Monday, January 25, 2010

Big Red Sun, Venice

Part of my continuing series on our October trip to California…I believe I first heard of Big Red Sun from Pam and her Austin garden blog Digging, after all Austin is where it all began for this landscape and design firm. Unlike Floral Art and Grow, which we just happened upon while walking Venice, Big Red Sun was a destination; someplace I definitely wanted to check out. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, I’ve been very frustrated by their website. It’s one of those situations where I feel like I am being forced to look at a really big colorful picture through tiny little hole. I find it very disorienting and I leave wondering what I missed. Thankfully the retail location was nothing like the website. How can you not instantly fall in love with a sign/planter combo like the one above? Or a green painted wall sign like this?
The day we visited was shortly after the last big rain storm passed though California (this was back in October; remember my second visit to Flora Grubb was a no-go because they were closed due to rain? Same storm), and they were suffering damage as a result of a leaking ceiling. There was also a move going on from one building to another (side by side), things were a little chaotic but yet the two people we spoke with were very helpful and friendly.
Their amazing planters and planting combinations didn’t disappoint. Although I would have liked to see more of the big metal ones they are known for...And color! Wow. Big Red Sun delivers on color. Plus lots of pretty blooms… And geometric plant patterns…
For some reason it struck me funny that they had the same IKEA pots that I use. I don’t know why, I guess I just didn’t expect to see IKEA merchandise here.
Nice cover-up job on the chain link fence and gate!
And this table! Oh how I wanted to take it home with me! But it wouldn’t fit in the car, and sadly, once again, I left empty handed.
I will definitely be visiting Big Red Sun in Austin, when we make it to that city. When is that? I have no idea…but it’s never too early to start planning!


  1. Lovely stuff. I adore that top agave picture ('Sharkskin Shoes' maybe?) with the 'Angelina' sedum.

    I'm glad you got to see the one in CA because, gasp, it seems the one in Austin is no longer doing retail. The last time I went by it was closed, and I've left messages asking about their (reduced?) hours and received no reply. You can still admire their streetside garden, but I'm just not sure it's open as a retail nursery/gift shop anymore. So sad.

    Austin still has a lot to offer though, so keep making your travel plans. ;-) Spring or fall, remember, unless you have a craving to melt into a puddle or spend all your time in Barton Springs Pool. Which, come to think of it, wouldn't be a bad way to spend a trip to Austin.

  2. Wow---lots of great ideas in a small space! Isn't is amazing how inspiring a well run garden center can be? They really have a knack for combing succulents for container gardens. Thanks for sharing...

  3. You're making me want to take a day trip to Venice....don't know why I never make it down girl at heart I guess.

  4. Pam, I thought it was 'Sharkskin Shoes' but wasn't sure, if you think so then it must be. That is sad news indeed about the Austin store! Not that I know anything about it but I imagined the Austin one to be 3x the size of Venice and was very much looking forward to seeing it someday, of course I am sure there is no shortage of fabulous things to see in Austin! BTW I finally met one of my husbands cousins who recently moved to Austin. I mentioned the summer heat and his response was that it wasn't bad at all. He's obviously not a gardener!

    Jocelyn, you know I am not usually a fan of combination plantings, I tend to let 1 plant really shine per pot. But seeing their combinations has inspired me to experiment a little more.

    susie, oh you should do a day trip! So worth it!

  5. Pam's comment has me stunned, the Austin store might be closed? I loved that place, I haven't been to the location in California, but it looks like many of the same style displays.
    I like your description of the web site, that's the perfect way to describe it, big picture through a tiny hole. Not a good experience.

  6. Man, those California shops really have the design chops, don't they?


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