One of our clients bought this bowl from Longshadow Planters & Lawn Ornaments in Southern Illinois. We install many planters from Longshadow, and you can see them in many of my seasonal landscape pots. The artisans at Longshadow do fine work and they have a wide selection of pieces, although all of their pieces are made from limestone.
Limestone is a very porous material and that has its advantages for plants or being out in the elements. A disadvantage would be that if the bowl’s drain hole becomes plugged for any reason, it can stain, like this one.
We brought this one back to try to restore it to it’s former ivory color. I would have preferred to have soaked it, however, because of it’s size I couldn’t. If you are able to soak your piece, I’d highly recommend it.
I started by pouring water over it to get it wet. Then, I placed towels on it and soaked those with water also. I then poured straight bleach onto the towels and let it soak for a few hours, followed by rinsing with 2-3 gallons of water. I repeated this until It was clean. After it was clean enough for my liking, I rinsed it again with copious amounts of water. Let it dry.
After it thoroughly dries, you might notice that some of the stains came back! I was uber-pissed to see that some of the worse areas came back. I had to go back and repeat the process a few more times and it finally stayed clean. This is why I feel it would have been better for it to be in a tub where I could let the water soak into the bowl, rather than just rolling off of it.
In total, this pot took me 3 days to clean.
To be sure your pot stays clean, be sure that the drain hole is clear and don’t use dyed mulch or soil mixtures (like cocoa beans or peat moss) in it.
The only thing you need remember for a well-presented display is: Thriller, Filler & Spiller!
The Thriller is that one large plant that is generally in the center and taller than the rest.
Filler are those mid-range sized plants, often of ‘fatter or fuller’ stature.
Spiller is just that, plants that hang over the edge of the pot.
The only small difference you need to remember is that Fall plants do not grow like the Summer plants do. Basically, WYSIWYG (what you see, is what you get), you do not need to think about a plant growing into it’s place. Fill the pot to it’s greatest extent because this container will only be around for two months at best.
Most Fall plants are also not that tall. We use grasses, sticks and other material to get the height the design requires.
Here’s a list of our commonly ordered Fall plant material:
Miscanthus grasses – These add great height & texture
Pennisetum millet – Height & texture, fuzzy seedheads.
Heuchera – Coral bells – Great colored leaves available
Acorus & Carex – A nice bright yellow or white for a great spiller
Sedums – Great for spillers
Ajuga – Nice texture
Rudbeckia – Great reds, yellows and oranges available, also great for height
Kale – It comes in many varieties from cabbage/round style to tall parsley-looking
Osaka Cabbage – A staple in most of our designs. Fills those ‘holes’ really well
Swiss Chard – A wonderful filler that is very colorful also
Mums – Aren’t they the official fall flower?!? Great filler
Calibracoa – They look like small petunias, but can handle the cooler temps. Great spiller
Ivy – Sometimes we reuse the ivy from the summer containers as it still looks great and it’s much bigger than the newly ordered pots
Ornamental Jerusalem Cherry – Looks like a tomato plant, but use with caution, they don’t take the cool weather well & the ‘cherries’ fall off
Ornamental peppers – Great way to splash in some color to the filler section
Crotons – One of my favs! Great for a colorful thriller
Pansy – These cool season flowers look great and add great color to the pot
Bittersweet or honeysuckle – This one is not alive, but it is a great finishing touch to the design. Unfortunately, it is a very invasive species, but is grown for the floral industry. I wish someone would get a business together where they would ‘wild collect’ this and do a ‘two-fer’ for society, invasive removal & design enjoyment.