5 Plants So Structurally Stunning This Designer Turns 'Em Into Jewelry
Before Allyson Ross became a woman with a one-acre yard, she was an apartment-dweller with a seriously black thumb. “Before I moved here, the only thing I tried to take care of were cactuses, and I killed them 100% of the time. My rate for not killing plants is about 70% now, so I feel pretty good about that,” she laughs. Good thing, too—those frond-y friends are the models for her line of hand-carved and cast jewelry, which immortalizes delicate blades of grass and barely open buds forever into rings and necklaces that never, ever wilt.
“The plant that I absolutely love in the spring is a daphne plant. It’s a bush, and it has a bloom that comes out early in the season, so it’s just a great breath of fresh air. It hints at better things to come, that the sun will return someday. It has an incredible scent that just perfumes everything.”
“Cherry blossoms are really rewarding. When I lived in Brooklyn, I was in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and it was always so restorative to be able to go to The Brooklyn Botanic Garden and see the trees in bloom. They’re all the more wonderful for being temporary.”
“I find leaf shapes really interesting. We have a lot of hawthorn trees here in Oregon, and I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from them and their buds. I’m attracted to those types of leaves when they’re just forming and haven’t completely come into their shapes yet. When they’re starting to unfold, they take on an outline that’s really different and kind of peculiar-looking. They’re these sort of slumped creatures that look like deflated hands.”
“There’s a florist in town here, called Emerald Petals—she does arrangements based on local flowers, and I stop by there to get inspiration. She sells all kinds of amazing pods, like these little cup-like poppies, that I’m attracted to for the same reasons as the unfurled leaves.”
“My husband gets a little annoyed sometimes because I’m always bringing home too many plants. There’s this nursery in Portland called that I go to a lot for succulents, and I’ll get a ton of them. It’s really rewarding to care for them and to keep them alive. It requires such a different world-view and skill set than I was used to before I began collecting them.”