I was in San Francisco last week and I was so pleased that everywhere I turned there were beautiful containers, giant succulents, and colorful (mini!) city gardens. Here are a few of the plants and containers that really inspired me during our trip. I am dying to add a few more succulents to my collection, and hopefully find a sunny place they’ll thrive.
This succulent container (below) has got to be the healthiest and biggest I’ve ever seen. I love the idea of succulents in a strawberry pot. Here are a few other ideas for succulents in your home!
This one (below) was also huge! I wish I’d gotten a picture standing beside it for scale. It was at least 3 feet tall and as big as my face. It was so fascinating to see so many succulents with stems thick and strong like tree branches. I even spotted a few succulents as big as shrubs. From afar, I’d never have known the difference!
I’m not sure what these purple-headed fellows are, but they are lovely. Nestled in this stone container structure and up against the purple walls of the boutique they belonged to, they really stood out!
Update : A kind reader emailed to tell me these are statice, they like dry conditions and do well in California. (Thanks, Diane!)
This is definitely the biggest cactus I’ve ever seen!
At every storefront and back alley there are containers (mostly wooden, I noticed) like this one, with succulents, grasses and herbs lending an intimate and thoughtful feel to the quick city streets. Here are a few great succulent ideas I’m going to try next in my own garden. I’m definitely inspired by these container gardens and the thoughtfulness of those who created them!
Photos by Whitney of The Curtis Casa
Want container gardens without the pain of regular watering? Planting succulents in creative container gardens usually means you water less, but still have all the beauty of gorgeous plants on your patio or balcony. In the photo right I have combined three succulents in individual pots (Rainbow Bush – Variegated Elephant Plant, Coppertone Stonecrop, and Jet Beads Stonecrop). Top photo shows several succulents within a single container (Ghost Plant, Paddle Plant, and Sedum ‘Bertram Anderson’).
Top 3 Tips for Growing Succulents
1. Use a loose soil that drains freely. Too much water is the curse of death for a succulent. Buy commercial succulent and cactus soil or make your own using 1/3 course sand, 1/3 compost, and 1/3 grit (usually a mix of lava fines, pumice, and/or perlite).
2. Position succulent containers in bright growing conditions or in direct full sunlight.
3. Never let water stand in a succulent container and feed with an organic cactus fertilizer.
Ideas for Standard Containers
What about the standard containers you have out now? Perhaps the hot late August weather is encouraging them to dry out a bit. I have an awesome solution: Plant Nanny’s!
Plant Nanny’s are glass watering globes that help you water without constant hovering over your containers. Insert the Plant Nanny stake into moist soil, then fill the watering globe and place into the stake. When the water gets low, you know you need to water again.
Both ideas above offer great late summer time saving ideas for containers. All the beauty with far less watering worries!
According the FTC, I need to let you know that I received products in this story at no cost in exchange for reviewing them.
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bertram anderson, cactus, container, container gardening, coppertone, garden, Gardening, ideas, jet beards, plant nanny, rainbow bush, sedum, Shawna Coronado, Soil, soil mix, stonecrop, succulent, tips
I love how this relaxing patio packs in so many containers – I see a plethora of succulents, a couple of boxwoods, a tall yucca plant, and even an orange tree tucked away in there! My dream patio would definitely have containers galore, just like this. With plenty of places to sit, the red cushions and lanterns lend an inviting, relaxed look.
To recreate this look, feel free to combine different colors and shapes in your patio furniture. A sleek black chair from Pottery Barn or Ikea looks great paired with the traditional teak furniture pictured above. I love the addition of mismatched, colorful lanterns too. A couple of modern strawberry pots, a succulent bowl and an orange tree complete the look for this container-covered patio! Enjoy!
Are your summer months spent traveling and vacationing in and out of town? Weekend road trips or a week at the beach can do some damage to your garden if you’re not careful. We take a lot of weekend trips during the summer and if I go a few weekends in a row hoping it’ll rain or forgetting to ask my neighbor to water, I’m in for dry and disappointing containers!
My herb containers are small so they dry out very quickly. The last time we headed out of town for the weekend, I tried a new method: upside down bottles. I grabbed a few old wine bottles and beer bottles, filled them with water, and stuck them upside down in the soil in my smaller containers. Voila!
The water in the bottle will slowly seep into the soil, keeping the soil and the roots consistently moist for a couple of days. If you’re gone for a whole week, you still might want to ask a neighbor or a friend to check in on your plants! I’ve also started using this method when I’m home, on particularly hot days. My small collection of herbs – basil, parsley, and mint – seem to love it!
Photos by Whitney of The Curtis Casa
Happy Fourth of July! Are you hosting a pool party or backyard cookout this year? Don’t forget to add a red, white, and blue container garden to your outdoor landscape. Here are a few suggestions for red, white, and blue plants to include: red caladiums, white euphorbia diamond frost, white petunias, and (a great blue stand-in!) purple scaevola. Plus, a blue container looks really nice with the bright green foliage.
I love the vintage vibe of this covered porch, what a great place to relax during the summer with a book and a tall glass of lemonade. It’s a neat combination to create this vintage feel with the antique birdcage, traditional shapes, floral pillows and striped cushion.
To recreate this look, I’ve rounded up a few items that will have you enjoying a lemonade on your porch in no time! I love the mixture of colors and patterns in pillows and throws from Lacefield Designs and Dwell Studio. The addition of pretty blue containers and plant life will really make your space feel cozy and refreshing. Enjoy!