It is big, 26 inches across, and it is light, made from fiberglass and sand blended together. I can lift it, empty or filled with potting soil.
Even though it is fiberglass, it has a rough texture and mossy patina that gives it an aged look of old concrete. Nicer than hypertufa, but nowhere near as cheap.
It did not come with drainage holes so I had to spend an afternoon with Jim's drill and the biggest bit in the case, drilling holes in the bottom. Why would an expensive plant container not have drainage holes?
Originally I put a rosemary plant in the bowl, so that I could bring it into the closed porch for winter, protecting it from cold and wind outside.
The rosemary plant is Rosmarinus officinalis 'Madeline Hill', which is one of the hardiest, surviving temperatures down to 0 degrees F. (-18 C.), if you can imagine, but it is still a Mediterranean sub shrub that doesn't like winter wind.
I loved the look of the rosemary in the bowl, sharing the edges of the container with an ornamental oregano Origanum "Kent Beauty'. Loved it. But you know where this is going . . . . the rosemary got too big, and the oregano did too.
They outgrew the container, and I could barely lift the bowl to bring it in each winter, it was so heavy. It was time to plant Madeline Hill outside in the garden, let her hunker down in the cold of winter and see how she would do.
The rosemary looked good after transplant this summer. She can billow and bulk up out there, as rosemary should.
|Madeline Hill transplanted well|
It is January now, and we finally have a little snow cover after a month of wind and sun. Temperatures this month hit 6 degrees F. one night (-14 C.). She still looks good, but the real test will be how this plant actually looks in March.
|Madeline soldiering on in the dead of winter|
The Kent Beauty oregano has also been planted out in the garden, but it's a zone 6 plant, quite tender, so I don't expect to see it next spring, but you never know, right?
Now . . . what to plant in the bowl? Annuals, I think. Not large permanent things like a big shrub this time.
Violas or pansies would be lovely, and make a big statement, especially against the neutral cement color of the pot. A whole bowlful of these beauties, filling the entire big container, would make me happy. But kind of predictable. I've done pansy containers before.
I might plant a trio of lettuces instead, using green and red leaf varieties, to get foliage contrast and salad fixings to boot.
Lettuce is often used as bedding plants, massed for great color effect. I could do a mini mass in this container and keep it on the deck outside the kitchen door. (Do you think it would be safe from rabbits so close to the house, in a container, elevated on a deck?)
Whiteflower Farm has a trio of lettuces that are ornamental and edible and would look nice massed together in the bowl, but any combination of several lettuces would work.
I don't like fussy container constructions with spillers, fillers and thrillers. My containers are usually just one plant or two, and I like to keep things simple.
And what could be simpler than a big bowl of lettuce on the deck? Or more convenient for dinner?