When people like Christine and Ian Kaufmann - who were born and raised in Banff - decide to stay local and start businesses, the results tend to be remarkable.
Banff Mountaintop Flowers - the Kaufmann’s business - is no exception, in fact, it was voted Best Place to Buy Flowers in Banff for 2020. Tucked in the Wolf and Bear Street Mall, Banff Mountaintop Flowers offers a variety of small house plants, bright fresh cut flowers and unique pottery, but they are known for their superlative arrangements. It should be no surprise that Christine is a talented painter - more on that soon. For now, we got the Kaufmanns' simple tips on how to spruce up any home with plants and flowers this spring.
North 51: What are some hard to kill plants that first timers can start out with?
Mountaintop Flowers: For the newbie plant enthusiast who is wanting to leap into starting their own little home jungle, there are definitely some awesome starter plants that don’t require much in the way of care. The first is a ZZ plant, or Zamioculcas zamiifolia for all of you Latin lovers. These are the next step up from the fake plastic plant. It can thrive in low light and requires very little in the way of water. I have one I water once a month, basically remembering when I pay my rent to water the plant. Same story for a snake plant. These two plants are happy to be left in a corner and thrive on a bit of neglect.
51: Why is it helpful and more fun to give your plants a nice home?
MF: Plants have become a beautiful décor item to bring life and energy into your home. Let’s face it, we’ve all had to spend far more of our time inside our houses lately, kind of crawling the walls. Plants help bring a sense of calm and freshness into your space and jazzing them up with their own special pot, vase, bowl, or who knows what can be fun. I’ve seen people planting into mannequin heads, unicorns or just a contemporary piece, it can make it feel a bit more fun and play on your personality. I’ve been loving seeing the 70s revival with the macrame coming back into fashion! Also always remember to name your plants and tell them they’re looking great!
51: What are some easy tips for making cut flowers last? And what kinds of pieces can outlast fresh flowers, but make for cool longer lasting decorations?
MF: When you bring fresh flowers home it’s always a good idea to give them a fresh cut on their stems. This helps the stem drink up the water and keep it happier. Keep the flowers in a cooler location away from a heating vent and be sure to refresh the water when you see it start to get cloudy and again just give the stems a fresh cut. If you’re looking for flowers that can keep going you can always ask your florist to include some flowers that can be dried or are dried. Many flowers such as hydrangea, roses, protea, banksia, lavender, eucalyptus, billy balls and a host of others are great to dry and keep. This allows you to keep a flower to remember a special occasion or start your own decorative dried arrangement.