10 (More) Planters for Animal Lovers

Back in February, when I first started this blog, I featured this post about animal planters. It’s been a few months and, now that it’s summer, I found a whole slew of planters that I adore. Plus, with all of the weddings, parties, brunches, and general celebrations, everyone needs a good gift list for that person who loves leaves and paws.

Ceramic Cat Planter from GailCCceramics on Etsy, $144.

I’ve been following Gail on Instagram for a while because her handmade planter are THE most adorable thing I have ever seen. The little face! The whiskers! This ceramic floof would love to be on your bookcase holding your, of course, pet friendly plant. Buy this adorableness from Etsy.

Mint Dinosaur Planter from Naomi Nickerson, $25.

I have to say, there aren’t enough dinosaur planters. Search on etsy and tons of those cut-into plastic dinosaurs come up, which is not what I was looking for. Given the underwhelming amount of ceramic dinosaurs, I was happy to find this amigo made by hand. I also found Nicki on IG and she has other pastel planters that are perfect for prehistoric and present-day animal lovers. Purchase Minty the Dinosaur on her website.

Animal Menagerie Planters from West Elm, $24-30.

Need an office mate? Pick Tallulah the bird, Larry the llama, Lenore the lion or Lips the chicken; those are officially unofficially their names. Pick a new friend at West Elm.

Felt Fox Planter from theyarnkitchen on Etsy, $26.

Hark! A felt planter?! It does exist. With a touch of hygge and minimalism, these artists capture the happy fox with an atypical medium.  Find the Italian etsy shop, theYarnKitchen here.

Fluffy by The Blob House on Amazon, $45

Fluffy may or may not be related to Kyle, Gru’s pet from Despicable Me. Am I the only one who see’s a resemblance? Find Fluffy on Amazon for under $50 and let him greet your guests for brunch.

Doggie Hanging Planter by noemarin on Etsy, $31

Cute face? Check. A hanging planter? Check. Under $50? Bring this puppy home today. 

Puffy Hedgehog Planter by TheMintyMountain, $34

If there is one person you look up on IG today, it’s Emma Jo’s account. Take a peek of her precious little creations, cats, and works in progress.  Her shop is on etsy only, and includes many other rose cheeked aminals of the like.

Sequin the Unicorn by coceramicstudio on Etsy, $40

Sequin the Unicorn is one of the more majestic planters on this list. With her head held high, she’ll protect your succulents with pride and sparkle. Find her on Etsy.

Tiny Sloth Planter by cumbucachic on Etsy, $38

I have no words. The cuteness is overwhelming. Please buy this tiny sloth on Etsy this instant.

Dachshund Planter by fruitflypie on Etsy, $50

Hot diggity dog. This planter is straight out of the 70s and would look best in your white living room, outfitted with a mid-century modern coffee table, giant fiddle leaf fig, alongside a large book about interiors, naturally. Buy this pup.

Why you should visit a Botanical Garden.

Although somewhat unrelated to my subject of pets + plants, this is something that needs to be said. If you love plants – collect them, tend to them, obsessed with them, you need to visit a botanical garden. Many of the plants in your house and garden center are smaller versions of giant plants from different places all over the world, many reaching multiple feet in height.

Monstera : Leaf & Paw
I was in awe of this GIANT Godzilla size Monstera.

There are also a billion varieties of houseplants, like certain orchids, that are unfit for homes, but thrive in conservatories. The only way you would be able to experience exotic and rare plants like these is in a botanical garden.

Insanely impressive orchid.* Note: not official genus.

While in Massachusetts, I specifically sought out the Smith College Conservatory in South Hampton. The air was humid and warm, and had a calming scent of earth and dew.

Botanic Garden : Leaf & Paw
Let’s go!

In all, it contained several rooms which housed plants of specific origin and habitat. Like a goofy tourist, I wandered room to room, camera in hand, more excited than a toddler on Christmas morning.

Succulents
The Succulent House, also known as Phi Delta.

Being in New York, I don’t see many cacti, actually none, in a backyard. I have a few in my house, but our winters can be brutal. Yeah, we have lush green plants here, but I love a good rustic cactus, or better, lots of little friends.

Cacti - Leaf and Paw
Cactus Army or Cactus Party?

They were all grouped like this, like a tiny cactus army. It became more landscapey in the middle, with these larger cacti like this weird fellow. He definitely makes the artsy-plant-of-the-year list.

He’s neat.

As an individual who loves orchids, despite their hatred for me, I was in paradise. Plus, I didn’t need to take care of them, only to watch them never bloom for me again out of spite.

These tiny orchids smelled amazing!

This one even smiled at me. Or is that a wink? I don’t know.

Orchid: Leaf and Paw
I see a closed-eye smile with two big ears on either side. A happy orchid, nonetheless.

Speaking of spite, I posted on Instagram a few weeks ago about THIS:

Sigh.

I know from the many comments I received that I am not the only one who struggles with ferns. Especially maidenhair ferns, these picky little devils will succumb to the darkness no matter how much love I give. Here is one in the conservatory, on a bloody door, just growing rampant, with no care or help.

Whatever.

Can I just say that visiting this botanical garden also prompted me to save all  my chore money up and buy my own greenhouse. This year. I must, I just must. Look at those wiinnnnddoowws.

Arched windows bring me weak at the knees.

The highlight? The monstera. It’s obvious how much I love my Monstera, Monty, and I lost it when I saw this mama version. I posed, too, like a huge dork.

Monstera: Leaf and Paw.
People were staring at me like I was some kind of weirdo. Doesn’t everyone pose with giant leaves? If not, they should.

The only thing that would have made this experience better? Cats. Can someone open a cat/plant garden? Never mind, I will.

This leaf was bigger than my head.

My favorite part? Well, the monstera, yes, but it was actually the guessing game. All of my houseplant knowledge was put to the test. I learned so much more too, especially about different varieties, and how owning a green house is now a must. Did I mention I want a greenhouse?

Staghorn Fern: Leaf and Paw
Massive Staghorn Fern, mounted.

Unless you have ample funds to travel to Africa and Asia frequently, a botanical garden is really eye-opening. Considering most of the houseplants you and I own are from either of those countries, it was really cool to see them actual size. The conditions were perfect in the greenhouses, obviously, but dear lord, it was a sauna. I don’t recommend keeping a house 95 degrees and at 110% humidity to make your Monstera happy, unless you’d be happy at that ungodly temperature, too.

Botanical Garden : Leaf and Paw
Dorky photo number onebillion.

I did make some changes, though. When I got home I moved everyone around, focusing on what plants need more light, or humidity. I noticed Monty pushed out more leaves after seeing more sun, and my peperomias looked extra variegated after moving them into a shadier area. This is why I encourage every plant lover to find their nearest, or farthest, botanical garden and just spend the day. It’s amazing how much I info I absorbed and how much I actually knew about the plants I have.

Botanical Garden : Leaf and Paw

Personally, I can’t wait to go to another….any recommendations?

 

 

Henrietta the Hedgehog

Henrietta and Simon are my two African Pygmy hedgehog rescues, both from owners who could no longer care for them. Henrietta was previously used just for breeding, and she was adopted November 2015.

Henrietta the Hedgehog

Many people ask why I have a hedgehog, honestly wondering what do they do? Since they are nocturnal they sleep during the day, but develop the habit of their owners. Henrietta comes to greet me in the morning and continues to pop out of her igloo through the day, typically spending a few hours on my lap daily while I write blog posts. She is free to roam the house and use the refrigerator as she pleases.

Hedgehog yawn!

Henrietta is my first hedgehog and I had done A TON of research before adopting her in November 2014. Hedgies are considered exotic pets, so ultimately have needs (such as a heat requirement) to keep them comfortable, so my house is nothing short of a sauna. And both of my hedgies are, luckily, litter trained. Their favorite snacks include giant disgusting meal worms, but Henrietta had taken a liking to veggies and apples. Hedgehogs’ primary diets are actually high quality cat food – it being the most nutritious.

Henrietta the Hedgehog

I wanted to talk about Henrietta’s journey, because I began this blog post weeks ago and didn’t have the heart to finish it. She passed away last Monday and her death was one of the most heartbreaking I have experienced. In July 2015, I noticed a lump under her arm – after a few tests it was determined she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. It is unfortunately common in  hedgehogs and, considering she may have been bred to young, was inevitable. With a poor prognosis of only a few weeks to live, I don’t think she would be with me long. I had the lump removed by the vet and, contrary to science, she healed up just fine in a month.

Months passed and she lived a healthy life, running on her wheel and around the house in a Sonic-like manner. The tumor returned in September and she underwent another surgery. I knew this would be the last operation. It was incredibly stressful on me and a bit too much for her little potato body, but she recovered. Even though I knew the cancer would come back, I didn’t know how long until it would resurface. I was just amazed at how determined this little animal was.Hedgehog birthday party hat

In March Henrietta celebrated her 3rd birthday, which is incredible. She had defied all odds and our vet was in shock that she has made it so far. For six months or so she had been on a pain medication to ease any discomfort, and you wold have never guessed she was ill. Most days she would sit on my lap, sleeping while I worked at home, she enjoyed video game nights snuggling on the couch, loved running around with our cats, had a fetish for my new perfumes, and above all, made me smile everyday.

Henrietta the Hedgehog

I loved hedgehogs for years. Upon befriending a real one, I was just over the moon. Whether it was my childhood love for hedgehogs or just that I adore animals, I loved her more than anything. I’ve lost family members and I have had pets pass away, but nothing was more heart wrenching than saying goodbye to her. The cancer had been back for some months now, growing steadily. This last weekend the cancer escalated rapidly and I knew it was time. Suddenly she stopped eating and drinking and I had to have her peacefully leave, without pain.

Our vet, who had done all of her surgeries, put her down last Monday afternoon. I asked to have her brought her back in the room for me to say goodbye. Paleface, lightheaded, and through heaving sobs, I said my last goodbye to my dear little friend.  I couldn’t breathe and the pain was incredibly strong, but I felt the closure we both needed. A piece of me is missing and I know nothing but her can replace it.  I know it will take time but the grieving process has not been easy. Every morning I  still wake up and say hello to her, expecting her to wobble out of her igloo and greet me.