A few early spring pots captured on one of our recent glorious sunny days. The containers used were the clients and while I typically do not gravitate to blue pottery, the turquoise was a great foil for the creamy yellow colors of spring. Hellebore, primula, acorus and calluna combine for a fresh display with a few bright orange willow twigs from my garden for a vertical accent. Spring is just around the corner…
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I recently commented to Adam that I’d love a frog pond. The evening chorus is what I am after…it tickles me. A few days after sharing my secret wish, a lone croak appeared in the garden late one night. I investigated, and found this little guy raising a ruckus all on his own. He is well camouflaged – look at the center of the photo:
He has taken up residence in my little pot o’ pond. What is this, you ask? Man made ponds can be beautiful when done right, but they also can be high maintenance and prone to leaks. I keep my water features pint sized and in a pot. With some creative engineering, you can wire the pot for a dripper or bubbler that will create soothing sounds and help to keep the mosquitoes down by moving the water. Throw in some water plants and a few floating lettuce and voila – a pond in a pot. I’ve created many glazed pot water features and have also ventured into galvanized metal stock tanks which work well in the right setting. Typically I prefer a low & wide pot that is glazed both inside and out. If the pot’s interior is unglazed, it can be better sealed by painting on a thin silicone coating. If you want to get fancy, you can hard wire the pump to a switch that is controlled via a remote. Impress your friends.
A few of the water features I’ve created:
Dragonfly dripper with black taro and dwarf papyrus
Bubbler is a copper pipe snugged just below the lip so you only see the water...
Stainless steel dripper in a galvanized stock tank
Still pond in a pot in the backdrop (the frog's home)
Not long after Frog A took up residence, I was heading outside for my evening slug hunt (no further details – I want you to still like me). I opened the front door to find another small green frog on the doorstep. Since our resident frog has been calling out for a mate every night, I guessed that perhaps this was his Cinderella. Since she (I am making some storyline assumptions here) was headed the wrong way and at risk underfoot, I moved her closer to her frog prince. Maybe we will get some tadpoles.
The sun was out today, as was our resident frog who took to sunning himself on his private pond edge. I think he is living the high life.
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I recently had the opportunity to design a petite space on a very elegant houseboat. The house has modern lines and the view is incredible – as waterfront as you can get. The downside for the client is little privacy. Kayakers pull right up to the edge of their deck and peer in – and who can blame them with such an interesting house. To create a soft barrier enclosing the space (yet not impeding the view) I designed low benching to be attached at the deck edge. This performs double duty providing extra seating when entertaining or a place to lie in the sun – all without taking too much precious deck space. It also conveys the message “private space” for the floating lookie-loos. I added a screen on the north side of the deck to provide privacy from the closest houseboat neighbor and further enhance the sense of enclosure. The architect/builder who will be creating these elements had the fantastic idea to put the screen on a track so it can be pulled out when privacy is needed and pushed back for a sense of openness. Pots frame the space and add a bit of leafy softness. I opted for a palette of black pots on the deck and one showy copper red pot by the front door – picking up the rich trim color. I kept the planting simple – I am not a fan of overstuffed annuals in pots. I prefer interesting evergreen foliage plants in pots and one per pot when possible. This provides elegant, clean lines and is very low maintenance. The ebullient flower stuffed pots may be lovely in summer, but most have to be redone every year and they provide little winter interest. Plants used included a small Acer palmatum in rich chocolate-copper tones to add height and echo the house colors, a few dwarf conifers which are perfect for pots and Nassella tenuissima flanked by a copper colored Heuchera.
I planted the pots yesterday and the hardscape elements will be installed next. I was not alone while planting – a family of ducks observed my progress from right off the deck. They were every cute, but of no help whatsoever when the lens cap bounced out of my hand and into the water. Nonetheless, I took a few pictures.
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