Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Going Potty

I recently discovered 2 of the largest Garden Centres in Auckland. They each carry an unbelievable amount of stock that if combined would fill several football fields. They're on the northern and southern fringes of Auckland and as far as I could tell when I visited, had only one person running each store. Needless to say,  the presentation at their stores was a very low key affair – a kind of second hand junk shop/wreckers yard style of Garden Centre.
But what they lacked in presentation they more than make up for in unique items for sale including plants, statuary and pots. And when I say pots, I mean a GIZILLIAN pots in every colour, shape and style you can imagine. I was like a kid in a candy shop.

At first it was a little overwhelming. With so many choices, I had to think really carefully about what I wanted to achieve. I've already got a nice collection of pots around the garden which I've collected over many years but none of them are particularly big, mainly because the bigger they are the more expensive they get.
But there's something special about pots in the garden that you just can't capture any other way, so it was time to splash out and get a few big pots.

Lately I’ve been getting all inspired and thinking about Babylon. I saw the movie Alexander recently too and was intrigued by the depiction of ancient Babylon with its infamous hanging gardens. It’s not the first time I’ve thought about that with reference to my garden but I was reminded of it and I reckon that would be a fitting theme to try and create when selecting my pots, especially for the gully in the middle of my property.
So when I saw this set of 3 pots with this dimpled relief pattern, for some reason it made me think of Nebuchadnezzar’s beard and the ornate surroundings of his throne. So that was that... I had to have them!

At this stage I’ve got a vague plan of how I want to use them in the garden and where I want to put them. But it wasn't until I got them home that I realised there’s a bit of preparatory work I need to do to achieve the effect I’m after... like levelling the ground where I want them to sit, because they won’t look right if they’re not level and for that I may need to mix some concrete. They're pretty big and heavy especially once they’ve got a big plant in them, so they'll need a solid base to sit on.

Anyway, the picture above left shows what I did with the smaller one. A large buxus topiary or spherical hedge that I got on a subsequent visit to the same store creates quite a feature in front of the house. As you can see the plant is in a plastic pot inside the ceramic pot, so that if I ever decide to change things around I won't have to upend this heavy pot and break my back (or the pot!) getting it out later.

I managed to find a couple of bigger plastic pots to use as ‘liners’ for the larger ceramic pots too. Into one of them I’ve repotted one of my Bungalow palms, which will eventually get quite big. I’m thinking of having a pair of these, one on either side of the entrance to the garden at the top of the wooden steps, which will create a kind of palm grove in this part of the garden.

I’ll post more on the pots later...


  1. Hello Dave, it has been a long time.

    Saddened to hear of the death of your loved one.

    I see you don't post too much. But when you next visit, here is a garden post of our visit to Buffalo, NY, where there is a summer garden show more extravagant each year:

    Best wishes,
    Tom Harley (formerly Sheepandgoats)

    1. Nice to hear from you Tom. Thanks for stopping by.