Andrew is fond of saying “nature abhors a vacuum and so does Loree.” While I might debate him on that, after all I recognize a good design must include negative space, I do understand his point. I tend to maximize plants per available square inch.
So you can imagine how depressing it is for me to be faced with empty plant hooks on the front of our garage for the entire winter. Hooks which support succulent filled pottery for the summer months, containers and plants which must be protected from cold and wet.
But what to do? Have you spent much time shopping for stylish hanging planters? They are very hard to find. When you do find them they are usually made of material that cannot withstand a freeze, as well as being expensive. I was determined to find a weather safe and attractive alternative. Local shopping turned up nothing exciting so I looked to the internet, Lee Valley to the rescue! Well sort of.
I found these adjustable, stainless steel hanging cables: “cinching hanger converts virtually any rimmed container into a hanging basket or planter. Quick to adjust, it securely holds containers up to 12" in diameter and supports up to 20 lb.” At $10.50 each (+ shipping) they weren’t cheap but I figured I could get a lot of use from them so I splurged. Still I needed to find a container.
Just when I was about to settle for an okay plastic container at Home Depot (plastic is not really acceptable in my book, so you know how desperate I was) I spotted a stack of recycled tire containers at Garden Fever. I’ve loved these odd containers since I first saw them years ago. They’re black, strangely stylish (IMHO) and they’re made of tires! So wrong, and yet so right (yes I’m thinking of all those horrific tire planters you see in people’s front yards). I’d never bought one however because of the way they’re assembled (sheets of rubber connected with screws), they don’t set flat, the puckered bottom makes them tipsy. But that wouldn’t be a problem if they were hanging right? And that method of construction left plenty of gaps which should make drainage a breeze…sold!
I bought them but no plants to fill them with, not yet. I needed to try them out and see if the slight flare at the top was enough for them to stay securely in the hangers. Close, but I think they're going to work.
Then came the fun part, plant shopping (in November!). Initially I was leaning towards hardy succulents but then I decided to challenge myself to go a different route.
A drastically different route since I tend to shy away from containers with multiple kinds of plants stuffed in them, I'm a one plant - one pot sort of girl.
For the large container I went with Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum venustum) and three Wickwar Flame Heather (Calluna vulgaris)…
This is my first ever heather purchase and the only reason I had to have it was that color! I realize it won’t look like that year round but for now I’m in love.
The little container has a couple Sea Gold Sedum (Sedum rupestre ‘Sea Gold’) and a Red Hook Sedge (Uncinia rubra ‘Belinda’s Find’).
The sedge is my only borderline hardy choice, but I couldn’t refuse that color. All of these will be planted in the ground come spring (when the succulents can go back up on the hooks).
It’s so much nicer to walk out the backdoor now and see these plants where there was just a void…
All material © 2009-2013 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.