Monday, February 1, 2016

What if they don't all love water?

It seems many of you are curious how some of planter creations come together or you just like looking at interesting arrangements. Here at Oliver and Rust we love to hear that and of course me especially as plants is a good part of what I do.

It was time for a new counter arrangement at the shop to reflect what was going on in the arrangement bar and since I kind of knew the look I was going for and my camera was with me last week when I made this I thought I would share a little how to.

This how to can be done by anyone but it helps if a planter this size wasn't your first ever. It doesn't mean you can't do it by no means, like I always say plants are just a constant learning experience. ( I am currently in battle mode with overwintering some eugenia topiaries that are fighting me every step of the way)

Let's begin

pick a vessel.
i used a large old rusty separator.

separator means there is holes in the bottom like a strainer so i added sheet plastic and then an inch of rock to provide drainage so that if someone decides to overwater the water has somewhere to sit instead of all around the plants roots.

choose your plants wisely grasshopper.
we have a mildly tropical mirage going on in the shop with a focus on terrarium style plants so orchids, ferns ie. staghorn, maidenhair, rabbits foot, autumn and others like this
and set them up kind of how you think you want to plop them in your container.
it's easier to do this arranging part prior to removing pots and throwing mud all over the place with dirty hands, phone dinging, dog stealing the plastic pots. 
-just my experience?

now comes the mildly tricky part.
most of the plants in my arrangement are low-ish light and like to be watered every few days. but i knew i wanted to add succulents to this mix as well so how we curb the overwatering is plant them in a SEPARATE PLASTIC POT that you insert afterwards.
you want to gently pry your root balls apart on all plants prior to putting it in the new soil as it will force your plants to try to grow outwards in their new home.

make sure your pot fits and the plants you want to use will fit in it. this can go the other way as well. if you are doing a large succulent planter and want to put an orchid in for instance. leave the orchid in its pot and plant the others.

plant your little babies up with the appropriate soil type for them. potting soil, cactus soil etc. i love using small scoops or spoons to shove tiny bits of dirt into places without making too much of a mess especially at home. you can still see the growers pots in the photos above so now we topcoat with moss or gravel to cover this up and voila your planter is ready for display.
this is a good time to water your planter as you have just disrupted the roots of your plants. and mist if you are doing a tropical style planter with ferns.

you get a really good view of the giant stag horn fern i added sideways in this photo. i tipped it more than planted it upright to give the whole arrangement 360 degrees of flow.

the little spiky bits on the lower left and centre are tillandsia air plants that i added in afterwards for more texture. if you add air plants to your display don't forget to water them separately. don't know how? CLICK HERE

and finally the finished up new counter display. large and in charge.

and for shoppers going into the shop, that bowl of PF Candles on the counter is the discontinued scents and they are 20 bucks each.

the rest of the line has been restocked in all your favourites including
teakwood & tobacco (store fav)
patchouli & sweetgrass
sweet grapefruit
amber & moss
frankinsense & oud (one of my favs)

and new bits, we have them in reed diffusers as well for the flame conscious.
they aren't too strong that they overpower everything but add the perfect amount of smell to a space

and behind them you can see
authentic school botanical charts printed by the same company in Germany that has been printing them since the 60's. these are real school style charts with no text so that they could be used all over the world regardless of language.

Have a great day everyone



  1. Absolutely beautiful arrangement.

  2. So that's how it's done! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Your creation is stunning! You make it sound so simple to put together...
    Have a wonderful week.

  4. I've been gardening for 46 years and I never thought to use a separate inside a pot for a plant that has different water needs. Brilliant! We're never too old to learn new things. Thank you for sharing your beautiful pots!


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