Thursday, May 12, 2016

Less Plastic, More Fantastic

Is my dictum for this year, at least for the top patio...

This Agave geminiflora is looking fabulous. It deserves the the dignity of a nicer looking pot.
Last year I did a sort of 'whimsy' style of displaying potted succulents and was very pleased with the result. And as a bonus it received good feedback too. By going with the anything goes style of displaying pots (but actually carefully displayed) I justified to myself that it's ok to mix in ordinary plastic pots in amongst the ceramic, glazed, and terracotta ones. The end result turned out fine and I was happy with the outcome.


However I can't keep denying to myself that those cheap nursery plastic pots don't bother me. Most of the key plants on display then were in those plastic pots and if I'm going to do a similar display again this year I wouldn't be able to ignore/tolerate them this time.


So why did I keep them in plastic pots when replacing them with glazed ones were easy enough?

Answer: because plastic pots are light.

Plastic pots have there uses and many advantages too, one of which is being light hence easy to move. With most of our succulents and xerophytes not hardy enough to remain outside all year round they will need shifting indoors before winter sets in. The bigger specimens are tricky enough as they are to shift and it'll even be more difficult if they are in heavy pots.

Both Agave geminiflora and Agave ocahui will have new glazed pots this year
But aesthetics will win this year and I'm determined to have less plastic on display at the top patio. It'll be more effort to move them later on but I'll cross that bridge nearer the time.

Work in progress
For the rest of the garden however, I don't mind them quite so much and tolerate them far more.

Mark :-)

25 comments :

  1. Plastic didn't use to bother me, but now it does. Funny how that goes. I'm not happy about the extra weight and cost, but like you, I'm going to eradicate plastic pots from my garden.

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    1. It's a costly decision to minimise use of them indeed, plus the weight issue. Can't get away using them for the rest of the garden but at least there they don't bother me too much.

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  2. For smaller pots plastic bothers me, but I've got some large ones that look quite natural but would be impossible to move if they were terra cotta or stone or whatever. I'm looking forward to the updated "showcase" of potted plants. :)

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    1. Ahh the weight issue! And yes there are some nice plastic ones out there that looks natural or good unnatural, if that makes sense...

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  3. Those plastic terracotta pots are the worst-particularly when they have a Greek Key pattern round the rim. The bog standard black pots are my favourite as they just seem to blend in and don't detract from the plant or the surroundings. The bridge that you have alluded to will need to be very strong cos pot pots are so heavy :-)

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    1. Definitely, they really bother me as well. Black plastic ones are actually fab especially in the jungle area as they just blend away.

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  4. Perhaps you can find the composite materials where they mix up ceramic/clay with fiberglass. They look much nicer than the plastic and have significantly less weight.Can be pricey though, for the good ones. And I salute you-my A.geminiflora looks like crapola.

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    1. There are some nice composite ones out there but at the moment couldn't find suitable ones nearby.

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  5. My pots don't move much precisely because they are so heavy and moving them usually requires an assistant (or results in pulled muscles). If I had to move my pots under cover for winter and back put in spring, I'd probably have lots of plastic...

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    1. Fully understand you Kris if you're in the same scenario as ours. My back is starting to complain...

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  6. As a long time hater of plastic I applaud your decision. Also may I suggest a gadget known as a "pot lifter"... it makes carrying those heavy ones a two person job.

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  7. Hi Boys, an easy solution I use sometimes is to put a plastic pot inside a terracotta one. If sited properly you can't tell. Just a thought. D

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  8. Like David commented, I confess I have quite a few black nursery pots cached in ceramic containers. I hate looking at the plastic, so it stays hidden, but it makes it easy to change things up, because I change my mind a lot ;)

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    1. I've started doing that now too Denise :)

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  9. Lots of pots are lots of work, and your plants look so good, especially the geminiflora trimmed up so perfectly. So many lovely Agaves.

    I'm with Mr. Marsden and Denise--ugly plastic pot inside a pretty ceramic one. I use an inherited hand truck (sack barrow do you call them?) for moving the heavy ones.

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    1. Will be investing in a couple of new gadgets for pot lifting later in the year.

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  10. I have seen "pot lifters" online designed for making the movement of heavy pots much easier. I may end up with one myself. I know what you mean about heavy pots!

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  11. A hand truck would most definitely come in handy! Whew - you have an awful lot of lifting ahead of you!

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  12. Your potted plant display is awesome, plastic and all. I'm particularly smitten with the elephant (?) pots in the mix.

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  13. I feel your pain at moving large ceramic pots. The potlifter is a great tool as is a hand truck but what really works is having a staff of about ten or so to do that kind of work. (Not that I know from personal experience but I've heard.)

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