For owner Irwin "Windy" Overbach, Island View Nursery in Carpinteria, California, "is like my own little vacation spot." It sells large houseplants and furnishings from Bali, Thailand, India, and China; customers often drop by just to soak up the ambience. He shares some of his favorite techniques.
Add statuary. Place a statue of a god or goddess within a plant grouping. "Anything carved is especially good," Overbach says. For a mysterious jungle feel, partially conceal the statue so that coming across it is a surprise.
Get creative with cachepots. Use carved or painted wood boxes from China or India. "Orchids and bromeliads look especially good in them," Overbach says. (Protect the boxes with a plastic lining.)
Use exotic woods and fabrics. Select furniture made of bamboo, rattan, teak, and other tropical woods. Underfoot, use sisal or woven-grass rugs. Beaded cloth from India, Indonesian batiks, and Hawaiian tapa are perfect for pillows or throws.
INFO: Island View Nursery, Carpinteria, CA (805/684-0324)
Back to Indonesia and beyond in San Jose