Monday, May 18, 2020

danger garden upcycle and plant: things for sale...

I got creative and put together some planters. However, since my garden is full, they're now up for sale, so they can go live your garden! As I've written before, this was supposed to be a pop-up event at Xera Plants. A day-long party! We'll do that at some point, but for now I'm relying on social media to get the word out.

There are seven items available. Descriptions of each are below, including plant info, measurements, and disclaimers (eg. rust can damage surfaces). If you are interested in purchasing, send me an email: spiky plants at gmail dot com (spaces removed, appropriate symbols substituted). Pick-up will be at Xera Plants on Saturday May 30th, unless the buyer and I arrange otherwise. Anything that's unsold will be available at Xera on the 30th. Thanks for looking! I hope you find these items interesting and inspirational...

#1 — Agave Dish $75 SOLD!

This Agave americana 'Variegata' is planted in a rusty steel plough disc set atop a square of steel pipe. Sempervivum globiferum are dotted around the base with bits of yellow-green slag glass tucked in. The slag glass is my tribute to Ganna Walska, the creator of Lotusland. Ganna lined many of her garden pathways with blue-green slag glass.

The base and disc (dish) are separate pieces. As long as the dish is centered on the base it is sturdy and should not tip off.

The base itself measures 3.375" tall, the dish is 19" wide and from the bottom of the base to the tallest tip of agave is 24.5"

There is a piece of wire mesh placed over the 1.25" wide drain hole.

Depending on which source you read, the agave is hardy to Zone 8 or 9. I have never been able to overwinter one of these in the ground in my winter-wet Zone 8 garden. However I have repeatedly overwintered them in containers kept dry, outdoors, under cover.

The sempervivum are hardy to Zone 5. This species was formerly known as Jovibarba globifera and sometimes referred to as "rollers," because the babies detach from the mother plant and roll to their new location where they root.

There is a spot on one of the agave leaves, but I've been watching it and it's not getting any larger.

Please be aware that rust can stain surfaces. If you're concerned consider sealing the base with a clear coat. In a pinch I've been known to use clear nail polish—just around the bottom rim.

I won't lie, it's hard to part with this one, my heart skips a beat every time I look at it.

#2 — Sempervivum Vase $13 SOLD!

This is an odd piece that I couldn't resist planting up with individual sempervivum. They came unlabeled but I think they're Sempervivum arachnoideum, hardy to Zone 5.

The eight individual chambers are slightly different heights: the base measures 4" square, and the section used as a vase 14" tall.

Wire mesh keeps the soil in place.

A glass vial holds water, the rim resting on the metal edge. The vase currently holds a Disporum cantonese ‘Night Heron’ stem and a Fatsia japonica 'Variegata' Camouflage leaf.

Again, please be aware that rust can stain surfaces. If you're concerned consider sealing the base with a clear coat or even clear nail polish.

#3 — Pickaxe Agave $45 SOLD!

An agave in a pickaxe, danger on danger...does it get any better?

I bought the agave unlabeled, but I think it maybe Agave filifera ssp. schidigera ‘White Stripe‘. I would assume Zone 9 for hardiness. Best to bring indoors for the winter or protect below 25F

The axe measures 18" wide—tip to tip—the planter hole is 2" by 3" and wire mesh keeps the soil in place.

The rust disclaimer applies here too, if you're worried about damaging the surface you place this piece on put something underneath or apply a clear coat to seal the rust.

#4 — Basket of Spikes $55 — Price reduced! Now $40 SOLD!

How many spikes? Lots of spikes! Aloe saponaria (syn. Aloe maculata)...

Aloe striatula (now going by Aloiampelos striatula) and a few opuntia pads that I have no ID on.

Here's a look at the "rear-view"...

While the other plants are hardier, Aloe saponaria is said to be a Zone 9 plant, so you will want to protect the basket below 25F.

A typical hanging basket-type coir-fiber liner holds the soil, but it's covered with a burlap coffee bag for extra style points. One side (seen above) says "Cafe of Costa Rica," the other (below) has the words "Del Sol" and a sun graphic.

The opunita have a few marks on them, as seems to be typical for prickly pear, at least in my garden.

It's hard to get a decent shot of it actually hanging! The basket itself is 15" wide and 8.25" tall, measurement from bottom of basket to tip of opuntia is 26".

I've kept it a little on the dry side, but when I do water it drips from the bottom.

The aloe always gets a brown-tint when first exposed to full-sun, but eventually fades back to green, a process you can see has already begun.

#5 — Nepenthes Cap $13 SOLD!

Yes, that is a galvanized fence cap. It was the perfect size to rest on that rusty scalloped base and hold one of my favorite carnivorous plants, Nepenthes alata.

The pitcher that is shown has started to dry up since I took these photos, so I dropped the price a bit. In my experience this is completely normal and it will be replaced by new pitchers in the coming weeks—as long as you keep the soil moist.

The metal cup is lined with hard plastic, to prevent corrosion. Nepenthes are tropical plants, once temperatures dip in the fall you'll want to bring this indoors and keep it in bright light, misting and watering regularly.

Rusty metal alert! Rust can damage surfaces...

Insect alert! You might become a meal...

#6 — Bromeliad and Driftwood Screen $65 SOLD!

I have a piece of expanded metal like this that's mounted on the side of our garage. I've dubbed it the "bulletin board" because I periodically change out the things I've mounted on it. You can too if you like, the driftwood is held on with two screws, just lift up to remove. The bromeliads are tucked in behind the driftwood, nothing permanent.

Although it looks like they're all mossed in there together they're actually separate root balls, so you can remove and rearrange as you like. The three tillandsia pieces are just poked into the moss. None of these plants are hardy in the PNW over the winter, you will need to protect them indoors or in a heated greenhouse.

It will be important to keep these plants well-watered when things heat up this summer. For similar plantings I aim the hose at them every couple of days and (gently) wet them down. Occasional misting is appreciated too. You will want to be sure you're not just getting water in the cup of the plant, but also wetting the root ball.

Here's the view from the back. The screen measures 22.25" by 16.5"...

... and the depth of the driftwood and plants (front to back) at its thickest is 7.5".

The rust disclaimer applies here to, although I have screens mounted on my unpainted fence and the dark brown garage and have yet to see any staining.

#7 — Bromeliad Ring $45 SOLD!

I see this piece mounted against a fence, wall, or other vertical surface—my husband thinks it would look great hanging from a tree. The ring measures 22" wide.

I bought the bromeliad with the generic "brom asst" label, but feel safe identifying it a Vriesea fosteriana. It's a beauty that's for sure.

There is a blemish on one of the leaves.

The bromeliad's roots are encased in soil, sphagnum moss, and green garden moss—kokedama style. I've wedged the root ball between split pieces of black bamboo. You'll want to keep water in the cup of the bromeliad and the rootball will need to be sprayed every few days in the summertime. Bromeliads are not hardy in the PNW and you'll need to protect this in the wintertime, indoors or a heated greenhouse. I find that bromeliads make great houseplants.

The backside of the bamboo is not black, since the canes were split. You can see heavy duty fishing-line holds the bamboo in place. You can reinforce with twine if you like, I went for a minimal look but more would definitely be better.

If you hang the ring against a wall or fence please remember water + rusty metal may mean surface damage.

One final disclaimer.... none of these are going to be "forever" creations. The agaves will eventually need to be re-potted, the bromeliads may bloom and die, or heck, plants die! The plants are in good health now and I have no reason to think they won't stay that way, but please understand you're buying a living thing and what happens to it next it up to you...

That's it folks! Email me if you want to take any of these treasures home (spiky plants at gmail dot com). Thanks for looking and happy gardening!

—   —   —

Weather Diary, May 17: Hi 70, Low 50/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. I really like all of these arrangements. Your eye for "finds" is amazing. Of course the plants are great too.

  2. Crazy good. Just like I imagine. You creative, girl, you. Keep up the good work. Cheers

  3. Wow, Loree, this is your calling. I think you could sell all of these for double the price here in Austin. They are amazing, and I'd be buying that pickaxe agave if I lived close enough to come get it.

    1. Thanks Pam. Ya, pricing is hard! I wanted this first round to be a little on the "low" side, what with the craziness of the economy and this being my first time and all...

  4. You could write a small book just about these pieces. I'm serious. These are fantastic. I need to commission a piece once I know when my next trip to Portland will be.

  5. Wonderfully creative designs, Loree. I esp. love the bromeliad circle - it's a beauty!

    1. Wish you were close enough to make that one yours!

    2. Gerhard...not sure what you're referring to?

    3. Sophomoric • [ as modifier ] denoting the second album, film, etc., released or created by a particular artist.

    4. Ahhhh!!!! Thanks Eliza, duh! I thought this was a comment that ended up in the wrong place! Now it makes sense.

  6. Everyone is very clever. I love the last two (and may try to copy your idea in embellishing the still naked screen on my chimneya). I agree with Gerhard - you SHOULD do a how-to book on creations like these and include your mantlescapes and the dish planters in your garden too!

    1. Thanks Kris...I don't know if I'm ready for a second book yet!

  7. Lovely stuff. You've done well to get that Agave looking so good at this time of year. I couldn't do the same, it's so difficult to stop the fungal infections getting into Marginata, especially at the base of the leaves, which is most annoying when it happens.

    1. Thanks David. I took great steps to keep this guy dry, and with decent air circulation, over the winter months...knowing I wanted to do something like this in the spring.

  8. So creative, Loree! I love them all. Thanks for continuing to inspire us. :)

  9. Loree-your work is so creative. I'm so sorry your event was cancelled but I am sure you have many items waiting in the wings for your magic touch.

    1. I have a few, but I'm itching to get out there on the hunt again soon!

  10. So cool. I wanted several of them.

  11. I remember being both fascinated and repulsed by slag glass on childhood trips to Arkansas. I'd never have imagined it, but the glass really works with agave arrangement, way to use its power for good!

    1. I know exactly what you mean...and I think the fact that it picks up the yellow in the agave's margins is what makes it work, at least for me.

  12. FA-BU-LOUS. All of it. Wow.

  13. Love ALL of these... so cool, and so inspiring! But, seriously chica- you aren't charging enough.

    1. Ya, and I'm okay with that. First time out, learning experience...and besides, it's an odd time!

  14. Great plants and even better containers. Congrats on going ahead with this idea.

  15. I'm a little late to this party... Beautiful creations. Like Ikebana, only with dangerous spikes. I hope for another round and a chance to purchase something.


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