shopping and propping

Here’s the fun part of doing a theme garden: picking out all the giant pots so they can planted up to look positively gorgeous and like you could actually afford to go out and do 40 of them all at once. And working on four different themes – especially the ones that I wouldn’t do at my house, i.e, Rustic Porch theme.

I don’t do rustic type pots anymore. You know, big old rusty iron pots with curly cues and all. I live in a mid-century modern(e) house with long, low, clean linear architecture. As a designer, I am loathe to use fru-fru stuff around here. I go for smooth pottery, and I am slowly editing my container plantings to be simpler – generally a single type of plant. For instance, a great big pot, say, 36 inches tall and 20-24 inches in diameter with a huge cluster of Black Jack sedum and if I am feeling frisky, maybe some trailing silver dichondria (sp?). But that’s at my house. Boring for most of you.

So, when it is time to do the show, to fluff up a big Asian style pot, glazed, and gorgeous, to know that I am going to plant it with a great big PJM rhododendron, the kind with the saccharin make-your-teeth-hurt hot pink flowers, well, that really rocks me. Here’s a tip: rub the foliage of the PJM’s. They smell wonderful.

Next, selecting the containers for the Bachelor’s Balcony. I have been kidded about keggers and dead plants but trust me, I want my metrosexual toy boy to have a studly setting. No himbos for me. So, I picked out some great big, charcoal, matte-finished pots. Oh, and the coolest of cool galvanized metal planters which will hold a long row of horsetail and another will be filled to the brim with sedums and other small succulents.

The Mediterranean garden is full of color. I found some awesome giant pots, rusty brown in color, shaped like oversize terra cotta pots with an old fashioned rim around them. They are three feet tall and they are going to look wonderful full of tulips and red chard and whatever else I can cram in them so they scream abundance and lush and fun. Yeah, those pots are gonna holler.

And back to the Rustic Porch installation. This will be chock full of fluffy plantings with tons of luscious plants in each and every container. Old fashioned, sentimental, highly decorative, old world. A row of boxwood or everygreens for the planter boxes. I just went crazy picking out the pots for this. Living vicariously through this garden installation. You gotta get your kicks somewhere.

It really is fun to cherry pick all the best plant material from the greenhouses. To pick and choose with reckless abandon (hah) enough plant material for four gardens at once. At ONCE! You realize, I am going to have tons of help . The Dirt Divas a.k.a. the Bark Bitches will be there to plant and stuff and make it bee-you-tee-full. The same people that shoveled 30 cubic yards of bark last year for the show garden………..I am still buying their lunches and wine to make up for last year. And better than that, they got pick of the litter in plant materials from the show gardens. Yes, I have to treat ’em good. Can’t do a project like this without lots of help. Hope they read this and know I adore them.