Archives for October 2019

41 Pots

We have a few clients with large numbers of containers to plant. We were scheduled to switch over the summer season to the fall for one of those clients. We removed all of the summer plantings, potted up the topiary plants that would be stored until next season, and replanted for fall.  41 pots and boxes. The entire day prior David and I collaborated on fall centerpieces for this client. I design, and he constructs them in such a way that makes his arrangements better than the sum total of the materials. Hew goes way beyond the materials, in his own way. This is a way of saying that he is gifted.  We talk it over in a language I suspect few could understand. Our fall centerpieces have a loosely intended overall shape that he puts together one bunch, and one layer at a time. I decide what plants go with those centerpieces, to a point. A drawing on paper is a vastly different scenario than the on site reality.   David decided to add the variegated carex you see in the boxes above. That gesture introduced a graceful and less formal element to the mix of mums and cabbage. The texture of the small grass is a striking contrast to the large broad leaves of the cabbage. That grass now plays a major role in the composition.

I encourage my crew to participate in the design process. If and when they do, they take ownership of the project. And that is what makes a project good. I make a concerted effort to teach them as much as I can about planting and arranging. Every one of them to the last has been listening.  At the end of the prep day, they all loaded plants and soil. They had all that they needed from me. The installation was their day. This morning, in the heat of the final load up, I told Karen: “You got this. Send me pictures at the end of the day.” To follow are those pictures.  I could not be more pleased about the work they did.

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A collection of pots makes it possible to develop an idea in a more complete way. This planting makes much of texture and mass. All the color is measured. There are rare days when I wish I had one pot to plant and tend instead of 38, but when I see them all grown in, the ongoing pleasure of it all is significant. I am certain everyone who participated in this project was swept up in and enjoyed the process of bringing it to life. How so? They told me so.