Last month I received an email from the fine folks at Modernica asking if they could use some of my photos for their blog. Truth be told I was a little embarrassed to say yes because the photos they were asking for weren’t my best, but say yes I did. We corresponded back and forth a bit and during that time my post about finding a surprise seedling in a succulent container went up. Somehow that crazy post combined with my willingness to share photos had them sending me one of these as a thank you...
Seriously…! I was doing the “how lucky am I” dance when it arrived. Andrew came home from work that night and said something like “ya, what I got you for Christmas isn’t going to measure up to that” (not true but that’s an entirely different post). In the email they said they were excited to see what I decided to plant in it. Does that sound like “you need to go shopping and buy yourself a new plant!” challenge to you? Yes, yes of course it does!
Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered that Portland Nursery usually has a houseplant sale in January (30% off!). January, the darkest month, suddenly had a fun plant related task...
Last week I packed up the planter and off we went on a field trip to the Division St. Portland Nursery. This was an entirely new experience for me, usually I fall for a plant and then look for a suitable container to plant it in, this time I got to think about what plant best suited the container. As I walked though the greenhouse I realized I’d already been envisioning a sanseveria…
How very mid-century modern!
But there were so many other plants to check out, can’t make a hasty decision! Philodendron x 'McColley's Finale'.
I love me a nice Monstera deliciosa but the ones they had were a little too big for the planter.
Schefflera 'Amate Soleil'
Alpinia variegata (ginger)
Okay, who am I kidding? Time to check out the spikes!
Fun, but I’ve already got a couple of these…
Euphorbia 'Zig Zag'…
Love it,but not here.
Oh an Echinocactus grusonii would be fabulous! But since I stabbed myself picking it up, and this planter is going to be in the living room right at eye level for Lila, I decided against even looking at it.
Wow! I love this. Plus they had two so I could buy them both and have them spilling over the sides.
How about an aloe?
Or maybe I should try a mixed succulent planting, although I’m never very good at them.
Maybe a bunch of colorful small plants?
Or this! Epiphyllum 'curly'...
So after a final parade of the favorites guess which one was the winner?
The Golden Rattail Cactus! (Cleistocactus winteri or also possibly Aporocactus ‘Golden Rattail’ I found both names online). My other favorite was the Echeveria nodulosa but it was so dark and I liked how these yellow spikes almost seemed to glow. It is January after all, we need all the light we can get!
Back home and it’s time to plant! But…but there is no drainage hole. Not really a huge issue because I don’t plan for this container to go outside. However I’ve said that before then moved it outside, forgetting there wasn’t drainage, and been surprised when the plant drowned. I could just place the plastic container inside the black one and treat it as a cache pot but I’m never happy with how that looks...
Time to drill! But what if I break that super cool black pot? My trusty old drill bit has never done me wrong, drilling through all manner of ceramic and clay pots as well as fiberglass without issue. Maybe it was time to upgrade to a diamond tipped bit? I went shopping, I gathered advice (a masonry bit perhaps?) and in the end went with a new version of what I already had. Comparing them I couldn’t believe how dull the old one had become.
Success! (a little water is a must when you’re drilling drainage holes, the friction gets things smoking in no time) Had this planter been destined for life outside I would have drilled a couple more holes, however I didn't want to press my luck.
I mixed in some grit (sold as Chicken Grit)…
...with regular potting soil, to help with drainage. I try to come up with a mixture that when you grab a fistful of moist soil and squeeze, then open your palm the soil falls apart and doesn’t remain a ball.
I was worried the spikes on this guy would make planting a nightmare, but they actually stayed on the plant, not in my gloves.
The final step…adding a top dressing of pea-gravel. Don’t the rocks (left) look better than the soil on the right? I always finish off my containers with rocks, I'm crazy like that.
And the finished pair...
Oh, and you-know-who had to get in a picture too! So which plant would you have chosen for the container?
More about that sale at Portland Nursery:
30% off all houseplants
Friday January 17 thru Sunday January 19, 2014
Both locations, Stark St and Division St
The fine print…as I mentioned Modernica sent me the ceramic planter free of charge, Portland nursery also extended their 30% off sale prices to me in advance so that I could shop and post about it before the sale. They also kindly gave me a $25 gift card. I acknowledge these kindnesses but also trust you know I only write about things I am really and truly excited about. Both of these qualify, in a very big way.
All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.