Natural Wonders

Virginia Orlando and Candace Atchue have amassed a curious collection of skulls, antlers, fossils, and plants at their Worcester store, Seed to Stem (they also have a monthly booth at SoWa Open Market). Here is what we’re coveting.

174 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, 508-890-0933,

Photograph by Michael Piazza. Prop styling by Jenny Wilson/Anchor Artists

Photograph by Michael Piazza. Prop styling by Jenny Wilson/Anchor Artists



Ostrich egg planted with tillandsia, $50. Orlando and Atchue adorn large, hollowed-out eggs with succulents, tillandsia, or orchids.


Amethyst planted with tillandsia, $95. “We turn anything that can be a planter into a planter,” Orlando says.


Reedbuck skull, $95, and antler shed, $40. The women troll estate sales and antiques shops for antlers and bones. This skull comes from a South African antelope.


Glass bottles, starting at $10. Because these antique bottles—recent finds at Brimfield—were produced with manganese dioxide, they’ve turned various shades of purple in the sun.


Vintage camera, $25. Cameras, microscopes, globes, and other nostalgic treasures line the shelves.


Ceramic bust, $70. This bust is modeled after a phrenology head, once used to map sections of the brain.


Taxidermy pheasant, $85. Orlando and Atchue, both budding taxidermists, name each animal they sell in the store. This is Peter.


Earthly Adorned acrylic bracelets, $60 each. Providence, Rhode Island–based artist Nina Brundle encases lichens, bones, and bark in her chunky bangles.


Feathers, by Thor Hanson, $26; Evidence of Evolution, by Mary Ellen Hannibal, $30; and Animal Architects, by James R. Gould and Carol Grant Gould, $27. Books that reflect the theme of the store are chosen for their beautiful covers.


Loose tillandsia, $3–$35 per plant. Keep these low-maintenance plants alive by soaking them once a week.