Monday, January 13, 2014

Planting up my Case Study Ceramic Planter from Modernica...

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!

Sansevieria suffruticosa

But there were so many other plants to check out, can’t make a hasty decision! Philodendron x 'McColley's Finale'.

Maybe…

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)

Alocasia Amazonica

Okay, who am I kidding? Time to check out the spikes!

Fun, but I’ve already got a couple of these…

Euphorbia 'Zig Zag'…

Maybe…

Love them.

Euphorbia grandicornis

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.

Echeveria nodulosa

Wow! I love this. Plus they had two so I could buy them both and have them spilling over the sides.

Cleistocactus winteri

That’s fun!

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.

43 comments:

  1. Loree! Cleistocactus winteri looks awesome in the Case Study planter, like a cool deep sea coral in your living room. Great selection of beauties at the Portland Nursery. Thank you so much for all the great ideas.

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    1. I am so glad you like it! Indeed I would have been happy with several of those choices but this one was clearly the best for me. Thank you again for the amazing gift!

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  2. The planter and plant work there so perfectly. It's completely your style so of course you love it however it arrived.

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    1. It would have really been hard to pick a "bad" plant for the planter...unless of course it was one that covered it up!

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  3. The Case Study is really beautiful and I think they're a match made in paradise!

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    1. It is so beautiful I even liked it sitting there empty! Of course with me that wasn't really an option long term...

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  4. I totally thought you'd go for the first Sanseveria, especially after seeing in the background the later Euphorbia. I liked the look of that sculptural aloe, as well. I was curious how you were going to protect your house from moisture from the newly-draining pot (the potential of ruining wood furniture or floors is my indoor nightmare.) Then I saw you placed it on your hearth tiles - perfect!

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    1. I went there fully anticipating leaving with a sanseveria, it just seemed inevitable!

      Our hardwood floors are far from perfect. There's a rough patch in front of the door and another where I think a previous owner had a plant. While I love the look of refinished and perfect floors I also love that ours are worn, so if I do commit a floor damaging sin I won't beat myself up over it.

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  5. I am inspired to spruce up my houseplants now. That echeveria nodulosa really caught my eye.

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    1. It was my second favorite, even beating out the sanseveria options. Such a beautiful plant!

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  6. We love this planter Loree, so chic!! And you made the perfect choice, with the sanseveria a good second choice. The philodendron looked good in it too, although personally the combination somehow reminded us of a japanese arrangement.

    We haven't seen a planter like this before, gorgeous!

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    1. Isn't it gorgeous! It comes in white too and would look smashing in your new conservatory!

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  7. I really like the colour contrast on the Echeveria nodulosa .

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    1. I was going to suggest you zip on over to Portland Nursery and grab one but I see you're in Australia, not really an option then I guess.

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  8. You made a perfect choice! It fit the container well and also worked well with the other plants in the group. I was also fond of the way Sanseverias, Philodendron x 'McColley's Finale' and Echeveria nodulosa looked in the pot. Really, all of your choices would be faboo in that planter! So, will the drain hole leak on the wood of the stand? (Because I like to worry.)

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    1. Like minds, I was worried too. There are ridges on the bottom of the container (white in the photo above) so the hole is an eighth to a quarter above the wood not sitting on it. However yes, if enough water flowed through the hole it would probably (over time) damage the wood. I figure with the plant I chose I won't be watering to that extreme (and could easily pick it up and take it to the sink to water and drain).

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  9. Good grief Lila is so totally cute! Oh--the pot, the pot. Sanseveria.

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    1. I couldn't stop laughing at her doing that one ear back thing, why was she doing it?

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  10. I'm glad you didn't go with one of the huge, leafy plant choices, as they would have drawn the eyes away from the planter and *that awesome stand*!

    I have interrupted my afternoon work and am already designing some similar wooden plant stands in my mind. (I know it's the planter/stand combo that really works, but I've got lots of drab pots whose impact would really be elevated by a cool stand.)

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    1. I hope you'll share what you come up with Alan!

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  11. Very fun. Glad you enjoyed your adventure and found a great new plant. Perhaps I would have chosen snake plant since my daughter keeps asking for a pet snake and I tell her the closest she'll get is Sanserveria. Poor girl.

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    1. What about one of those rubber snakes? They look so real. I do understand you're desire to not "go there" I've gotten much better about my snake phobia but would never, ever, have one in my house no matter how secure the container it was in.

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  12. What a stunning pot, you are a lucky so and so. The plant selected is perfect, it complements the pots perfectly.

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    1. Thank you Spiky-O, it would be fun to see what you'd have done. I have a feeling you are a master at the mixed plantings.

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  13. I've got the Sansevieria in the first photo in my timber 3 legged planter, and as boring as it probably is (it's always the chosen plant for this style), I just can't go past it. You are SO lucky, I've ended up at that website for the planters many times but alas, too pricey. Lucky duck. The cactus you chose looks great, in fact many of those plants did. Also Lila looks so much like a human in that photo. Haha!

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    1. And you can probably leave the sansevieria outdoors year round can't you? That would be amazing! I bet it looks great. Have you painted the planter yet?

      Indeed I am aware how very lucky I am! And Lila really does consider herself to be a human. Doesn't like associating with other dogs, would much rather hang with the people.

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    2. The timber ones are indoors, I'm not sure how they'd go if they were outdoors and got wet and they would probably fade. The concrete one has been painted in one colour as a base coat, but I still haven't decided what colour to do it. Decisions!

      Haha, what a cutie pie.

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  14. I think you need a few more planters. Your choice of the rattail cactus was my favorite but I was impressed by the variety you had to choose from - it's a good thing that nursery is nowhere near me. Lila looks vaguely unimpressed by the plants - does she get jealous? My cats chew my houseplants, even the spiky ones.

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    1. I can always use more planters...

      I've often thought Lila is jealous of the plants. When we're outside and she's had enough of my working and ignoring her she'll come over and tap at my leg with her paw, or if I'm on the ground climb up on me/in my lap. It's as though she's saying "enough already...pay some attention to ME!"...

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    2. Ha! Ming does that to me on our garden walks too. He also bats at my hand when I'm working on blog posts.

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  15. I love the choice you made--it's perfect. Lila is so freaking cute! Which PN were you at? I really want that Monstera.

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    1. You NEED that Monstera! Division...

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  16. I was all over the Sansiveria, til I saw the Alocasia..that looked pretty dramatic to me. However, in the context where you placed it , your choice looks fabulous. I know Lila agrees..

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    1. The alocasia is still haunting me, I think I've figured out someplace else for it to go...so yes I'll probably be going back to get it...(it's a sickness!)

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  17. What a cool pot! I like your choice, but I would have had a hard time not coming home with several of those other plants as well. I need a Monstera, and I love the zigzag Euphorbias and the stripes on that ginger.

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    1. See today's post Alison, a couple of others did come home with me!

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  18. Great to see a deserving garden blogger getting some bling! Unlike you, I have no problem with the cache pot system so would have probably walked out with several choices to rotate. I'm betting it was the chartreuseness of the cleisto that finally sealed the deal for you.

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    1. I guess it is bling isn't it? Thank you for deeming me deserving. You're also right about the chartreuseness, of course.

      I don't know why it's always bothered me when a plant isn't actually planted in it's container. Maybe it goes back to my retail days? Pier 1 used to sell plants and I was the person in charge of maintaining their health. They were stuck in white wicker stands, brass pots, baskets. Yes I think that's it...I've solved the why.

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  19. Seeing the finished pot/plant combo in situ, it seems almost like a foregone conclusion that it was the obvious choice (perfect color echoes in your room, and spiky but not dangerously so). The one that made me gasp was the Alocasia

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    1. It is perfect isn't it? The fact that a week later it still makes me smile is also a good thing. I'm so buying that alocasia on Friday, if it's still there...

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  20. A perfect combo, although I liked the pink-edged echeveria too. I always mix decomposed granite into my potting soil, although I know Rock Rose swears by chicken grit too. Maybe I should switch over. Have you compared using DG to chicken grit, out of curiosity?

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