Containers

I came across this image this morning over on Old House Gardens’ page about forcing bulbs.   I’ve never seen such wonderful forcing pots and I would love to find something as charming as that hedgehog crocus pot for some late winter fun (but I’d be thrilled to have any of them!).

Old House bulbs forcing pots via www.studiogblog.com

A quick eBay search turned up absolutely nothing.  Has anyone ever seen something like this?  Know a source? Or perhaps you know someone who is making modern day versions?  Do share – I would be so grateful.

image from Old House Gardens — originally sourced from Peter Henderson Catalog NYC, 1900. 

It’s January, Are you in planning mode?  Yeah, me too.

I’m planning windbreaks and barriers, berry gardens, possibly some new trees too, and the completion of my patio and arbor.

You might remember this post about black slats from last summer (you know where I was all talk about getting the arbor over the patio done – but then it didn’t get done….well this time I mean it).  I mean it so much I am planning the containers that will sit at the base of all those gorgeous black stained posts and slats (Note: My optimism about the completion of this is overflowing now that we have decided to hire a carpenter to finish the job rather than doing it ourselves – sometimes you just have to be realistic).  

Verdant Texture Planting Plan by www.studiogblog.com
As I plan out the pots and accessories, I am so tempted to add a strong thread of another color, but green and black and white are just so great together that I have decided (at least for this year) I must resist.

I’m big on clusters of pots that go but don’t match; different heights and shapes and one type of plant per pot. Keeping the plants separated from each other – each in its own little manageable world – always seems to work better for me and I can re-arrange much more easily.

What do you think of the mix?  Here is my thinking on each choice:

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I’ve been to Lowes five times in the last three days. Isn’t that always how it goes when you are working on projects? I never seem to be able to account for all the contingencies for which I will need materials.


This week was (is) kind of nutty. In addition to my own regular writing deadlines and ongoing book work, my daughter is the lead in the school play and it is tech week (for those of you – like me- who haven’t been through producing a play – this is the week when it all gets seriously-hardcore-insane right before the real show). My parents are visiting as well, which means two things – construction projects are getting done in record time and the bourbon in the liquor cabinet is just about gone.

I’m trying to navigate it all by keeping everyone on track, where they need to be, and with the right tools to get their jobs done. It’s part super-mom, part general contractor, part hostess with the mostess, top-chef and part writer. I’m taking moments of solace in my garden and reaping the last of the harvestable goodies for some seasonal decorations.

bark vase www.studiogblog.com

I showed you this vase a couple weeks ago (here).  Want to know how it was made?  After a hike in the woods where my son (who has a habit of gathering so many ‘interesting’ things that he generally can’t carry them all by the end of the walk) I saved this coil of birch bark from the collection.   To make it into a vase, I wet it (softening it slightly) just enough to be able to slip a plastic water cup into the center.  I have been changing out the mix every few days adding something different to pair with the fake red berries.  This time, I gave it my best effort  ikebana effort by adding stems of Callicarpa.

I am obsessed with Callicarpa americana (Beautyberry) since the shrub I planted a couple years ago is mature and laden with gorgeous eye-catching purple berries.  I redressed the container by my front door with a combination of Callicarpa and other garden cuttings to include red-twig dogwood, boxwood, lavender, lighted branches.

I also added a couple inexpensive globe glass light covers (turned upside down) and stuffed with a string of lights to illuminate.

I can’t wait until this evening (hopefully amidst the madness) where I can set up the camera at twilight to capture a picture of how pretty these look when they are lit up.  I’ll post an update with those pictures as soon as I can.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes.  This is a series that I am doing through the end of the year.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series. 

Fall Badge Rectangle

 

These planting ideas weren’t expressly presented as halloween ready by their creators…but I think they are perfect for the season don’t you?airplants and body parts creepy halloween planting ideas via www.studiogblog.com

Why not dismember a dolly and use her appendages for planters?   (or buy these from Peacock Taco on Etsy)

Graveyard Terraium creepy halloween planting ideas via www.studiogblog.com

Or turn your terrarium into a tiny burial ground ?  (this one is available from the Faerie Nest)Min Zombie garden necklace  creepy halloween planting ideas via www.studiogblog.comBut if Halloween is a holiday that is really special to you , perhaps you might consider keeping a tiny zombie in a tiny terrarium close to your heart.  (available from Faerie Nest)

-Rochelle 

Summer in Maine by Carrie Eason via www.studiogblog.com

It seems like almost everyone I have talked with recently laments, where has the summer gone? As a matter of fact, where did September go? It seems like yesterday that it was Memorial Day and all of the summer residents to Maine were just rolling into town and we were rolling out our summer annuals. When I look back at photographs taken early in the season, it is amazing to see just how small all of these plants were in May. June was cool along the Maine coast but once July came, things warmed up and carried us through September. As the temperatures warmed, our plants grew. Some plants grew more than others and these are the ones we are noting to use again in different ways for next year’s displays.

bed of nails plant via www.studiogblog.com

This week’s plant was one of the show-stoppers of our summer display. We had an exhibition of Lunaform pots at CMBG all summer long. In our Burpee Kitchen Garden, there were 4 matching pots that our kitchen gardener filled to the rim with plants. The centerpiece of this arrangement was Solanum quitoense or “bed of nails plant.” The common name for this tomato relative comes from the nearly inch long, purple spikes that emanate from the leaves, stems, and main stalk of the plant. Another common name is naranjilla, although this is primarily associated with the non-spiky plant grown more for its fruit, than its leaves. A plant native to Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela, it can grow up to 8 feet tall in cultivation, although in our short summer of Maine, we will be lucky if ours reaches 3-4 feet in height by the end of the summer. It is an annual so we can propagate ours through cuttings or by saving the seeds from the fleshy, bright orange fruit.

Solanum with fruit bed of nails plant via www.studiogblog.com

An individual leaf on these plants can be over a foot in length and 10″ or more in width. They are fuzzy, light green with a purple tinge, and the afore to mentioned purple spikes. People who have never seen these plants before cannot believe that such a macabre plant really exists. I remember when I saw one for the first time 15 years ago at Swarthmore College. I did a double take and then of course, immediately wanted one.

I would suggest that you grow this annual out of the reach of children. The spikes not only look sharp, they are sharp! Grow these plants in a rich, well-drained soil in part-shade to full-sun. The warmer your climate, the more shade I would give this plant in the middle of the summer.

-Rodney

Images: Carrie Eason, The Garden Diaries , finegardening.com

Its Friday and I am getting an early start as I am headed down to the Newport Folk Festival!  It’s my first time, and its is my little people’s first real concert ever – I’m so excited for them.  I wish the weather were better though — it is rainy and not supposed to get too much above 70.   I fear that sitting on the ocean front in my new perfect folk fest dress might be a little chilly and downright impractical.  Damn.

 

pale green garden ins[iration from www.studiogblog.comIf you are a music fan and want to follow along I’ll post some shots from the shows on my instagram.  In the mean time though….a bunch of pale green garden stuff sort of caught my eye this week.  Here is the best of it:

  1. Moondance hanging chair.
  2. French Painted Metal and Wood Garden Bench
  3. Japanese Ceramic Planter
  4. Varnished Metal Bench
  5. Green Metal Garden Markers

The heat of July has hit and the garden’s summer doldrums have begin to set in.  With all the exuberance of early bloomers and the anticipation of beautiful late summer displays and fall colors, this time of the year can feel a bit of a let down comparatively.

Things are looking a bit unexciting around here, so until a few more things come into bloom I recently set out to give my garden a little curb appeal pick me up.   I am not a huge buyer of annuals but this is the perfect time to put them to good use.   If you want to make instant impact though I suggest keeping it simple — and by simple I mean pick just one color.

knockout roses at www.studiogblog.com

I took inspiration from the main thing that is blooming in my garden right now….my bright red Knockout Roses and my thread-leaf japanese maple.  You may as well work with what you have so if you are trying to do the same, I recommend that you pick you color story based on something you already have.

threadleaf japanese maple at www.studiogblog.com

My roses are red red as is the maple.   The idea here is give everything a little boost and bit of color here and there in a coordinated selection will go a long way towards distracting from anything else that isn’t looking quite perfect.

red geraniums in front of studio g barn www.studiogblog.com

Matching my roses, I opted to fill all my containers with similarly red geraniums (these will reliably bloom all summer).  Don’t be shy about buying, I bought 15  large plants to make sure I had enough impact.  My containers are scattered around the garden everywhere so now my eye happily hops from red to red taking it all in.

vintage patio chair and geranium container near studio 'g' barn www.studiogblog.comTo take the color scheme just one step further I also shopped for some nice accents that would add a touch more color and came up with these charming camp lanterns.  I think they are perfect hanging on the barn and in the evening they are a great addition to the overhead lights.

red lantern on barn at www.studiogblog.com

So, what is blooming in your garden right now? If you were to build a curb appeal color story off of that…what color would it be?

-rochelle

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lowes.  This is a series that I am doing through the end of the year.   I am not an employee of Lowes and all opinions are my own.  See the other posts in this series.