City Planter Installation at LACE and more

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City Planter Installation at LACE

When we designed the City Planter, I always had this fantasy of seeing an installation with a long line of them. Their geometry just screams to be repeated. But it’s not often you find a customer who has the space to do something like that or wants to make the investment. Then I got a call from my friend, Sarah Russin, the Executive Director of the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions space (LACE) asking if we’d like to do something in the large entry for their upcoming Benefit Art Auction. Are you kidding…an installation in a gallery?

LACE-City_Planter 132015-05-14

They wanted something simple and graphic. The idea to color block this wall orange/red with our White City Planters in a row was like a dream come true for me and everyone at LACE was super happy too…especially when I hooked them up with the talented Maurice Connolly who makes the Wine Barrel Stave Lights we love to get to sell.

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Those high, high ceilings were just screaming for one of Maurice’s hand welded creations.

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And the shadows it creates…well those are a work of art worthy of any gallery.

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I planted each of the City Planters with air plants and bleached Manzanita branches plus a few other bits that brought everything together.

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Even little bits of glass and moss.

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The night of the preview, it all came together nicely. I wish I could have shot this much later in the evening, but even with this much natural light still in the room, the Stave Light is still casting amazing shadows.

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And my love of repetition finally got its outlet.

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And even though it was only the preview, the place was packed. I love how it looks like the bartender is polishing Maurice’s light in the background.

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Everyone enjoyed seeing the art and some of the artist’s that had donated to the event.

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This one held a sentiment I also sometimes feel. Can you relate?

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So if you’re looking for some fantastic art and want to help support the arts, the benefit is this Wednesday May 20th at the LACE Gallery at 6522 Hollywood Blvd., right in the middle of Hollywood. You’ll get to see our installation too (and it’s for sale after).

Founded in 1978, LACE is a non-profit organization that provides a venue that advocates and exhibits innovations in art-making and public engagement. LACE has nurtured not only several generations of young artists, but also newly emerging art forms such as performance art, video art, digital art, and installation-based work.



To Lawn or Not to Lawn

You remember the good old days of the lawn, right? Running around barefoot with your friends, pretending the dogs were sharks. I remember those days quite well because this is my lawn right now… and I’m feeling horribly guilty for having it.




It’s not a very big lawn. But with the recent declaration that all Californians have to cut back on water usage at least 25%, I’m a little concerned. My other plants are already drought tolerant and I only water the lawn three times a week compared to some people who water every day. It does look pretty lush though, right? Do you think it would be okay with only watering twice a week? Do I want brown grass? Maybe I should apply for a rebate and just rip it out (my husband’s vote). But if I don’t have a lawn, what would I have?




We already replaced the small patch of lawn in the back with artificial grass two years ago.




I have to say, it looks pretty darn good. But here’s my issue with artificial grass…it’s expensive, you have to keep cleaning it or it starts to smell not-so-nice (especially when you have three dogs), and I really wonder what’s going to happen to all that artificial grass once it’s past it’s prime. Is that going to be what’s filling up our landfills? Clearly I chose to ignore the question and just did it because I couldn’t bear not having at least a little green in my backyard and battling three dogs is futile. But the front is different. If you weren’t going to have a lawn, what would you have? I decided to spend a morning in the neighborhood that surrounds our store in Atwater Village and see what some other people had done.


Rip-out-your-lawn3 (1)


This is a house I’ve always admired. It’s just agaves, aloes, grasses and fescue, but when the coral aloe is blooming, it’s amazing  and I know I would be happy looking at it all the time.




Plus I bet they only have to water this once or maybe twice a week.


Rip-out-your-lawn1 (1)


Here’s another house. More succulents (which is always a good thing) and I like how they’ve ringed the planting bed with river rock and then given it a gravel path so you had someplace to go around it. And the berm adds interest in the middle.


Rip-out-your-lawn2 (1)


And this was a nice touch. The rocks are clean and obviously don’t require water but it doesn’t feel completely like a moon landscape.




This house definitely has a more “southwest” feeling to it. I can’t imagine it at my house, but I think it goes with this Spanish house just fine.




I know the Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima) can be invasive (golden tufts cropping up throughout the landscape) but you could use a different type of grass like the pennisetum on the right. And clearly it’s using very little water as the drip heads look like they’ve been pulled up a while ago. The Crassula in the window boxes are just stunning too. What amazing color.




Here was a no-lawn front yard that was completely different. Much more like an English cottage garden, though a lot of the plants are drought tolerant.




And this dwarf citrus is adorable. I like this garden a lot…but maybe just a tad too formal for me.




And this one was a tad too informal for me. I like to think of myself as a pretty wild girl, but not this wild. It’s like plant anarchy.




This is the house next door which was on the Theodore Payne Native Garden Tour but it has the same problem for me…too overgrown and wild. That’s always been my fear of native gardens…that they end up looking like this, though I absolutely get that for some people, this is exactly what they want. Something for everyone, I say.




This garden is also a bit wild, but I like the pruned hedges with the rest of it…it gives it a certain tension that doesn’t make it feel out of control (hmm, I’m sensing I may have some control issues here).




It’s cute. But still not sure if this is me.




This house was a very plain stucco house, but the meadow-like garden in front is really lovely. And look, it seems to have a berm on each side. Hmm, berms…




I like how this house showed a progression from light planting to heavy. It has a very Mediterranean feeling.




It looks natural and I think the openness makes it look much larger than it is.




This is probably one of the most photographed homes in Atwater.




The mature cactus garden was created by the owner who is a landscape designer.




The specimen plants are really quite something. It kind of has the magical feeling of a baby Lotusland in Santa Barbara (if you’ve never been, you should go!)




I used to live next door to this house. Once there was a Jacaranda tree in front that allowed nothing to thrive underneath. Obviously that’s changed now, but I don’t know if an endless sea of lantana is the way to go either…but I’m sure it’s easy to care for.




This house really made me happy. The yellow door with the yellow blooming Palo Verde tree were just incredible.




And again I see that the plants have been grouped into areas with the gravel laid around them to give space, definition and a place to walk. I like this garden a lot. Should I rip out my brick pathways too?




This garden with the lovely cobalt blue gate I could relate to because I have a fence in the front as well. I like the acacia and when you peered over the fence, it looked like the South of France with agaves, salvias and succulents.




Crazily enough, I think I liked this house the best. Again, I really seem to be attracted to the berms…and the boulders. They really add interest and a sense of adventure.




And I love the meandering path to the door…but do I love decomposed granite? Not especially.

If you’ve been having my same lawn guilt dilemma, first check to see if your water district is offering rebates. In Los Angeles the bewaterwise program will give you ideas on how to conserve and SoCal WaterSmart offers $3.75 a square foot to do it (but make sure you’ve looked into all the requirements here…funding is quickly disappearing and there are very set rules and guidelines to qualify.) It’s definitely an incentive to pull out your lawn though and maybe it will just help us all get through this drought in California.

I am gonna miss hunting for sharks in the grass though…


Theodore Payne Native Garden Tour 2015

Potted is very excited to be one of the few locations selling tickets for the 2015 Annual Native Garden Tour organized by the Theodore Payne Foundation. And if you purchase the tickets through us or directly from the Theodore Payne store in person, you will also not incur any additional handling fees.

Born in England, Theodore Payne immigrated to the US just before the turn of the last century. A self described “seed man,” he found his way to the fertile valleys of Southern California where he began his life-long love affair with California native plants.


Old nursery on Los Feliz

Old nursery on Los Feliz Blvd. in Atwater

In fact, Theodore Payne and his wife, Alice, lived right here in Atwater Village and bought 10 acres next to the Franciscan Pottery factory on Los Feliz Blvd…the same street Potted is located on now. Alas, in 1941, Mr. Payne lost his property to the City of Los Angeles and was forced to rent from the Gladding McBean Company, who owned Franciscan. In 1960 the Theodore Payne Foundation was established to:

To promote, preserve and restore California landscapes, and habitats
To propagate and make available California native plants and wildflowers
To educate and acquire knowledge about California flora and natural history

But in 1963 they were evicted from the Los Feliz nursery and had to move. Today the foundation thrives in their Sun Valley location where they continue to propagate and showcase the beautiful native plants that Theodore Payne so loved.


Native Garden

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

To that end, each year the Foundation has an extensive garden tour to honor these beautiful plants and show Angelenos how they too can have a gorgeous garden using mainly native plants.


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Here are some of the homes that will be featured on this year’s tour to wet your appetite for more (all photos curtesy of Theodore Payne Foundation).


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

The two day, self-guided tour takes you to 47 gardens over the March 20th and 21st weekend.


Native Garden on 2015 tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

And while it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get to that many gardens in the two days allotted…


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

You will definitely want to try to see as many as you can.


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Here is one of my all-time favorite native plants, the California Flannel Bush (Fremontodendron californicum).


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

And I love these old springs used as garden art in this lovely garden.


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

And who says California Natives don’t have flowers?


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour


Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Native Garden on 2015 Tour

Theodore Payne 2015 Annual Garden Tour

March 20-21st

Purchase by 2/28/15 for early bird discount ($25/member, $30/non)

Otherwise $30/member and $35/non. We have plenty of tickets at Potted for no additional surcharge or you can order them online from Theodore Payne Here for a nominal fee.



Making Macrame & Terrariums with Lux/Eros & Bollare Friends

Lux/Eros, the brainchild of artist and designer Desanka Fasiska, is a fully immersive experience in California Living, with a focus on creating beautiful spaces. Last month we were honored to be invited to the Lux/Lodge to help create an “experience” for some pretty fantastic fashion and design tastemakers through a co-sponsorship with the style firm, Bollare.


Lux Lodge

Lux Lodge

Participants of the afternoon event made a Macrame Hanger taught by Jo Abellera of Kkibo and a Sand Terrarium taught by yours truly!


All the goodies to make Macrame Hangers

All the goodies to make Macrame Hangers

We were excited to make the connection with Jo. Besides being a fellow Eastsider (she even lives in Atwater Village!), it turns out she’s the one who makes this amazing knit vest I’ve coveted ever since a customer wore it into the store. And she teaches people how to make Macrame Hangers. Plus she’s super nice. It was love at first meeting.


Terrarium Class Outside

Terrarium Class Outside the Lux Lodge

While Jo was inside teaching macrame, I was outside teaching people how to make terrariums. It was a gorgeous January day in Los Angeles and we were all feeling guilty that everyone else in the country was freezing (not really).


Sand Terrarium by Potted

Sand Terrarium by Potted

Normally we make our Sand Terrariums as dioramas like the one I brought to show everyone above, but since these hangers were meant to hang higher, I modified our normal Sand Terrarium Technique to make it more of a Sand Planter.  The difference is the planter has more plants and dirt and fills the pot up.


Doughnuts by Donut Snob

Doughnuts by Donut Snob

Of course there were also yummy treats. I didn’t know about Donut Snob before. Located in Echo Park (go Eastside!), they deliver the most amazing doughnuts I’ve ever had. You may regret knowing about this if you didn’t already.


Using succulents

Using succulents

People dove right in and started getting their hands dirty on the succulents we brought.  I loved seeing all those beautifully manicured hands with dirt under their nails.


Doing Macrame

Doing Macrame

Meanwhile Jo had part of the group getting started on their hangers. Macrame is not a quick process so people took breaks to come out and make their planters.


Alle Fister, CEO of Bollare

Alle Fister, CEO of Bollare

But everyone had fun. That is Jo on the right of Alle Fister who looks like she was having a blast as she began her hanger.


Desanka Making Her Terrarium

Desanka Making Her Terrarium


Tanya Brown of Bollare

Tanya Brown of Bollare


Natalie James,

Natalie James,


Jeanette Getrost, fashion illustrator

Jeanette Getrost, fashion illustrator


Kelsey Harper of Flower Girl Los Angeles

Kelsey Harper of Flower Girl Los Angeles


Lux-Euros-Bollare-Event 8

And of course everyone was Instagramming like crazy. I love this brave new world.


Annette and Sydney of Potted

Annette and Sydney of Potted


In fact the day was so successful and we had so much fun that we decided we had to do it again. So, on Saturday March 14, 2015 we have invited Jo to Potted to teach her macrame technique to our wonderful customers.


Since it does take so long to make the hangers, we are not doing the terrarium part but we are including a 20% off coupon with your class so that you can come in either earlier that day or the next day and get whatever you want to make your planter…doesn’t have to be a terrarium. Could be a gorgeous planter. Or you could buy furniture. The 20% off applies to anything you want for the 14th & 15th…consider it your own private sale.


Macrame Hanger Class at Potted – March 14, 2015 – Sign up HERE


Sand Terrarium Class at Potted (in case you just want to try that) – February 28, 2015 – Sign up HERE


Sand Terrarium Instructions (in case you aren’t local and want to give it a try) – Find them HERE


We also sell a Sand Terrarium Kit – Find that HERE



Sunset’s “Small Space, Big Dreams” Includes Acapulco and Midge

In the October 2014 issue of Sunset Magazine, they showed their 5 different “Small Space, Big Dreams” gardens.  We were lucky enough to contribute a few of our Potted staples, the Acapulco Chair and the Midge Table, for the Desert Modern garden designed by Sunset editors, Johanna Silver and Lauren Hoang.  Here are the photos in case you missed the issue.

All photo credits Thomas J. Story.

Acapulco Chairs & Blue Midge Table

Acapulco Chairs & Blue Midge Table

The Palm Springs influenced garden was done to minimize water use.

Wider shot of garden.

Wider shot of garden.

Overhead view.

Overhead view.

The other side of the blue wall hosts a Heath Ceramic outdoor shower.


The hanging chair in the background is from Anthropologie.

The Midge Table.

The Midge Table.

But of course we’re partial to our Midge.  Love the splash of blue in all that white…like a pool of water.


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