ISSUE 21  |  On the Lawn

Houseplant Door-to-Door Delivery

May 24, 2012 8:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Starting this week, New Yorkers can get house plants delivered almost as easily as takeout food.

“It’s been a problem in New York that unless you’re walking past a hardware store or a grocery, and happen to see a plant, you don’t know where to get one,” says Eliza Blank, co-owner of The Sill, a new delivery service to fill the void. Working out of their headquarters in Manhattan’s Chinatown, Blank and co-owner Gwen Blevens wlil be hand-delivering more than a dozen different kinds of hardy plants—many in ceramic pots commissioned from local artists—to Manhattan addresses south of 96th Street and to several zip codes in Brooklyn. (Like FreshDirect, they hope to expand the geographic range as the company grows.) “We’re going to be pretty scrappy about it,” says Blank. “We have a car we can use if we need one. Or if it’s close, we’ll walk.”

Above: Eric Bonnin, a ceramics artist in Manhattan, created exclusive designs (Above) for The Sill. “There were sculptural pieces in his portfolio that had been featured in galleries, and he mentioned to us that he put plants in them, for himself,” Blank says. “So he built a hidden drainage shelf to customize pieces for our customers.”

Above: A Ghost Plant in a Bonnin pot that pays homage to sculptor Constantin Brancusi; the Jean Gerard is $160.

Above: Graptopetalum paraguayense requires minimal care, as a Ghost Plant’s leaves store water.

Above: An Arrowhead Plant in a porcelain pot from Pigeon Toe Ceramics in Portland, commissioned by The Sill, is $98.

Above: Syngonium podphyllum likes medium light; the Arrowhead Plant also likes to be watered frequently.

Above: In simple terracotta pots: The Thorburn (Above, L) is a Golden Pathos plant ($48), and the Geraldine is a jade plant ($34).

Above: A very hardy plant, Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) likes bright light and can filter toxic gases from the air.

Above: Crassula ovata grows slowly, maintaining a tree-like shape. A succulent, jade requires little water.