam rises too much then just cut it down with a sharp knife.

Use the stone to fill the gap, this acts as a top dressing and weights the planter down.  Stick the dowel into the foam in the centre of the planter.  The deeper you can put the dowel into the planter the better but don’t forget to leave just under the height of your boxwood ball showing.  So a 45cm boxwood ball needs around 40cm left sticking up.

The really easy bit – just push your boxwood ball into the dowel using the tube in the middle. 

The boxwood balls are really quite robust so if the foliage gets slightly flattened with you handling it then just gently run your hands over the foliage and it will fall back into place.

Then stand back and admire your handy work.

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