Work Hard, Plant Hard

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Landscape Dreams

StyleChristine K

This post was sponsored by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. All opinions and material are my own except as noted.

Landscape architect: A person who develops land for human use and enjoyment through effective placement of structures, vehicular and pedestrian ways, and plantings. Merriam Webster

Did you know there are degrees in this field? Just check out this list:

https://www.landscapeindustrycareers.org/education/

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a physician. But sometimes I think I might be living a career with plants if I had known about them a few decades ago. Maybe some of you reading this will be inspired to consider your options to make a career with plants! For more information you can check out www.landscapeprofessionals.org and www.LandscapeIndustryCareers.org. For more about my own property landscape dreams, read on.

Back when we lived in Oregon, I became fascinated by all of the gorgeous plants in the landscape. Hydrangeas, Japanese Maple trees, and bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis) were a few of my favorites. I also loved the way people incorporated growing food in to their landscape. I started to re-imagine the home we were living in, which at the time had fairly bare-bones landscaping. There were three tiers on the property, so much to work with. I read carefully about which plants could go in what spots based mainly on the amount of light or lack thereof. I began to make sketches of my concepts and eventually took on the project of landscaping the whole property with my husband’s help. I learned so much in the process, and most of the plants there are still thriving (we sometimes drive by when we’re in town).

Hydrangeas come in so many colors, like this deep purple. They adorn the landscape all around western Oregon.

Hydrangeas come in so many colors, like this deep purple. They adorn the landscape all around western Oregon.

When we moved to Southern California, I realized many of the plants I’d fallen in low with in Oregon wouldn’t thrive here. As much as I would have loved a Japanese Maple tree in our front yard, the climate just wasn’t suitable. I quickly dove in to learning about succulents and eventually came across the term xeriscaping. This was about a decade ago. I started admiring the way many of the outdoor spaces around us were able to create so much beauty with succulents and other native species. Eventually we minimized the grass between the sidewalk and the street and planted succulents amidst decomposed granite. I used lots of potted succulents to decorate around the home and add pops of color.

 

I still enjoy making potted succulent mixes for our patio. I especially love when they bloom!

I still enjoy making potted succulent mixes for our patio. I especially love when they bloom!

A couple of moves later and now we’re obsessed with midcentury style, including landscaping. We were fortunate to find a little midcentury cottage that fit our aesthetic well.

Our current front yard space.

Our current front yard space.

We find inspiration from the landscaping in our own neighborhood as well as Palm Springs, the mecca for midcentury modern style. Just check out these incredible pavers:

I took this photo of a home in Palm Springs during a recent visit. Saving as inspiration for our future landscape project.

I took this photo of a home in Palm Springs during a recent visit. Saving as inspiration for our future landscape project.

I love the modern wall and the pop of color from the mailbox at this neighborhood home:

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Here is a wonderful example of natives and succulents creating a lush front yard. I love when boulders are incorporated in to landscape as well:

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I always enjoy creating outdoor “living rooms,” and dream of having one incorporated in to the landscape as though it always belonged there, like this one designed by Terremoto in Los Angeles, CA:

Photo used with permission by Caitlin Atkinson  www.caitlinatkinson.net  / IG @mscaitlinatkinson. Landscape project by Terremoto  www.terremoto.la  / IG @terremoto_landscape

Photo used with permission by Caitlin Atkinson www.caitlinatkinson.net / IG @mscaitlinatkinson. Landscape project by Terremoto www.terremoto.la / IG @terremoto_landscape

I don’t have to go further than our neighborhood park to be inspired by landscaping and smart use of water. Our park uses native species, a gray water system for irritation, and also has a basin to filter water before it goes to the ocean.

A detention basin, designed to capture runoff and treat it before it reaches the ocean.

A detention basin, designed to capture runoff and treat it before it reaches the ocean.

Someone definitely put thought in to our own property, but it’s not quite how we would have done it. We’d love to replace the front concrete path with pavers, and make a driveway like this one:

Another photo I took in Palm Springs for landscape inspiration.

Another photo I took in Palm Springs for landscape inspiration.

Our backyard space is chopped up and has a lot of concrete. We’d love to open it all up and make it flow, more like this backyard space in Oakland designed by Beth Mullins of Growsgreen:

Photo used with permission by Caitlin Atkinson  www.caitlinatkinson.net  / IG @mscaitlinatkinson. Project Design by Beth Mullins of Growsgreen  http://www.growsgreen.com  /IG @bethgrowsgreen.

Photo used with permission by Caitlin Atkinson www.caitlinatkinson.net / IG @mscaitlinatkinson. Project Design by Beth Mullins of Growsgreen http://www.growsgreen.com /IG @bethgrowsgreen.

Someday we’ll hire landscape professionals to make our own property dreams come true! Until then I’ll keep finding inspiration from all of the amazing landscaping I’m lucky enough to have all around me as well as a road trip to Palm Springs away.

Another lovely Palm Springs home incorporating pavers, a boulder, greenery and a pop of color.

Another lovely Palm Springs home incorporating pavers, a boulder, greenery and a pop of color.

Scouting Pots and Plant Stands

StyleChristine K

I frequently get inquiries about where I find all of my pots and plant stands. I thought I’d break from my typical blog post content and focus on this for a change!

First, I am fortunate to live in a city with lots of amazing nurseries and a couple of shops with well-curated pots. And as many of you know, I visit other Planty Places as often as I can, often walking away with at least one pot to remember my stop by.

Terra cotta pots are extremely affordable but tend to only be available at brick and mortar nurseries and shops. The shipping costs would far outweigh the cost of the pot! To that end, I have been lucky to find some varieties on the traditional terra cotta shapes and colors at Anderson’s La Costa, Solana Succulents, Mickeys Plants, Folia Collective and Green Thumb Nursery.

I found this nice curved terra cotta at Mickey's Plants in Los Angeles. Incidentally I was lucky to find the last of these brass shelving units at my local World Market. I love the little hooks underneath!

I found this nice curved terra cotta at Mickey's Plants in Los Angeles. Incidentally I was lucky to find the last of these brass shelving units at my local World Market. I love the little hooks underneath!

One of my favorite variations on standard terra cotta is this clean lined shape. I especially love the lighter, rosy color. The pot with the cactus is from Pigment (shoppigment.com). The little face airplant holder is actually a votive holder designed by Jonathan Adler (jonathanadler.com). 

One of my favorite variations on standard terra cotta is this clean lined shape. I especially love the lighter, rosy color. The pot with the cactus is from Pigment (shoppigment.com). The little face airplant holder is actually a votive holder designed by Jonathan Adler (jonathanadler.com). 

I love to find cute pots with character. Some of my favorites have come from Urban Outfitters Home collection, Folia Collective (www.foliacollective.com, @foliacollective) and Eden San Diego (@eden.sd), a local plant shop.

Pots in this photo are from many sources including local plant shops and nurseries as mentioned, Urban Outfitters (ubiquitous eyeball planter), Waldmade (the small stand wtih cactus, @waldmade), and Knight Ceramics (@knightceramics).

Pots in this photo are from many sources including local plant shops and nurseries as mentioned, Urban Outfitters (ubiquitous eyeball planter), Waldmade (the small stand wtih cactus, @waldmade), and Knight Ceramics (@knightceramics).

I am always on the hunt for modern style pots. A couple of my local nurseries carry Chive pots, a Canadian company that makes lovely modern planters in many shapes and sizes. If you’re local to the San Diego area you can find them at Barrel’s and Branches and Anderson’s La Costa. Folia Collective also has a great selection of modern pottery, some of them handmade in the LA area. North Park Nursery (@northparknursery) and Pigment (@shoppigment) also have a great selection of modern pots. West Elm has some nice options including candle vessels that can double as terrariums or airplant vessels.

I found the cute gray Chive planter at Anderson's La Costa, and the small white planter at Barrel's and Branches, both local nurseries. 

I found the cute gray Chive planter at Anderson's La Costa, and the small white planter at Barrel's and Branches, both local nurseries. 

Every once in a while I splurge on a pot that is a statement piece, such as my Modernica Case Study planter and my Hudson and Oak Shop (@hudsonandoakshop) cachepots that hold my big ZZ plant and Ficus lyrata (Fiddle Fig), respectively.

My Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) hangs out in a cachepot by Hudson and Oak (hudsonandoakshop.etsy.com, @hudsonandoakshop). Other planters in this photo are from brick and mortar sources including Eden San Diego, Folia Collective, Solana Succulents and Andersons La Costa. The photo also shows plant stands from Kellan Carr (@crowleykel), Ikea, Home Goods and Eden San Diego. See below for more on plant stands!

My Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig) hangs out in a cachepot by Hudson and Oak (hudsonandoakshop.etsy.com, @hudsonandoakshop). Other planters in this photo are from brick and mortar sources including Eden San Diego, Folia Collective, Solana Succulents and Andersons La Costa. The photo also shows plant stands from Kellan Carr (@crowleykel), Ikea, Home Goods and Eden San Diego. See below for more on plant stands!

Last but not least with regards to pots, I love finding pots that were handmade, especially if I can get them directly from the maker. Hudson and Oak is actually one of these. Additional ones include Potting Pink (@pottingpink, the potting feed for Morgan Doane, of the fame @plantingpink/@houseplantclub); Poured Formes (@pouredforms), lovely poured concrete planters by @succulentbff and her hubby; and Knight Ceramics (@knightceramics, pictured above in the plant shelves), darling little pots with drainage perfect for little succulents or cacti. Momma Pots (@momma_pots, www.mommapots.net) makes darling handcrafted pots as well. Etsy is a great resource for cute handmade pots!

I got this cute little black planter from @potting pink. I love sourcing directly from makers!

I got this cute little black planter from @potting pink. I love sourcing directly from makers!

What about stands? They are a little harder to find. I’m always looking for modern stands – nothing too ornate. I love boho style wicker stands but they don’t go well with our décor. Some nice modern options: Waldmade (@waldmade, purchase on Etsy), Ikea (lots of inexpensive options, but many you have to purchase in store), Plant Works Los Angeles (cute little midcentury inspired stands that hold a 4-6 inch pot fairly well) and Amigo Modern (@amigomodern). One of my favorites is a locally made wooden stand by Kellen Carr (@crowleykel, see tall wooden stand with white pot in prior image). Home Goods has some cute stands sometimes and is always worth a check! I found my 3 tier metal stand there. I didn't like the pots it came with, so I swapped them out for modern terra cotta.

The white stands are from Amigo Modern (amigomodern.com, @amigomodern). An Ikea side table elevates the Monstera. You can also see when compared to the other photo of the same space that I switch things up quite a bit - it's fun to move things around and play with styling! 

The white stands are from Amigo Modern (amigomodern.com, @amigomodern). An Ikea side table elevates the Monstera. You can also see when compared to the other photo of the same space that I switch things up quite a bit - it's fun to move things around and play with styling! 

The black stand on the far left is from Plantworks Los Angeles (plantworkslosangeles.com, @plantworkslosangeles). The small wood midcentury inspired planter is from Waldmade (@waldmade). The ZZ plant is housed in at Modernica Case Study planter with stand. 

The black stand on the far left is from Plantworks Los Angeles (plantworkslosangeles.com, @plantworkslosangeles). The small wood midcentury inspired planter is from Waldmade (@waldmade). The ZZ plant is housed in at Modernica Case Study planter with stand. 

Of course, you can always get creative and make your own stand (concrete is fun to work with!). You can also use something that wasn't originally intended as a stand such as a stack of books (another favorite of mine), or a wire wastebasket. Whatever you decide, have fun and enjoy your plants!