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Spring into a Container Garden

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Okay, perhaps that’s a corny title, but you get the idea…it’s Spring! Time to get going on what we do best here at Potted, Container Gardening. I thought I’d share some ideas of ones we’ve either done at the store or for a client or in our own homes to get your creative juices flowing (and get you all ready for the new That’s So Potted Contest coming up very soon).

Usually when people think of container gardening for edibles, they think of raised beds like the Mini Farm Boxes we sell online. And while I love my raised bed, I like using colorful pots like these to add visual interest in my garden as well as growing items that might not play nice in the the larger bed (like mint, anyone? I have three difference pots with three different kinds of mint). Actually big bowls like this are perfect for lettuce too as you can easily move it to keep these delicate leafy greens from getting too much sun. These two bowls actually got featured in a segment on NBC News featuring Sunset Magazine’s New Western Gardening Book so they look extra special.

And don’t be afraid to pair edibles with flowers, which work especially well to attract bees for pollination. And use my trick…I always photograph whatever seeds I’ve put into a container so I remember later. We sell Baker Creek Seeds which if you ever get a chance to go to Petaluma, California has the most amazing literal Seed Bank I’ve ever seen. Check out my blog post from last year if you’re curious.

But of course, what we really love at Potted is succulents and cactus. This little Lava Stone Pot is crammed full of echeverias and sits prettily against a stucco wall.

And here is a Geo Planter from designer Kelly Lamb that we are now carrying in the store and online. This beautiful pot also comes in a hanging version and we are really excited to be featuring them at Potted.

This Julius Planter is an elegant abode for the sculptural Squid Agave.

And this bowl has made me happy for years. When the Aeoniums get too tall and the bowl becomes ungainly, I just break them off and put them back in so the bowl keeps its shape.

The soft pink of this Afterglow pops against the black pot it lives in.

Color can be used either with the plants or with the pots, as with this grouping that uses all blue pots and even goes so far as to put in the blue bottles.

And the yellows flowers from these Echeverias match beautifully with this yellow pot.

Here’s a grouping of yellow and chartreuse pots. Keeping containers in one or two colors gives you a strong sense of design.

This pot by Champa Ceramics is planted with a Leucadendron and a Ruffled Echeveria. By choosing plants that grow up instead of cascading down, you don’t cover the beautiful design on this gorgeous pot.

Here we planted an Orinoco Bowl with succulents and pieces of slate so you could use it as a table too.

And last but not least, here is an old fountain basin I’ve planted with dwarf Mondo Grass that can be used as a seat. I got the idea from our good friend designer Dustin Gimbel who made his lawn chair out of St. Augustine Grass and I thought it was such a cool idea I had to try to make one of my own (plus he gave me a bunch of dwarf Mondo Grass too!)

If you want some more info about container gardening, you might want to check out these sites or blogs:

Urban Sustainable Living

Container Gardening Videos from Life on The Balcony

A Potted Herb Garden

Happy Spring!

“That’s So Potted…Terrariums” WEEK TWO

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Week Two is here and ready for voting. Remember there are three more weeks you can enter to be eligible to win the $500 shopping spree at Potted and weekly winners will receive one of our own Circle Pots.

Congratulations to Week One winner Timothy L. for his “deadly” terrarium.

And here’s the roundup for Week Two:

1. Stephanie S.

2. Jocelyn P.

3. Dan L.

4. Andrea N.

5. Rose S.

Potted Customer’s Garden

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

One of the perks about dropping things off at a customer’s home is that we get to see what they’ve done with our products. This amazing home in La Crescenta belongs to a very good client of ours (the garden is going to be published soon so I can’t say who yet) and he has bought almost all his decor from Potted.

I really like how he’s combined our Egg Chairs and one of our tiled tables with the teak furniture. It’s a nice combo of soft and hard and plays up beautifully with the Dr Seuss quality of the Tree Aloes.

These large Snow Pole Cactus coming out of the sleek white cylindrical planters are my favorite. The glossiness of the glaze really sparkles in the bright sun and the garden is resplendent with this kind of geometric repetition.

And in case you were worried there was no color, this interior patio practically vibrates with these chartreuse and lemon planters filled with cactus and succulents.

On a lower section of the garden the vibe is more “Mediterranean Modern” with a wonderful pop of color from a Fermob Bistro Set paired with some rustic asian pots.

A Palo Verde Tree in an abundance of barrel cactus. Again, the repetition gives structure and interest to this sun drenched garden.

This fountain was created with a large cement bowl that we normally use as a fire pit (just in a larger size) that was made into a bubbler using a very large pump to get the height on the water. Weighing over 500 pounds it was not easy getting it into place, but the effect was well worth the effort.

The house and garden were truly remarkable and I hope you’ll get to see more of it soon when it is published. Until then, enjoy this little taste. We hope to bring you more “Potted Gardens” soon.

Lotusland

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

When I attended USCB in the early 80s, I remember being fascinated by a piece of property in Montecito. It had a seemingly endless pink wall and these weird exotic plants peeking over the top. It looked abandoned and scary and so, of course, I couldn’t stop wondering about it. Years later when I become involved in landscape design, I was thrilled to find out that this odd, magical garden was known as Lotusland.

Madame Ganna Walska began her garden in 1941 and continued working on it until 1984 when she died in her 90s (just goes to show you…gardening can prolong your life). Apparently she was still alive when I was in college trying to climb over the fence and from what I’ve learned about her eccentricity, I’m glad I never got caught.

Madame Walska was a pioneer in mass plantings. She valued plants for their structural aesthetic as can be seen with these giant spiraling Euphorbias that surrounded her front door.

Here are more examples of her mass plantings and eye for architectural botany…

A forest of Ponytail Palms.

Another forest of Dragon Trees in sizes I’ve never seen before.


The cactus garden that was actually donated by a fellow eccentric collector and delivered and installed plant by plant after Madame’s death. But Madame wasn’t only interested in succulents and cactus.

Here is an amazing example of a lemon arbor from a pre-existing section of the garden.

And here she’s filled in the original swimming pool and created a lotus pond.

But don’t worry, she did build another swimming pool (two actually) and made sure to outfit them in her own special style.

No where you go is there anything ordinary in this garden.

Here is the original front driveway showing a mass planting of agaves. The 37-acre property is split into approximately 18 different gardens with one of the jewels being her cycad garden. Ganna was a pioneer in realizing the beauty of these prehistoric plants and now has some of the few remaining specimens in the entire world.

These three beauties are known as The Bachelors as there are no surviving females of their species and once they die, that’s it.

To say this garden is worth visiting would be a gross understatement. I’ve left out so much in this posting that you just must go and see for yourself. The garden is in a residential neighborhood so reservations are required and a docent lead tour is highly recommended so you can get some more insight into the very interesting life of Madame Walska and how her garden came to be.

Lotusland. Santa Barbara, California. Reservations: (805)969-9990

Vintage Planters…We Can Plant Anything at Potted

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Planting weird stuff…I think we’re making it our life’s work here at Potted.  We actually bought an old bent tennis racket the other day because we thought it might be a cool Tillandsia home.  Why not?  We had someone bring in their childhood go-cart to be planted as a present for Mother’s Day.  We’ve planted chicken feeders, hollowed out pieces of driftwood and even the kitchen sink (you knew that had to make it in there some where).  Nothing is sacred when it comes to our mania for planting succulents and cactus.  And we are quite happy to teach you how to do it as well.  Look for our Potting Bar to begin in October where we are going to help you Get Potted!

Potted Planted Gift Tackle Box

An old fishing tackle box done up with sedum and succulents.

Potted Planted Gift Vintage Toy Pedal Car

This is something you don’t see everyday…an old car from Sears.

Potted Planted Gift Vintage Smokey the Bear Butt Cans

These cans were a great find. A perfect use for those old souveniers.

Potted Planted Gift Vintage Toy Dumptruck

These are our favorities…old dump trucks. Now that’s a cool Father’s Day present.