No longer restricted to potted plants and palm trees, contemporary plantscaping is evolving. People crave dynamic, multi-functional gardens that bring life back into indoor spaces. Lush Elements, a local company composed of avid plant connoisseurs, integrates living art and design to create functional, sustainable plantscapes for commercial and residential spaces. Terra Basche, the founder and lead designer, uses her special eye for composition to craft each plantscape based on the environment in which it resides, whether it’s indoor or outdoor, vertical or floor-bound.
The various installations that the team creates include Lush Living, which are vertical living walls; Lush Edibles, which are fresh-vegetable tower gardens; Lush Air, which are air plants that survive without soil; Lush Plants, which are indoor floor-bound container plants; Lush Patios, which are outdoor floor-bound container plants; and the newest addition to the lineup, Lush Walls, which are vertical preserved gardens made with mosses and ferns that require no maintenance.
Each plant installation plays three important roles: It creates a functional atmosphere, boosts sustainability efforts and inspires enriching creativity through artistic aesthetic.
“Art is subjective. Everyone has their own idea of what art is. For plant work, it’s highlighting the beauty of each plant and playing off the texture, color and feel of it…Nature speaks for itself,” says Basche. “Not only are these pieces beautiful and create a sense of well-being, but they lower stress levels and increase productivity of people working in the space.” There are many other functions of Lush Elements installations, such as air quality improvement, sound absorption and climate enhancement; however, in order to enjoy these benefits, proper plant sustainability is required. “I like to choose plants that will thrive in the environment that people want them to be in. Knowing the plant and paying attention to its needs is very important,” says Basche.
She not only focuses on the design and installation process, but also places special attention and focus on the maintenance process. While some installations require sunlight and water, others, such as Lush Walls, are capable of thriving without any care. Because of the varying needs, interests and styles of clients, no two Lush Elements designs are the same, which means the creativity and genius of this plantscaping team can bring the allure of the natural world into any space imaginable through the creation of a custom one-of-a-kind plant design. For more information, visit lushelements.com.
This story was originally published in the spring 2018 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.