Tag Archives: containers

New Fall Shipments Have Arrived – Pretty Pots For The Holidays or Any Time

We see endless possibilities for these pretty pots...

We see endless possibilities for these pretty pots…

Small urns…

Pots - fall 2014

Pretty pots and cachepots...

Mercury glass and cachepots…

How beautiful would these be as part of a holiday centerpiece?

How beautiful would these be as part of a holiday centerpiece?

Perfect for the holidays...

Perfect for the holidays…

October is a favorite month of ours for many reasons. The garden is changing over from summer flowers to the pretty pansies and more that will shine next spring, and all of the beautiful gourds and pumpkins make their appearance.  In the greenhouse, we know it’s October because we begin to get boxes upon boxes of fall and holiday inventory that Jamie found at market. She, Molly, Pinkie and Angie have been busy unpacking, pricing, moving, and displaying all the pretty new items – perfect to put holiday flowers in for arrangements and holiday center pieces. Let’s take a look…

The shelves are full!

The shelves are full!

 

 

Just the right size…

Pots - Fall 2014

Green and white always appeals...

Green and white always appeals…

Miniature Gardens As Centerpieces…

tiny cloche...

tiny cloche…

In a few short weeks Mountain Brook’s  Little Garden Club, a charter member of the Garden Club of America, will host a regional zone meeting and flower show. It will take place April, 2014, and a lot of folks are involved in planning this important event. Members of GCA clubs will be attending from the surrounding states, so there will be a lot of visitors!

Miniature Garden

 

 

 

 

Miniature Garden

I’ll be assisting with a number of others in the “passing” of the horticultural exhibits – clearing them for entry into the flower show to be judged. I was very flattered to be asked and happy to help with this event, which has been two years in the planning.

Miniature GardenWhat does all this have to do with miniature gardens, you ask? Well, these tiny gardens have been very  popular the past number of years, and the garden club organizers decided it would be a fun thing to have on some of the tables for one of their meetings. And they turned to Oak Street Garden Shop for help.

The containers we chose are metal, and they will be wrapped with aspidistra leaves to make a “Ribbon of Green”, the theme of this year’s meeting.

These pictures show how some turned out. The miniature gardens are designed to continue living as a true garden, so plant material is chosen accordingly, with only minor exceptions.

imageBecause these take a great deal of time to make, I finally gave up on waiting for new miniature garden accessories I’d ordered since my deadline to have them completed was looming…but I still had plenty of fun things to play with. If you’ve ever made one of these gardens in miniature, you’re well aware how detailed and time consuming they are.

For some of the centerpieces I chose succulents, including haworthias and sedums, which work well for tiny plantings. Pilea ‘Aquamarine’ is a low grower with a great color; it just needs clipping regularly to keep it from overrunning its neighbors.

Miniature GardenTiny pots of ordinary houseplants also work in these gardens. Little parlor palms, ferns, polka dot plants and baby podocarpus make good companions, and selaginella is a pretty groundcover.

It’s nice to have different sizes of pebbles to create paths and larger stones to create “boulders”. Can you see the turtle sitting on one?

There’s still more tweaking to do (Just like a real garden that is never “done”!), and one more not even started yet…but that story is for another post. If you’re in the Birmingham area, stop in and take a look. They’re even more fun in person!

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Pretty Plantings…A Dough Bowl, Glazed Pots and More

Pinkie filled this dough bowl with pansies, diascia, sweet allysum, lettuce and more...

Pinkie filled this dough bowl with pansies, diascia, sweet allysum, lettuce and more…

Look at all the different flowers Jamie used here...and not any of them cut!

Look at all the different flowers Jamie used here…and not any of them cut!

This time of year is a transition period in the nursery and the greenhouse, and, quite honestly, we’re ready for the change of seasons.

What goes into pretty plantings for parties and gifts is changing too. We’re nearing the end of the late winter primroses, forced bulbs, and pansies and looking forward to all the spring flowers to work with next.

Lauren put this pretty planter together...

Lauren put this pretty planter together…

 

 

Before we move on, though,  I wanted to bring you some of the things we’ve been doing – from a dough bowl filled with flowers and herbs to glazed pots with pretty blooms, a simple green  pot with beautiful foliage, and one made with lichen branches wired together to create a container. There’s always something to create, and what fun it is!

I loved this begonia in this pot...

I loved this begonia in this pot…

 

 

None of the flowers we use are cut. We work with live plants, so the longevity is much better than a fresh flower arrangement, and, as an added bonus, many of the plants can be used outside, either in containers or in the ground when it’s time to take the whole thing apart.  Think lettuce, herbs and forced bulbs planted in the garden!

 

 

This container fashioned out of lichen branches has a woodsy feel...

This container fashioned out of lichen branches has a woodsy feel…

A planting that will continue to grow, either in the house or on a bright porch once the weather warms, is this green glazed bowl, filled with a rhizomatous begonia, an aluminum plant and some selaginella. It would be a pretty addition for Saint Patrick’s Day!

 

 

 

And here are the lichen branches I wired and glued together to make a container. When the primrose is played out, another plant can easily be slipped into its spot with the frosted selaginella and creeping jenny…or an entirely new planting could be created! We have quite a few of these lichen branches that Jamie found and that we’re playing with. If you’d like us to incorporate something like this into one of your planters, let us know.

spring blooms...

spring blooms…

 

 

 

Finally, here’s a teal pot, filled completely with pretty blooms. Soon these flowers won’t be available,  but by then we’ll be ready to move on to a new season and more creative possibilities.  For now, though, it’s enough to have spring in a pretty bowl – and who wouldn’t like that?

 

Found Objects – Planting Possibilities

An old window gets a new life...

An old window gets a new life…

Found objects…Have you ever come across something unexpected or in an unlikely place? Or turned a common object from one thing into another, transforming its former use into something completely different?

Found pipes...planted

Found pipes…planted

 

 

 

 

The  first happened to Jamie. On a walk she found two small concrete pipes…from what we’re not sure, but they were broken at just the right spot to make a planting pocket with a dip in the front. Serendipitous, indeed! She brought them to the shop so we could all drool over them (Yes, we all did!) and wish they were our own. Here is the planting she chose, using poppies, sedum,  variegated thyme and a touch of chartreuse reindeer moss.

succulents...

succulents…

The second is our group window project. This window had been floating around the shop for some time. Last year we did the first planting, transforming it from it’s former use, It became obvious, though, as the year went on, that it needed a planter box behind the frame so the plants could have more room to grow.

Echevarias, air plants, haworthias....

Echevarias, air plants, haworthias….

 

 

Thanks to the carpentry work of Bert, the window was transformed into a wall planter. Stuffed with moss, filled with potting soil, and covered with chicken wire, it was ready to plant!

hanging...

hanging…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Molly, Jamie, Lauren, Pinkie, and myself all took a pane and planted it up, pushing  various sedums, echevarias, haworthias, air plants and others that like a dry, sunny location through the chicken wire. It sat in the back of the greenhouse for a number of weeks, settling in. Our shop cat, Gracie,  discovered it at one point and smushed my pane and a couple of others. That’s when we decided to push sticks into it to deter him. It worked!

Found objects…sometimes the ordinary can become extraordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planters…Cast Stone, Fiberglass, Terra Cotta, Glazed – Pretty Pots For Your Garden Spaces…

photo (21)

Containers, planters, pots…whatever you choose to name them, there should be a place somewhere in your landscape for one – or more. Shown here is a sampling of our 2014 spring order of cast stone, light weight fiberglass, terra cotta, and glazed pots.

Well chosen and beautifully planted containers obviously add beauty to your home. This in turn enhances value by contributing to the overall curb appeal.

So you’ve already got a couple of pots by the front door, you say? That’s one of the first places folks put planters. It’s an obvious choice, and a good one, since they define your entrance. This same idea can be used if you choose a planter to accent the beginning of a path, act as a focal point at a destination, or have a pair flanking a gate or other garden entrance.

Planted, tall pots can soften walls...

Planted, tall pots can soften walls…

Perhaps there are areas in your outdoor spaces that would benefit from  groupings of containers. Odd numbers are easiest to work with; use different heights and shapes to make it even more interesting.

If your home has a lot of hardscape (walls, a wide driveway entrance or parking area) or other unplanted spaces, well placed containers can add to the design there too. Tall containers can be easily filled with plants to spill over the edges to soften the landscape picture.Cast Stone Urns

Is there an area in your garden that nothing seems to grow or roots from nearby trees make it impossible to dig? Think about placing an interesting pot or stacking pots to create an interesting focal point.

Cast stone...

Cast stone…

Using similar containers throughout an area will create unity in your design (Though a little surprise here and there never hurt anyone!).

Once your containers are in place and planted, watering and plant maintenance will be important – stay tuned for future posts.

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Fall…More Arrangement Inspiration

Fall Bittersweet Arrangement in BasketAutumn inspires us! The past month we’ve been designing with thoughts of fall…a copper container, a beautiful basket, a heavy stone trough, and even something as simple as a wooden box made wonderful starting pieces for a few of them.

It’s funny how something can sit and not be noticed until a design brings it to life. Jamie did just that with this large basket. It and another like it have been in the greenhouse for awhile now. They’ve held bags of moss or been propped up waiting for someone to notice them. Well, her design certainly does it justice! It’s been the showstopper of the season with her use of bittersweet, giant star pod and Indian corn.

 

 

 

 

Fall ArrangementThis wooden box arrangement was done for a garden club – the customer brought in the antlers! This one was a fun change of pace. Those antlers didn’t want to stay put, and the box was a tad rickety…it reminds us that each day may bring different and interesting challenges!

 

Fall Gourd Arrangement

 

Soon the gourds will be gone for the season…but I’ll remember this arrangement as one of my favorites from this fall. I enjoy the lines of the gourds and the interplay of form here.

 

 

 

 

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A Look At The Nursery – Come See!

We’re at the beginning of the new planting season and thought it would be nice to give you a glimpse of the nursery…for those of you familiar with us, you know things come in and go out just as fast – if you see something you think you could use, it’s really best to make up your mind quickly! Of course, we’re always happy to take your name and number and call you if we’re out of something that can be reordered.

Beautiful pots of 'Tuscan Blue' rosemary...

Beautiful pots of ‘Tuscan Blue’ rosemary…

 

The rosemary has been beautiful – this is one herb that does so well for us here in the Birmingham area…it’s happy in the ground and in containers.  It’s just a big,  beautiful, edible shrub!  Plant it in full to at least half day of sun and give it excellent drainage and you’ll have a winner on your hands.

The tables under the lath house are filling up with bedding plants...

The tables under the lath house are filling up with bedding plants…

 

We’re beginning to get serious about stocking bedding plants. While our last average frost date here is mid-April, we are pretty much there, though many of you are just now seeing the pansies at their peak. Enjoy them, and when they’ve given out in the heat, replant with your summer bedding plants. Container plantings are usually the first to suffer as a result of higher temperatures, especially if they dry out at all. We’re beginning to get in everything you’ll need for pots, hayracks and more…shipments come in just about every day but Monday!

The nursery is divided into distinct areas. All of the shrubs are against the fence on the inside of the lath house  and on the end toward the alley.

Annuals and tropicals are out front on the tables and steps, and also in the middle area under the lath house on tables.

Perennials and groundcovers are against the greenhouse on tables and on the ground.

Herbs and veggies are on the end toward the street and side garden. The fresh fruits and vegetables are on the red tables as you enter toward the greenhouse door…and the U-Pot-It bench is against the greenhouse as well. We know it can get very overwhelming to come in and see so much in a relatively small area, so hope this helps…

Happy Spring!

More Cork Bark Planter Inspiration – We’re Having Fun!

imageimage

 

The last post on these cork bark pieces was an inspirational hit for many of you, and, since we’re having so much fun with them, I wanted to share some more photos. We’ve reordered them a couple of times because they’ve become so popular. And what fun to plant!!

 

The first post  focused on succulents, herbs and air plants – perfect for hot dry spots or areas that are hard to tend. The ones shown here are more woodsy in feel, very much in keeping with the bark material.

imageThe tall one that Jamie planted utilizes houseplants which work very well in shaded areas through the summer, and some perennials. This piece will take filtered sun and clipping of the houseplants to maintain the balance of the planting. A pot was inserted in the bottom, planted, and then soil filled to the top, filling the opening all the way up to create a cool vertical piece.

imageIn the next planting, I took 3 of the flatter, rounded pieces and actually “stacked” them at angles, creating planting pockets and  different levels and an overall shape I was pleased with.  Next, perennials, including tassel ferns, ‘Metallica’  and ‘Burgundy Glow’ ajuga, golden and peacock selaginellas, Scotch moss and Carex ‘Evergold’, were added,  creating sweeps of color and wispy trailers over the edges. An added bonus is that all of these plants are perennial and can be used in your landscape as they outgrow the container.

imageBoth of these have been lined before planting but will drain over the edges in the case of the stacked pieces and down through the bottom of the planting in the tall piece. We picture them in areas of restful shade, adding their green presence to  woodland surroundings…We hope you enjoy our creations as much as we enjoyed making them!

 

 

 

Arrangements – Happiness On A Rainy Day In The Greenhouse

 

imageimage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recently, on a rainy day, with extra baskets on our hands and plenty of pretty plants at our disposal, these arrangements were the happy result. Rainy days in the greenhouse are the best. When the wind blows and the poly whips across the roof like the sails on a ship, and then the rain starts…there’s nothing like it. That’s when it feels good to work in a greenhouse, the rain rat-tatting on the roof, sometimes so loud it’s hard to hear the phone ring…

image

 

 

But of course there is still work to be done – plants to be tended, orders to be filled, and customers braving the rain to be taken care of. But, between work, there is, shall we say, creative play…

imageAnd there are such pretty things to play with! This time of year, with spring in the air but not quite yet here – this is the time of hydrangeas, calla lilies and sweet alyssum –  the soft colors of Easter mingling and overlapping with the brightness of other, more exuberant blooms of gerbera daisies, ranunculus and the first of the geraniums. So much to work with! So we begin to gather flowers and foliage and perhaps  a few herbs to add their scent, color and texture to the mix.

imageThis post isn’t going to be about design rules, because quite frankly, we sometimes break them. (Maybe we’re just rebels at heart!) No, this is about what feels and looks right to you. And, perhaps it’s more about not being afraid of making a “mistake” – with arrangements, container plantings or your own garden.image

 

So, here are some of our gifts to you, a few creations on a rainy day in March…while the rain rat-tatts on the roof and the poly whips like the sails on a ship…

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Easter Flowers – Lilies and More!

The ultimate Easter flower...

The ultimate Easter flower…

We love the colors, blooms and scents of the Easter holiday…from pure white Easter lilies to the soft purples and pinks of hydrangeas, and the fragrance of stephanotis…this season speaks of new beginnings..

With the upcoming holiday and family and friends gathering for Easter, we have the plants, flowers and arrangements for your table or gifts for loved ones at this special time.

Easter lilies are the traditional Easter plant – enjoy their blooms and scent, and if you have a spot in the garden, plant your lily as soon as danger of frost is past. (Easter is late this year, but please wait until at least the end of April to early May to plant your lily outside.)

hydrangeas in the colors of Easter...

hydrangeas in the colors of Easter…

We also have beautiful hydrangeas…while these are considered florist hydrangeas, for you folks that want to try planting them out in your landscape find a spot with filtered sun, rich soil and a bit of protection. Keep them well watered their first summer in the ground.

The fragrant stephanotis wreaths are beautiful annual vines…they will bloom now and sporadically through the summer – they’re very nice in planters with other blooming summer annuals. They aren’t winter hardy though, so if you’d like to keep them be sure to bring them in for the winter.

Pastel pink orchids float above campanula, violets and selaginella in this Easter arrangement

Pastel pink orchids float above campanula, violets and selaginella in this Easter arrangement

Of course we also have long lasting and elegant orchids – let us arrange a grouping in one of your containers or ours. In addition to gorgeous orchids we also offer kalanchoes, violets, freesia, campanula, calla lilies and more!image

We always have the most beautiful orchids!

We always have the most beautiful orchids!

If you’d rather have an Easter arrangement or basket made up of plants that you can use later in your garden and seasonal planters, we have that as well! Just let us know and we’ll offer appropriate suggestions for you.

From all of us, we hope all of you have a wonderful Easter !