Saturday, July 2, 2011

Seriously? Hanging baskets, again?

OK, be honest. The minute the weather was nice, did you run down to your nearest garden center or Costco to pick up your hanging basket for the year? Guaranteed to be planted with colorful wave petunias, verbena, bacopa, fuchsias or geraniums. YAAAWWWWWNNNN. Oh, did I write that out loud? Sorry about that. I don't blame you, I guess. They are bursting with color, full of foliage and all you have to do is hang them on a hook. Couldn't be easier!

Being a landscape designer, I think I just get bored of the same 'ol thing. I want something fresh and bold! And with this economy, who wants to purchase $100.00 worth of hanging baskets that last for 5 months (here in Central Oregon, anyways)?

This year, I decided to take the money I would normally spend on annual flowers and purchased one unique planter that is fun, funky and showcases my front entry.

Since it was a rather tall and slender pot, I filled the bottom half with Packing Pearls (invented by Oregon landscape designer, Joanna Guzzetta of Four Seasons Container Gardens). Then, I planted it with a variety of hardy succulents. Topped it off with crushed oyster shells, a small deer horn that was given to me by a friend and a thunder egg that I found with some friends at Richardson's Rock Ranch.

After 2 months, it completely filled in and is quite a conversation piece. The best part is that I only water it every 3 weeks. I can go for a 2 week vacation without paying someone to water my plants, worry about them wilting or even the deer munching on them! I plan to leave them outside ALL winter and expect them to look just as great next spring. Thaaaat's right. No fear here!

For all of you out there saying, "But, what about the flowers? Where are the flowers?" OK, so if you are worried about not having enough color, you can add a few succulent annuals, such as portulaca or purple ice plant.

This is becoming a more popular trend in the garden industry. I didn't see ONE petunia or fuchsia basket at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle. I expect the same next year at the 2012 San Fransisco Flower and Garden Show. Succulents are low maintenance, drought tolerant and bursting with architectural structure, texture and color.

So, get out there and try something on the cutting edge of garden design. I dare you!

Here are a few more pictures for inspiration!
Indoor succulent planter by Blooming Desert

The Circle Pot by Potted
Rush Creek Biodegradable Planters with succulents by Blooming Desert


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