Garden Photo of the Day

Looking to unlikely materials

Click to enlarge.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

When I pulled into the parking lot at Atlock Farm a few weeks ago, this was the first thing to catch my eye. After admiring the intriguing mix of plants and the massive, drool-worthy metal container, I noticed a peculiar thing. Is that a tire at the base of that pot? It is! How cool!

Click to enlarge.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

According to Ray Rogers, who “plays” at Atlock (did I mention, the other day, how awesome this nursery is? Cats….), Ken Selody, the owner of Atlock Farm, bought the urn from an Atlock customer who claimed it was part of the duPonts’ original dynamite plant in Delaware. It was once lent to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, who used it in a competitive display at the Long House Reserve in East Hampton, where it was judged by Martha Stewart…and won.  The tire is from an old (and big!) reel mower used on the sod farm that Atlock was carved from. Ken thought it had a nice pattern, and since he needed something to stabilize the round-bottomed cauldron, the two were married. The bottom half of the cauldron is filled with stones, then landscape fabric, then potting mix with lots of composted chicken manure.

Click to enlarge.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Here are the plants in the design:

Papaya (Carica papaya, USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11)
Autumn sage (Salvia greggii cv., Zones 7-9)
Lanatanas (Lantana camara cvs., Zone 11)
‘Fireworks’ fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Fireworks’, Zones 9-10)

Want tips on how to design your own stunning containers? Click here.


Welcome to the Fine Gardening GARDEN PHOTO OF THE DAY blog! Every weekday we post a new photo of a great garden, a spectacular plant, a stunning plant combination, or any number of other subjects. Think of it as your morning jolt of green.

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View Comments


  1. Deanneart 08/04/2011

    Great container and planting!

  2. ncgardener 08/04/2011

    I love the ingenuity of the items. This is wonderful, especially the usage of the plants to draw the eyes up and add a sense of flair.

  3. tractor1 08/04/2011

    Lovely planter but that ugli cement block has to go, detracts from the naturalness.. has to be a flat natural stone somewhere...

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