Bringing in the Warmth
Last week, in preparation for the month of June — a new month, and what to me feels like the beginning of summer warmth — I toured our nursery at City People’s looking for a few plants to take home and plant in a container by my kitchen. I had just completed pulling together a few flats of color for a client, and was enjoying the insights of plant wranglers Beth and Vivian on some new Coleus that had come in. I was basking in that very special glow that is City People’s nursery; full of so many good things and informative, thoughtful people. Being that this was my last day working as interim container designer at City People’s, I found that, more than ever, I wanted to take home these conversations — the excitement over different plants that everyone had.
I started my foraging by picking out a bronze Fennel that I’d had my eye on in the sale section at the back of the outdoor nursery. I worked my way forward towards the racks of annuals and veggie starts outside the store (when shopping it can sometimes be helpful to have a route in mind to structure your finds and the design!). When I arrived at the indoor nursery, I could hear Rolland jovially discussing the historical question of what constituted an heirloom with one of our plant suppliers.
This little tête-a-tête got me to thinking that although I’ve never experimented much with vegetables, they might be just the right thing for my kitchen container. With my Fennel in hand, Rolland and I got to talking about some of his favorites. Full of warmth and wisdom I was brought into the fold of Heirloom tomatoes — great flavor, many colors… I had to have one. I chose a bright red one that I thought would contrast nicely with the soft purple misted leaves of the Fennel.
What else would help to make this decorative pot pop?
I scooped up two new Coleus with a little smile for Vivian. Of course, I wasn’t sure about the edibility of the Coleus, and spent a minute with Glen hovering around the checkout counter Googling what we could find out about the plant: good for decoration but not for munching — note to self.
To top it all off, I needed a trellis — something I’d always wanted an excuse to splurge on! The little arrangement felt like a bit of a cottage garden, without all the work of staking innumerable perennials. Sometimes all you need is one small item to create a genuine feel for a certain time or place. For me the trellis was going to help make a container that belonged to my landlord (of very different disposition and taste) feel warmer. And all those little pieces really did the trick, because when I placed everything into their pot, I began to reminisce on where all these good things had come from…so sweet! Imagine how I’ll feel when I taste one of my sun ripened tomatoes!