Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Not So Secret Cache

Living with a long winter and loving flowers the way I do, it is absolutely essential that I have a large collection of house plants, especially flowering ones. I also occasionally spoil myself with cut flowers but I find that flowering plants tend to last longer and require slightly less maintenance to keep them looking good. This post is not about indoor gardening but about how to complete the look. Most flowering plants can be bought at the grocery store and are usually (relatively) locally grown in greenhouses but their plastic pots are dressed in a colourful foil or plastic sleeve which might be acceptable presentation in the store but does not work for me in my home. Just as a fashionable outfit requires the right shoes and purse (I would say hat too) to complete the look, potted plants need the perfect cache pot to show the plant to its best advantage. The cache pots available along side the plants at the grocery store are usually uninspired and expensive so this is where the beauty of thrifting comes into play.

For some reason there often seem to be a plethora of beautiful cache pots in the various thrift stores that I frequent. Many of them are vintage and beautifully made. I can also rely on quite a few Ikea examples which always provides a good selection of colours and simple designs. The hob nail milk glass makes a perfect match with the pink hyacinth and even improves the supermarket metal cache pot behind it. The pair of pots (in the photo above) holding the daffodils are just the perfect shade of light aqua, are marked West Germany and are lovely counter to the yellow of the mini daffs.

I know that many people force bulbs very successfully but it is not yet something that I have tackled. The crocuses were in the planter a few weeks ago and now they have died back ready for me to put them in the garden. The bulbs can be quite short-lived indoors in the winter as a house is just a little too warm for them. I hope that the spent bulbs will be able to naturalize our flower beds and eventually bloom again. I like the idea of stored potential in a bulb and that something that has given me mid-winter pleasure will have a second life in the garden.

Bulbs are not the only flowering plant I like in my indoor garden. African violets never fail to tempt me with their many varieties of leaf and options of blossom colour. I am particularly drawn to the sugared quality that the flowers have. I am not so much an aficionado as to belong to a club and propagate them but I do find the ignored orphan varietals that turn up on the supermarket shelves impossible to resist. When I have nursed them back to health they get to enjoy a prominent location in a beautiful cache pot like this mid-century Toperhof Keramik made in former East Germany.

As the days and nights are getting to be almost equal, the blooms on this Christmas Cactus are about to open. It is looking lovely in this sweet pot that was made in Japan for this Los Angeles based company for known for Head vases than cache pots or other ceramics. I can't believe that I turned down my Grandma's lovely examples when she was distributing some her things to her granddaughters because I was fascinated by them as a child. I was especially partial to the elaborate hats found on the glamourous Head vase ladies.

To be desirable to me, the pots do not need to be marked or even vintage but to be of an appealing colour or shape. This aqua one is unmarked but a lovely colour and form that compliments the white hyacinth. It also happens to be a perfect foil against the lovely vintage tablecloth with pussywillows and birds(!) and a fabulous squarish basket in the same shade of aqua. I have other cache pots that I have already blogged about and certainly will find more. Just like shoes, hats, and purses, one can never have too many!


gardener-b said...

great job of fitting the personality of the pot to the plant. All plants look so healthy...I even manage to kill "Lucky Bamboo". My collection is now mainly vases...I don't have to worry about keeping the flowers alive for more than one week.

Anonymous said...

wow Jenifir some lovely potted colour you have, I am hopeless with indoor plants. Has your DK Jane Bull book arrived yet, I'll be interested to see if it's OK in the cheaper printing. I bought mine from The Book Depository in the UK their books are cheap and have free worldwide postage so it wasn't much at all