New Garden Installation for Garden Pots Marin

I thought I would post some shots from the work I've been doing at Garden Pots Marin--the new San Rafael-based venture of David and Hiromi Faibisch of Bamboo Accents.  They've just opened a pottery emporium--lots of Vietnamese glazed pots at killer prices, with much more inventory to come (3040 Kerner Blvd).  We wanted to showcase some of their collection in front of the space, especially as it's a little off of the beaten path and were hoping for something to stand out and herald "Pottery!" in front of their budding business.  It's a new, pretty industrial looking building, with a fair number of contraints to the site, but it's been fun to work on.  I couldn't use obviously industrial containers, as we wanted to use the Vietnamese line, so I chose black--to stand out and to be strong foils against the stark look of the gravel.  Still waiting to fill in some open gaps with Stipa arundinacea and a few more specific succulents, but they should be in by the beginning of next week.  Also...still waiting for things to GROW :)

Some things about the site:  It's really windy!  Near the Richmond Bridge spanning the water between the North and East bays and the wind doesn't stop.  It gets sunny and hot by late morning in the summer, and the spot used to be marshland, so we're contending with clay that is rock hard in this summer-dry climate.   We did some heavy, heavy amending and mulched with a warm gray pea gravel.  This gravel will end up looking darker and richer (it has all sorts of lovely lavenders and warm browns amidst the gray), but it requires several times rinsing at first--it's only been done twice.  I love gravel as a mulch.  It showcases the plants, it allows water to permeate and reach the soil--not forming a crust in drought conditions like some mulches, and reapplication is required far less frequently.  The trick is to be really liberal in application.  This method really keeps weeds down, keeps moisture in, and keeps it cooler beneath the top layer.    I said something about "rinsing gravel" to a friend and he said, "That sounds like hillbilly nonsense to me..."  To which I replied, "We gig frogs, we make ya squeal like a pig, we rinse gravel...all in a days work."  Here are some shots from a cloudy morning:

All about the pottery to showcase their storefront.  Here is some stipa tenuissima framing a view of some of the planters.  
What's hard to see from the photos is just how many ornamental grasses there are.  There are 8 varieties, but the two dominant ones are Miscanthus s. 'Gracillimus' and Stipa arundinacea.  The Miscanthus is planted on the back perimeter and the stipa around the base and filling in so that as the grasses grow in, they should be rising from a sea of grasses, but they shouldn't block the containers themselves.

Leucadendron & Dudleya

Libertia peregrinans framing agaves and euphorbia

Orostachys iwarenge 'Dunce Cap'

Melinus nerviglumus (Ruby Grass) with Astelia, Dudleya, and Callistemon

Anigozanthos and Lonicera 'Lemon Beauty'

Agropyron magellicum (Blue wheat grass) with my feet!  Partly to show how pretty the red hues of the new succulents are going to look with the gravel and the grass.
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I love these resin pots...they are so lightweight and so versatile.


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