Friday, September 8, 2023

Sept 16: Upcycle and Plant returns to The Other Plant Sale (with a special guest)

The Other Plant Sale last spring was so much fun that Nat's doing it again on September 16th. This looks to be a great gathering of plant-related vendors including Green Being GardensIn Search of Small ThingsCourting FrogsOregon Orchid Society and so many more (full vendor list here).

The usual focus of Upcycle and Plant leans towards outdoor containers but here in Portland our days on the patio are numbered, so I challenged myself to try and focus on things that would be appropriate for enjoying inside the house over our cool wet winter. Here's what I will have available at the event next Saturday...


We enjoyed these prickly pear sour beverages on a hot summer evening on the patio, but how could I just recycle those amazing cans? I could not. So I found a great saucer to catch any run off (because of course the cans have drainage holes added) and planted them up with an assortment of different prickly pear, aka opuntia.

Gravel top-dressing keeps everything tidy.
LAVA LAMP AGAVE (Agave isthmensis 'Ohi Raijin Shiro Nakafu') $25

This agave is a true dwarf agave that tops out at about 4", so it won't be overpowering this planter anytime soon.

And yes, the planter really is a lava-lamp base. It was tempting to leave the cord so you could plug in your agave, but in the interest of safety I removed it and covered the hole. It's 8" tall and 3.25" wide.

MOUNTED JUNGLE CACTUS (Lepismium cruciforme) $45

Lepismium cruciforme is an easy going low-light tolerant epiphytic cactus, it really doesn't get much easier than this.

Plus, it blooms! Mine go outside in the summertime where I've seen a hummingbird visit these petite flowers.

There's moss and soil behind the folded and tacked burlap so all you'll need to do is thoroughly wet it down every once and awhile.

The front piece is held onto the back with magnets so it's easy to remove for watering.

The 12" round back is solid (unless you chose to add a nail hole) so it will keep your wall dry!


You know I have fun putting these together, right? I mean that's really the whole point. I had a lot of fun with this one. Aloe erinacea, a pup of Agave lophantha 'Splendida' and an aeonium cutting. I was trying to decide if I wanted to plant the agave pup or the aeonium and (of course) the agave one. The aeonium is just a bonus.

This piece measures roughly 4" wide, deep and tall—with the aloe exceeding that height measurement by a bit.

The bottom of both containers is open, the soil is held in place with a piece of screen, you'll want to water these over the sink.

**SUBSTITUTION!** The DEUTEROCOHNIA BREVIFOLIA SQUARE is now planted with Draba aizoides 'Napoleon'—still $10

Sadly the Deuterocohnia brevifolia got hit by some strong sunlight (changing light patterns due to pruning in the neighbor's yard) and it became very bleached out. I hope it will recover, but didn't feel like I could sell it in that condition. Admittedly I don't know a lot about growing Draba aizoides 'Napoleon' but I hope I've chosen a plant that not only looks good here but will be happy too.

Another piece with an open bottom, this allows for great drainage, but again you'll want to be sure to water it over the sink.


I do love me a specimen quality mangave and this one ticks all the boxes, plus what would an Upcycle and Plant event be without a signature dish planter.

The addition of a bit of rubber tubing (for grip) around the extra wide base means that the dish can easily tilt, all the better to see those orange teeth...

Of course there will be a few copies of my book Fearless Gardening on hand for $20, should you—or someone you know—be scheming on an upcoming garden redo.

So, that special guest... who could it possibly by? Yep, my husband, Andrew. I've featured his artwork here on the blog, but this is the first time we're both selling together in person. The work he's bringing (around 15 pieces) all measure 4" x 6" and will be selling for $35 cash, $40 Venmo (we do not have a credit option, just cash or Venmo). All are paintings (watercolor on wood) with carved figures. Here's a small sampling...

"from a great distance in just days"

His work has always been difficult to photograph. Either the carved figure is in focus, or the words. Never the two together.

In his words: "I make pictures of situations that I want to think about and look at. My pictures have carved wood figures with wire appendages that are mounted over drawings on paper. I am inspired by the natural history museum dioramas and display cases I spent time in front of in my early years and that I continue to find and absorb. My figures are people-animal-shape configurations, and the drawings have landscape elements with plant shapes added in to charm my wife."

This shot is to help illustrate how the figures are mounted.

"storm rollin in"

Another shot of the figure mounting.

"big eat little, little grows big"

Yes, those are opuntia.

"thin sweet dark"

Indeed I am charmed by the plant shapes.

Here are the sale details, mark your calendar and I hope to see you there!

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All material © 2009-2023 by Loree L Bohl. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Oh, if only you were closer... the "a" and the Deuterocohnia Square would have come home with me. I love that you are selling with Andrew! I've always admired his art: those imaginative miniatures are right up may alley.
    I still hope one day you'll do one a City Living booth at the flower festival and offer some of those treasures for sale.

    1. I haven't given up on the idea of a City Living display, someday. Although you can't sell from them, not until the last day of the show.

  2. Your contained plant creations are as inventive and fabulous as always, Loree. I loved Andrew's description of the inspirations for his art work. I hope you both do well at the sale and that you have a great time. Once again, I wish there was a bullet train to take me to Portland for the day.

    1. I wish so too! For both of us. I'd be visiting SoCal most of January.

  3. I'd be reaching for the "A is for" planter too. And some of Andrew's creations as well. Like Kris, wishing a bullet train would make it possible.

    Best wishes for a fun and successful day.

  4. These are all wonderful, and I checked the calendar and we don't leave town till after the 16th so hope to see it in person. I did stop by ReStore/HFH but didn't find. much, just some old miniature metal jello molds that I'm sure you would have made great use of!

    1. It would be lovely to see you, and you'd enjoy the other vendors too I suspect. I wondered if you found any treasures. I've never been to our ReStore!

  5. This is an inspiring post. I love seeing how different people embrace their creativity to make something beautiful. My faves are also the A for ...., the Draba square, and the mounted jungle cactus, as well as the Storm rollin in and Big eat little pieces from Andrew. I can definitely see a strong southwest influence.


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