Connect with Potted

Potted Instagrams

Bauer Pottery

Houseplants… My Addiction

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

I remember saying once that I would never have a houseplant. When will I ever learn not to make blanket declarations? Let’s see, by my last count I think I’m up to 22. But when you have a store it’s so hard not to rescue an orphan that needs a little TLC or to take home something exotic that just begs to answer the question…Can I kill that? It’s gotten pretty bad. My husband told me if I didn’t take the agave out of the bathroom, he was going to divorce me. It never pokes me (it likes me better). I think I need to go to a support group. But instead I am going to embrace my nerdy love of houseplants and start passing on what I’ve learned to you, dear readers, both practical and decorative.

Since we mostly sell succulents and cactus at Potted, everyone wants to know if you can grow them inside. General wisdom is they don’t particularly like the indoors (poor air circulation, heaters, too dark, over watering), but if you can avoid all those pitfalls, you might do okay.

I hadn’t tried too many succulents inside myself so one day I potted up this guy. I love using Tub Trugs to do my potting. They make pouring soil so much easier to direct and cleanup is a snap.

I added this chartreuse sedum for contrast…

…and inside this baby went. And it’s done fabulously. I ended up moving it to a North facing window were it got lots of indirect light because this particular sedum will burn with too much sun, and I’ve only watered it about once a month. I have noticed the sedum not looking too happy lately though as the heaters have been going full blast in the house. I’m trying a little more water but I want to be careful. I’m sure it will revive in the Spring.

What I’m always trying to find, though, is the perfect plant for my dining room table. What I’ve learned is that it’s good to enjoy things while they are looking good and swap them out when it’s time to move on. That’s why cachepots are a girl’s best friend. In fact, except for one terrarium, NONE of my houseplants are actually planted in their container. More on that later.

If you know me at all, you know I have a huge thing for black pots. Maybe it’s the whole black and green combo that gets me going…I don’t know, but I love it. Anyway, here is one of my favorite black 9″ Bauer Flower pots that is just perfect for a 6″ nursery pot. And a trick I’ve learned over the years (thanks to my husband’s love of good wine) is to save corks and use them to lift pots. If the plant is at the correct height and then you use moss to conceal the nursery pot, it looks great. This hydrangea will probably last a few more weeks and then I get to try something else. Hmm…

I really liked the detail of this little vase next to the larger plant and the pewter Moroccan tray by Roost (we often sell them in the store) pulls the whole thing together. I have a very long table so I like to have something large on one end to “decorate” that space when it’s not in use. Obviously you would never eat with something this big on the table but we almost never eat here anyway.

Here’s a little terrarium I put together today in about two seconds. I love cloches which is basically what this Pill Terrarium by Chive is. I’ve assembled my 4″ Hypoestes (Polka Dot Plant), my terrarium container and some spanish moss. That’s it.

Plant goes in terrarium, moss hides nursery pot, glass dome covers whole thing and voila…

You have this beautiful arrangement. And the best part…if you kill the plant by say forgetting to water if for 6 months (because you almost never have to water it as it creates its own moisture in the dome), this plant costs about $4 and you can just throw it in your green bin to become compost and go buy another one. Cost less than a cappuccino.

This final beauty is my favorite and one of my only finicky plants, the alluring Rex Begonia. It’s not hard to take care of them if you just remember one thing…consistency. They do not like to EVER dry out and the one time this one did (thanks to hapless teenagers left in charge for a long weekend), it immediately was devoured by a disgusting slug that nearly consumed it. But being extremely fond of this plant, I picked them out one by one (wondering where in the heck they came from in my kitchen) and nursed it back to health. Same advice for Maidenhair Ferns.

Most houseplants are actually quite easy but some, like the begonia and the maidenhair, do not thrive on neglect. But for all my houseplants right down to my agave (which gets watered once every three months) I take each one and put them in my sink and put diluted sea kelp in the water to give them a little boost. This is the main reason I never plant them. It’s so much easier to water them this way. They don’t get too big. And if I want to redecorate by putting different plants in different pots, it’s no big deal.

Stay tuned…I’ve got lots more plants in my house to show you.

Pasadena Showcase House 2012

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

One of the nice things about being in business for a while is the relationships you get time to develop. We’ve enjoyed supporting our friends at Form LA, lending them our products and helping out when we could to enhance their amazing designs. This year their Andalusian Courtyard at the 2012 Pasadena Showcase House was really the highlight of the house (in our humble opinions) and we thought you all might like to see some photos (which technically we weren’t allowed to take so pretend you didn’t see them). But what you should really do is go see the whole house. It’s a wonderful experience and for some good causes.

The walkway coming up to the front door was beautifully landscaped by Go Green Gardeners.

I love how they’ve planted into stripes.

Here’s the Andalusian Courtyard. The designers at Form LA created two separate outdoor rooms where there previously were none. I loved the table that was made from some sort of plaster that was gorgeous.

And here they’ve used one of our Bauer Canoes on some teak furniture from Cisco Home. Lovely.

This was really amazing. Since they couldn’t actually have a fire going in the outdoor fireplace, Form LA decided to create the illusion using a ‘Sticks on Fire’ Euphorbia and a whole bunch of Tillandsias raining down on fishing line.

Pots were also beautifully used throughout the whole house. I liked very much how they kept all three of these blue pots in the same set. It was very striking.

And this Agave and Sedum in a bowl made me very happy.

This was really lovely.

I don’t think this one was done by Form LA, but I still loved it.

Besides all the beautiful planters, we also really liked the hanging lights. There were quite a few by the pool that were beautiful.

Especially this star.

And of course…there had to be succulents on the wall. But it looked beautiful.

So do yourself a favor and go see the Pasadena Showcase House going on now through May 13th.

Bauer Pottery…Where it Happens

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Any of you who knows me knows of my love affair for anything Bauer…old, new, I love it all.

So happily we are friendly with the Bauer folks and recently got to go to their factory in Highland, California.

The factory is over 40,000 square feet. The floors are wood, the walls are tin…hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Ah the glamorous life of ceramic production.

In slip mold production, a pot or whatever piece is being produced starts off with, of course, a mold. Here is a pile of production molds waiting to be filled with clay.

Clay is mixed constantly throughout the day in this vat and pumped into the molds.

Then once the clay has set it’s removed from the mold, usually a few days depending on the weather. This piece has a rim that is attached separately otherwise it couldn’t release from the mold.

Here workers clean the “greenware” preparing it for the kiln. I never realized how much handling each piece requires.

Greenware amassing, waiting to fill a kiln. It takes a lot of room.

Cones they use inside the kilns that help determine how hot they are firing the clay.

Once fired, the pieces are now called “bisque.” They are rigid and could be used at this stage, but they’re also porous and would stain very easily.

Now comes the glazing. Here a worker is dipping a pot in a black glaze. Behind him is a spraying booth, another method for applying glazes.

These pieces are glazed black but I would never guess that’s what color they would be.

Once the glaze has been applied, it’s back into the kiln for a second firing. The pieces are stacked on the frame piece on the right which is then rolled into the kiln. I don’t know about you, but they didn’t have a kiln that size at my high school.

And here’s that black pot (okay, maybe not the exact same pot) as a finished product. Don’t even get me going about my love for black pots.

This tour really broadened my appreciation for how much goes into each and every one of these pieces. Every time I pick up one of mine I think I’m going to ask, “I wonder who cleaned this?” If you want some of your own, come in to Potted or visit us on line.

My Love Affair with Potted Plants

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

I know many people who dread the end of the holidays, but not me.   Because, as always, I look at it as an opportunity to redecorate.  And this year I was lucky enough to get some great potted succulents as presents (I love my job) so decorating was even better. And for me decorating applies to the outside as much as the inside.

I was given this lovely handmade hyper tufa arrangement from my good friend (and great designer) Jane Drew and from the loveable family behind Esther Pottery (Renee, Steve & Ethan), I was given one of the only 3 in existence new white Esther Pots. Paired with a vintage Bauer pot, I was pretty happy with my outdoor dining table.

I also really enjoy pairing strong colors together as I’ve done here with the orange/orange combo of one of our Julius Pots and a South African Lieberman Pot. And in the other combo, I’ve used blue and blue to pull together some giant aeoniums with a geranium.

Moving inside, my love affair with Bauer Pottery continues in my front room on this coffee table. The light in this room is so beautiful even a plastic pot would probably look okay…but we all know that would never happen.

And finally I found the perfect spot for my little Tina Woolly Pocket.  She’s lived in the kitchen and the den but here on this table by the front door she sits happily in lighting that is perfect for her inhabitants (and she makes us all happy when we come in the front door).