Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The plant maintenance facility

Where do you stash plants you’ve bought that you won’t be able to plant right away? Do they have a dedicated out of the way holding area? If so that’s your ‘plant maintenance facility.’

What about ones you’ve dug up, intending to more elsewhere but not gotten around to replanting? Ditto…they go to the ‘plant maintenance facility.’

The term comes from my husband’s brief stint years ago as a meter reader for the gas company in Santa Barbara, CA. Naturally he had the opportunity to visit a few large estates and there were electronic notations from previous readers as to the location of the gas meter, for this one particular estate the meter was found “behind the plant maintenance facility.” Yes it really was a plant maintenance facility.

He describes it as an amazing greenhouse and plant yard full of plants that would be rotated in and out of the gardens and containers surrounding the home. And maybe even a place where less than perfect specimens could be nursed back to health? That’s probably just wishful thinking on my part.
The spring of ’06 when we were working on the front garden makeover, and I was buying plants before we were ready to plant them, we christened a protected area along the driveway, cozy up next to the house, as our plant maintenance facility (above and two pictures below).
Now that I have the shade pavilion in the back garden I find that it makes a handy plant maintenance facility. It’s out of the way and can’t be seen from the street or the house.It’s a little warmer and drier than the rest of the garden and a perfect place to park my new purchases until they can be properly planted. So tell me about your plant maintenance facility….or are you (horror) one of those people who goes home and instantly plants what you’ve just bought?


  1. I try not to buy things if I don't have somewhere to put them. If I do I usually set them on the front porch so I will get to them before I kill them by forgetting to water them!

    My mom has a really bad habit of buying plants and not planting them. It's sad to see them shrivled up and dead :(

  2. I totally have one of these.

  3. I usually set them on the back patio. Then move them to where I want to plant them. Then leave them until everything dies back and I can see the pot again to remind me that it was there. Then I plant it.

  4. I call it my nursery. If my nursery is too large, it must be reduced in order to replenish it. You get my drift? The nursery lives on my back patio, in a variety of places, so as not to appear too large or unruly. Because there should always be room at the nursery, right? Right?

    Who am I fooling? Anyone?

  5. AnonymousMay 04, 2010

    Hi Loree~~ You always have the most interesting topics! Seriously. Kudos dear girl.

    My covered deck is the main area. The former dog run is the secondary. Many of the plants I buy are too small to go in the ground and must be planted into larger containers. However it would be a stretch to call it a plant maintenance facility. But then my humble abode is far from the estate moniker and I'm sure the meter reader is totally bored, if not lost in the junk. LOL

    I had to laugh at Mom Taxi. Bless her heart. She doesn't buy them if she doesn't have room for them. Where in the world did she get so much self control? I suppose seeing them dead would be incentive but heck my kids would probably die from neglect before my plants.

  6. Gosh, I'll put mine just about anywhere: the upper patio, in the beds where they need to be planted, next to the hose so I don't forget to water them... It can be a bit of a jumble, really, when I collect too many and am slow to get them planted.

  7. I don't have a large plant maintenance area. The Husband constantly asks me "where's that going to go?" He gets cranky when too many plants build up waiting to be planted. He thinks this leads to me slowing down the plant buying and doing more planning. In reality this leads to a rush to get plants into the ground (or pots). And THAT leads to moving plants around the next year.

    We're having the house painted this year and I'm going to be potting up some perennials that the previous homeowner planted too close to the house so they don't get trampled by the painters. My poor husband is just going to have to deal with a lot of plants in the Plant Maintenance Facility. I wonder how many new plants I can sneak in...

  8. I'm constantly trying to eliminate my plant maintenance facility. Mine moves around they used to end up on the back steps, but then I found they were better protected tucked among my container garden, where I remember to water frequently. Lately I've been putting them on my garden bench I moved onto my patio, because I use it to measure my back stock. More than one bench means I have to stop buying, less than half a bench, I'm getting close to being on top of my chores. Eventually I'll have it cleared, then I can sit down and enjoy the garden.

  9. Sorry-I plant straight away... then move them , and move them...

  10. Since R built me a potting table under the cedar trees, that is where plants-in-waiting go. Used to set them on the ground any-old-where, and with my lax ways, they sometimes tried to take root there. I'm trying to be better.

  11. MTJulie, you have an amazing amount of self control! So you never buy something thinking...oh...I'll find a place for it...

    Cadillacrazy, I tried to comment on your post but it must have rejected me. You have a LOT of blogs!

    Sylvana, yikes...if I did that they would be dead when I saw them again!

    LeLo, sounds good...I'm fooled. I think you have a point there with the spreading it out so its remarkable size isn't immediately grasped.

    Grace, thank you! A former dog run sounds perfect! And I agree about MTJulie...how can anyone be so reasonable!?

    Pam, but you remember to actually plant them right?

    Diana, oh god...painting. What a nightmare! I just finished a little painting project I'll be posting about soon and I had to dig things up too! I can't even imagine what painting the whole house will be like. But I do like your idea of sneaking in a few new things while your at it. Genius!

    Megan, that bench business makes good sense...have I seen this bench?

    linda, as long as they don't mind I think your system sounds like a good one. Mine always seem to go into shock when I move them, probably because I'm doing it at the wrong time of the year.

    ricki, that sounds like a perfect spot! I recently planted a large plant that had been in a container for years, setting on the soil. the root system that was outside the pot was amazing! I hope I didn't do too much damage...

  12. I have such a place in the back of the house :) Very convenient.
    But what is that plant in the 4th photo from the bottom?! The contours of the big round leaves....*drool*

  13. Mary C, I think you are referring to the Plume Poppy...or Macleaya cordata? This is my first time growing them (they are planted now) a gift from a friend...nice huh?

  14. I put them on the front steps and porch, depending on their light needs. This way everytime I go in or out the front door I'll mutter to myself "I've got to find a spot to plant that".


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!