Brent’s Rogue Garden
People often ask me what my garden at home looks like. I laugh and reply it looks like a psychedelic trip to a botanic garden gone rogue with cracked pots. Then they laugh, not sure if I’m being honest or just outrageous, and they’re right, my garden is outrageous and honestly, it is a trip. While we sell volumes of the best and most authentic pottery and garden statuary around, we get our share of damage. Handling heavy pottery, moving it, merchandising it and delivering it involves some mistakes. So I have plenty of opportunities to take beautiful Italian terracotta pots home, albeit with chips and cracks (we epoxy the cracks so they will last just as long as the first quality ones). The problem is what to do with over twenty years’ worth of damaged pots.
Welcome to my test kitchen where I try different plants in different pots to learn what works. Just like a cook’s test kitchen, I have learned what works when potting different plants, hence my belief that the first thing to growing healthy container plants is the drainage. No matter the plant, it must have freedom to drain continuously.
Second is the soil. If you match the plant’s root system with the proper soil mixture you will have a healthy plant growing in a beautiful pot. I am a strong believer that perlite added to any soil mixture helps to grow healthy container plants. Why do I spend more on organic soil amendments? Because I’ve learned that chemical fertilizers work fast and make container plants grow and look healthy initially, but down the road, your container plants will suffer the toxicity of chemical salts which build up in the soil. Using products like “SuperThrive”, soap, Epsom salts, wood ash from my pizza oven and most of all, composted soils amendments from the great composter I got from Exxaco.com.
I have pots everywhere, hence the “garden gone rogue.” I have created patio areas on all sides of my house to accommodate all of the pots and plants. If a planted pot at Eye of the Day begins to look shabby, I’ll will take the plant home and perform triage by restarting it in an appropriate looking pot. I learn from doing this what looks good from a design point of view and I can share what works in containers that clients may not have considered before. I have been able to grow and pair plants with our products to help market Eye of the Day while making my “test garden” a realistic place to prove that container gardening is the best way to create “Paradise at Home”!