I spent the last few days in Boston, on a mini vacation. I spent lots of time reading in cafes (devouring Steig Larsson’s Millenium series), walking around, and visiting with old friends.
I also took a few photos of pretty doorstep decor and seasonal decorations in Beacon Hill. If you’re not familiar with Beacon Hill, it is a historic neighborhood in Boston, filled with old, quaint houses that are from the 1700′s and 1800′s. It was a wealthy neighborhood then, and still is.
First off, I noticed that my mom and I are right on trend with Thai peppers from our October Harvest Table photo shoot last week. Actually, my dad is on trend by growing them! I saw them in probably half of the window boxes, and in all colors, including purple!
Plenty of pumpkins too! I like the white ones in this elegant box.
Traditional orange ones populated many doorsteps!I had a great time visiting my old city and dreaming about colonial architecture or owning am old brownstone.
In the meantime, I’m inspired to decorate for cooler weather and scary holidays!
It was my birthday last week and Brentan knew just what to get me. I woke up to these gorgeous zinc planters (from Crate and Barrel- who should sponsor the blog since I write about them so much!) in our living room, and I knew just what to do with them!
I went out to the garden center, the fabulous Reagan Nursery, and bought some succulents.
I was all set to make some cool graphics with the types of succulents labeled on the pictures, but unfortunately, Brentan threw out the plant labels. And my memory is not good enough to remember what everything is called!!
I had thought about what to put in front of the door to the house for such a long time, I’m so happy that it turned out well, and pretty much exactly as I had hoped.
These are definitely inspired by Sunset magazine. And the larger succulent culture of California, which has transferred by osmosis into my brain.
Do you know what these succulents are?
I spotted these cheerful lime green planters in front of a store front in Santa Barbara last spring. I love the bold, bright color! They scream welcome, welcome welcome!
Look at this clever re-use of an old wooden crate. Succulents never looked so good!
Here is a flash back from the past… a terrarium. I use to make these as a teenager back in the 1970′s. Mine never looked so cool. I’m going to make some again. all you need is a largish glass jar or bowl, some potting soil, gravel or stones and small succulents. They need very little tending and can be neglected for weeks on end.
Thanks, Liz, you got me thinking about sprucing up my summer pots. Succulents are so easy so hardy and look so fresh.
I made a run to the garden center this weekend to brighten up the patio a little bit for a summer BBQ get together. I picked up some bright dahlias and planted them in these super cheap, but pretty, planters I found at Ross (which just opened up a few blocks from my house!). I matched them with some succulents and purple Alyssum for a colorful impact. Note: I put shorter plants in front, with the taller dahlias in the back. It makes for a nice composition.
These flowers are annuals, so after they start looking spent and no longer flowering, I’ll switch them out for other seasonal flowers.
I learned to make pretty flower planters from my mom. See that pretty garden in the header, up there? Yeah, that’s just part of her massive garden. She’s a certified Master Gardener.
So, to answer the title of this post, ‘How to Make Festive Summer Planters,’ you need to learn from the best. Or just find some colors and flowers you love (dahlias are one of my favorites, and just happen to be in season right now), and play around with them to make a nice composition. I placed the flowers in their pots in the larger pot to determine an arrangement first. Have fun, because flowers are fun!
I went to the local nursery a few days ago (I like to support local nurseries instead of places like Home Depot, when I can! The staff are so helpful and really care about your projects), and bought a few new plants. I was a little bummed with their selection, but I’m told that in a month or two, when spring “officially” arrives (though not in Northern CA–it’s already here!) they’ll have more stuff to choose from. However, that didn’t stop me from finding a few plants and veggies, and spending close to $150!
So this bed in front of the house still is mostly empty (remember my adventures in plant extraction?), and I’m going to wait a bit longer to fill it up completely.
A few veggies filled up my filing cabinet planter. Did I ever tell you that I made this last spring? I found a few cheap metal filing cabinets at a garage sale, took out the drawers, and screwed them together, bottom to bottom. Then I added some casters and spray painted the whole thing a pretty light blue. A very easy, cheap, flexible mini garden! I overestimated its capacity, and had to put my spinach in pots. Though I think they’re cute in terra cotta!
I was delighted that the nursery carried bare root strawberry plants. These are supposed to yield big, juicy berries, and I can’t wait for June or July to come to harvest these!
The filing cabinet planter box
Here’s a larger view of my planter box, the other side filled with lettuce and peas. The box is rusting a bit so a fresh coat of paint might be nice….
How does your garden grow? I’d love some tips on container gardening, or hear about what’s been successful to you!