3 Planted Lantern Looks with Beth Clevenstine


This summer, our creative team has been exploring fresh ideas to interpret the idea of wall sconces and table lanterns in unexpected and versatile ways. Beth Clevenstine, our photo stylist, recently shared the final three directions with us, and we chatted with her about the design process and technical aspects of each, hopefully to inspire you to create your own at home.

terrain: The first lantern look incorporates a lot of color and texture and we love as a transitional planting for this time of year. Can you walk us through some of your design process?

Beth: For all three looks, I used ornamental potting stone as a base. Then, for the first one, I treated the dried star pods and banksia as flowers, using them as a focal point in the lantern. I used the cipo stalk, grasses, and branches for their height and as a means to utilize the full length of the lantern in an interesting and slightly asymmetrical composition. Lanterns are always great hanging by a door but I can also see this as a decorative tabletop accent.

terrain: The second lantern has a moodier, romantic feel—what were you inspired by for this one?

Beth: I was inspired by a crisp fall evening with lightning bugs in the grass and stars in the sky. I used our Stargazer Copper Twine Lights, an ornamental metal garland, and a flame effect pillar candle to achieve the effect. I really wanted the lights to look like they were stars poured into the lantern, wrapping around the flowers and leaves of the garland, landing in a mossy field of green. The pillar helps the lantern feel more traditional, which I like juxtaposed with the string of lights.

terrain: The third lantern incorporates more living greens than the first two. Can you walk us through how you planted that lantern and any maintenance tips you have to keep it happy?

Beth: Yes! Using live plants is absolutely achievable and can be maintained. First, I’d suggest covering the bottom of the lantern with potting stone for drainage. I chose three small plants that require similar amounts of water and planted them with additional soil on top of the potting stone. I placed a flameless taper candle in the center of the grouping and then secured the soil with a layer of moss on top. As for care, I recommend checking the soil routinely to make sure it isn’t bone dry and water with a mister. And with the lantern door closed, a nice humid greenhouse environment will be created similar to a terrarium.

Planted lanterns are endlessly adaptable to your preferences, materials, and the seasons. For more inspiration, stop by your local terrain store.

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