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Synthetic Lawn…Did She Do It? More Getting Ready for Open Days 2013.

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

So when our story ended last week, I was having a quandary, “Do I try synthetic grass so I can have the perfect yard in spite of my destructive (yet adorable) four-legged beasts or do I just sod or maybe something else?” I’ve been working every spare moment to get everything into potted glory for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Tour and my lawn was, if you remember, beyond yucky.



Thank you for the emails I got trying to give me solutions. Most people were open minded about the synthetic as it’s come a long way, baby, but really wanted me to ponder all the alternative first, which I did. But at the end of the day what I really wanted in my 192 square feet of lawn was lawn. So I had the synthetic grass installed (I’m not the kind of person who mulls things over for too long which is why I got engaged on the third date to my husband of 20 years…works for me).



Looks pretty nice, huh? It’s from a company called Turfevolutions and was recommended to me by Joan Grabel of Park Slope Design (a fabulous designer who did another garden on the tour). It looks and feels absolutely amazing (make sure to get the kind with gold in it so it looks even more like California grass). The only thing I will say on the negative side is cost (yikes…glad I only had 192 square feet) and the fact that it glistens a bit in the sun…but that makes it looks like it’s just been watered (or at least that’s what I tell myself). Even the last issue of Garden Design Magazine (may it rest in peace) had an article singing its praises. Anyway, all three dogs seem to be fine with it and I just capped 6 sprinkler heads. I’m happy. When you take the tour (because you are, right?) find me and let me know what you think.



So since it is “A Potted Garden” of course it has to be decked out in all our newest and coolest products for the tour. I’ve been dying to have a City Planter by my front door and when someone changed their mind on an orange Color Blocked one we did custom a couple of weeks ago I knew that was the way to go.


Then I got to put on the new Plexi-Numbers we just designed and I was even more excited (I know, I need to get out more). But it looks pretty cool, don’t you agree?



And here’s the whole entry. Wait, I was only going to tease you so you’d be sure to come and see for yourself. Okay, no more wide shots.



But here’s a cute little concrete Owl we sell sitting to the left of the door…



And here’s an amazing Campania pot to the right I’ve topped dressed with rocks like I saw at last year’s SF Garden Show.



We love top dressing at Potted…it takes a planting from ordinary to extraordinary.



And you don’t have to always use rocks or glass. Succulents are one of my favorite top dressings and sometimes, as in the case of this container, I add in little things that are meaningful but I really have no idea what to do with like the “face” rock my now teenage daughter made for me when she was 9 or the painted red valentine rock my grandson gave me a couple of years ago. Putting them into arrangements like this is the perfect way to give them a permanent home.



I find that sempervivums (hens & chicks) make the best top dressing (with echeverias running a close second) but as with all living things, they need to be freshened up every so often. I’ve added this different variety into the front here and used it again…



…on the top of my Julius Pot that was filled with Sunburst Aeoniums. Sometimes it’s hard to add new plants into an existing planting so I find that a good plastic chopstick is an excellent tool to help work out a little opening and guide the “tail” of these babies down where they can root.



When this totally fills in and the whole bottom of the pot is a carpet of rose colored sempervivums, this is going to be stunning.



And lastly (at least for today), I’ve taken one of our Wedding Cake Planters and just stuffed it with sedum. I love it. I never understood why this planter didn’t take off…it makes plants look so amazing and it actually has a drain that we designed so it doesn’t have to have a separate saucer. Sigh, I guess we just aren’t going to be fully appreciated as designers until we’re dead. I guess there could be worse things (like actually being dead).


So that’s this week’s tease for the Open Days Tour. Remember you can purchase tickets here, or get them the day of the event which is May 5th from 10am-4pm at the lead garden at 2333 Fern Dell Drive in Griffith Park. Be there or be square!

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!