Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who’s going to water all of these?

What a beautiful long weekend, 3 days of glorious sunshine! All the basement grow-light prisoners are acclimated to the summer sun and life on the patio. I’ve potted up all of last weekends Rare Plant Research purchases and summer is in full swing!

OMG how did I end up with so many containers full of plants? And more importantly who the heck is going to water all of them?...ya I guess that would be me. It’s a good thing we aren’t planning any lengthy summer vacations this year! And for the random weekend jaunt we’ve got the worlds best neighbor who, for an occasional bottle of wine, doesn’t seem to mind garden duty. Still, I think I need to stop. This is a little crazy! (my apologies as the harsh sun does nothing to help the romance in these pictures)
The tall freaky looking one in the metal pot (below) is an Imperial Bromeliad that used to be in the lobby of the building I work in. When I repotted it I noticed it’s producing a couple of pups, hopefully the summer heat will help them along.
The 2 pots with only gravel showing (below) have Caladium bulbs planted in them. I’ll have to move them to a shady area once they start growing but for now I’m hoping the heat gives them a jump start. Last year I planted these bulbs directly in the ground and they rotted before they actually did anything.
I really love the color of this Echeveria. I potted up the tiny agave pup in one of these juice cans to brighten my husbands desk while he was working on his artwork in the basement studio, he decided it needed to come out to the patio for the summer too, so I planted another for fun.
I just moved the Horsetail into this larger, non draining, bowl. They were so completely root bound in the tiny pots I had them in last year, hopefully they will take off and fill the bowl. I added an Umbrella Palm and a little moss to help fill it up. I usually lean to one type of plant per pot so looking at this now I am wondering if I made a mistake. It looks a little like there should be a little porcelain castle, dragon or something in there, a cutesy “style “of container gardening I just detest.
These 2 blue agaves were dug up from my in-laws house in New Mexico, there is a 3rd visible in the first picture up at the top. All 3 fit in the larger black pot their first year (2007).
This was my mystery plant purchase at RPR, never have figured out what it is but it’s starting to bloom!


  1. I've been struggling with the sun photography, but experimenting to try to color correct. I've been having some success turning down the exposure a half stop when shooting, then bringing up the lower end of the levels when I bring it onto my computer (I'm using iPhoto), and then upping the saturation a little. Seems to balance out the bright light a little, but it's still nothing like a good cloudy day shot.
    Horsetails! That's what I should put in my non-draining pot that isn't sitting right with my new colocasia. Horsetails are one of the few cut "flowers" I like-those and papyrus.
    I should underplant my echeveria like that with something. I put it out too early and lost the lower leaves, so it has a bad haircut, but something planted at its feet could hide that.
    I love your little juice can planters. Although I've been fighting the urge to drive all the way out to 68th & Broadway to get the Banh Mi sandwiches I've been craving for weeks, and these cans just remind me of that.
    Your multi plant pot doesn't look cutesy at all. You would have to work pretty hard to make your garden look like it's not bad-ass.
    What's that planted at the feet of your mystery plant? I like it, whatever it is. And I like your gravel mulch in pots. I'm just going to have to copy you, can't help it.

  2. I'd like to know when your coffee table book on container gardening is coming out. Please sign me up for a copy! Seriously, this is pretty professional looking. Love those green pots with charchoal grey bottoms, also the elliptical ones. Do these cost a fortune or do you find deals? My containers are usually very sad looking, plastic or moss-covered terra cotta. Plus the water forgetting issue... I'm trying bio pots this year (biodegradable) and also bamboo-fiber ones, they decompose in a few years. Not good for agaves or other long-termers, but okay for annuals or herbs. Love the juice can planters!

  3. Megan you, and your camera, are way ahead of me! Have you been to Hughes Water Gardens? The only place I could find horsetail here in PDX. If you feel like company and not going on a weekday during the day I'd love to go back. Esp. to see what their bananas look like now. I got the Sedum that is around the Echeveria at Garden Fever, also where I got the Chocolate Creeping Jenny which is what's around the mystery plant. Thank you for calling the garden bad ass! That is exactly what I needed to hear. Oh and gravel rocks! (yikes....can't believe I said that)

    You crack me up Karen...a book?! But I do really appreciate the sentiment. My husband spent a year in Japan where everyone gardens in containers, because they have no choice. He is always looking for the ultimate container garden book, maybe someday we'll collaborate on a book. I never really spend a lot of $$$ on any one pot. Just the sheer qty adds up! I think the ones you are asking about (if I understand) came from Safeway...the s/3 were like $12.99 on clearance! I did buy several of the bio pots a few years ago. Mine are starting to look a little shabby (I guess that is the idea...they biodegrade) so I changed out the pots this year. Next time you are in Portland check out Garden Fever, that is where I get a lot of my pots. Oh and there is a place in Tacoma that is amazing! I've got the link at work...I'll send you the name.

  4. Your containers look fabulous. I love the creative soda-can planters.

  5. Late to the parade as usual, but digging all your creative work with the pots and plants. Karen's right, you do have a way with pots. I limit my container plants because of watering issues: amount of H2O and my memory! I always need a few for the deck in the sun, but I'm really trying to be a better xeriscaped and NW native user. Reckon that means no agaves for me, at least for now.

  6. I'm Lov'en your plantscapes.
    Especially like the color combination and shapes on the chartreuse and charcoal colored pots.
    Your mystery plant looks like Scadoxus katherine ( not positive on the spelling ) I have one of these too and am always excited to see it bloom. Mine doesn't bloom till mid summer.

  7. Thanks Pam!

    Jane...an agave would be perfect for your xeriscape goals, no water at all required! I tried to be better this year and plant only things that need very little water or are in water tight containers and like to be soggy. Funny that is 2 opposite ends of the spectrum! Although I am always running late in the morning I do really enjoy going out and splashing a little water around before I go to work. It's good to check on things and have that quiet time before the chaos of the work day.

  8. Yikes missed your comment Deviant! Thanks for the compliments and the name, I'm gonna go research right now. Mine was toasty warm in a greenhouse until I purchased it a couple of weeks ago. That probably helped speed the bloom up.

  9. Loree! What a sexy garden you have on your hands!
    I think succulents really lend themselves to containers - just taking a peak at what you are doing is total proof. Everything looks just awesome. And I love the veggies in the metal containers - so industrial chic!

    okay, I am degenerating into old Dominomag speak! But you know what I mean - it looks so straightforward and practical, but still interesting. Having your foodcrops in those unpretentious containers ... a very cool design move!

    I second the book idea!

  10. Thanks Germi - I feel very fortunate to have you in my corner...nothing wrong with Dominomag speak, it was fun while it lasted!

  11. I have been to Hughes once, years ago, but I really need to go back. Yes, I'm up for a weekend trip out there, we should do that! I can tell already I'm going to want to buy one of everything.

  12. Why stop at just one? Yea! Let's do it! Now we just have to figure out when...

  13. I can tell you're going to be a bad influence. I like it. What about next weekend, the 6th or 7th maybe?

  14. Me? A bad influence? Never!
    I'm going to email you Megan....


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!