Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Planting colorful flowers is effective because the flowers appear to be glad to see you."

Wandering aimlessly through the library recently an aptly titled book caught my eye: Planted Junk by Adam Caplin. Most of what I own is junk well-used after all these years and then I go right back out and scout for more junk collectibles every chance I get. This is a book that approaches the marriage of color and junk forms in a really fun and eye-pleasing way. He uses everything from old drawers to kid's toys, especially beach pails, to strategically place just the perfect plant, color or texture. I especially liked the stately foxglove planted in the bow of an old wooden boat (!) or single black pansies in orange-flavored San Pellegrino cans. His old found teapots spilleth over--my favorite: white nicotiana in a big red one. [Difficult to find, I love to plant the true nicotiana -- flowering tobacco -- for its height and delicious fragrance.]

So, back to my patio slab, I probably won't get away with a painted yellow tire full of fragrant, dark purple petunias but a teapot or a drawer full of alyssum would be surreptitiously perfect. I jotted down some of my faves above so I wouldn't forget. Forgetting seems to skip merrily hand in hand with 'older' stuff.

hopeful crop of rhubarb in a neighbor's yard

Simplicity and complexity need each other.
John Maeda


bobbie said...

They DO seem glad to see you, don't they? I love the idea of planting in junk. You've inspired me.

Marianne said...

I've always believed in planting in the... 'collectibles'.... at the old house, there's the old tub and really old sink fixture... a piece that was part of an old free standing gas heater... heh.

Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Oh, yes, I remember my mom planting annuals in (painted) old tires, and how I came to think of it as low-class when I was a snobby college student ... and now, using old stuff as planters just seems very fun. Love your sketches!

Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

I like your sketches, they are full of whimsy. Forgetting what?

Granny Smith said...

Fun sketch book! I'm afraid my most ambitious arranging these days is changing things on my blog. Strange things sit in my garden, though - such as a garage sale find of a lion carved in Mexico to adorn the front of a British consulate and looking like a malformed bear, the sculptor never having seen a lion, of course.

Inland Empire Girl said...

The book sounds like a great find. Please post some pictures when you try a few. It sounds awesome.

anno said...

It sounds like a wonderful book -- and I love your sketches. I'm with Inland Empire Girl: we need to see pictures of your results!

anno said...

What I neglected to say before is that I am so glad to again see you posting from your sketchbook. It will be a regular feature, right?

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