lavender topiary & customized planter

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Gardening, Tips and Tricks41 Comments

The lavender topiaries, the ones I anticipated with eagerness each spring in PA, the ones I would stockpile in the back of my van, so I could sell them at Lucketts, have finally made it to Minnesota!  Well, maybe they were here before now, but now is when I finally found them!

The only difference is that these are much larger than the ones I bought in PA.  It’s nice that they are so beautiful and big, but I didn’t have pretty containers for gallon-sized pots.  I don’t know about you, but finding planters that I like is a challenge for me.  They are all too modern or too bright or too plastic-y.  It’s rare for me to find exactly what I want.  So, I typically use antique finds, like olive baskets, buckets, crocks, grain measures, ironstone, etc.  I didn’t have something in my stash (that wasn’t already occupied) that would fit these, though.

But, I tripped across some hanging wall baskets at Target that I thought would work.  I ended up buying two of THESE.  The shape was right, I liked the finish, and the size was pretty darn close.  It might be a snug fit, but it looked like it was gallon-sized.  I didn’t like the single handle, though.  I inspected the handled and realized it could pretty easily be removed.  At $34/each, it was more than I really wanted to spend, but I figured I would use these baskets over and over again for years to hold various plants.

When I got them home, I tested them out and yep…some customizing would be in order, but they would work.

I started out by cutting the lip off of the plastic pot.  I do this quite often to get plastic pots to fit inside my preferred containers!

Second, I cut the handle off of the basket…

Since the handle wasn’t actually woven into the basket, but simply onto it, I was able to cut it off without unraveling the basket.

Lastly, I stuck a plate in the bottom of the basket to catch any water that might overflow out of the pot if I get overzealous with watering.

The pot required a bit of convincing to get inside the basket, but once it was in, it fit nicely.  I tell you what, though, that lavender pot isn’t coming out of the basket until it’s dead!

I love having lavender topiaries again and, since the house has such beautiful light, I hope I can keep them alive for a long time.

lavender topiary & customized planter

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41 Comments on “lavender topiary & customized planter”

  1. Lovely! And when the plant dies just save the basket with plastic pot in tact. Next year you can just pull a new one out of its pot and plop it in there!

    1. Very smart! I would’ve wrestled the plastic pot out, but that’s a good idea to just reuse it.

    1. I used to buy them from Walmart in PA, so it’s worth checking there, too. You could always “visit” Costco as a guest and see if they have them and then decided from there. Maybe a friend has a membership…

      1. I just read a tip about Costco: if you purchase a gift card to Costco, you don’t have to be a member to use it. Just present it at check out. I haven’t tried this yet, but if true, how fantastic!

  2. I fell in love with these topiaries when I’d go to the Spring Market at Lucketts and have yet to find any here in Iowa. You found these at Costco??

    1. Yes, they were at Costco in Rochester, MN. I used to buy them from Walmart when I was in PA. They were always one of the first things to sell out at Lucketts. They are so pretty!

  3. I love those lavender topiaries. I find it hard to locate larger planters that aren’t too modern or too pricey as well. I often use rattan, cane or wicker waste paper baskets & put the pot & tray inside as you’ve done. They work well. I recently scored three old waste paper baskets from a school. They’re the same as the ones I used when I was teaching, so they look nice and have a sentimental meaning too.

    1. Yes! I looked at the wastepaper baskets, but they were almost all plastic and even too small for a gallon plant!

  4. I bought one at Costco in Colorado. It sits on the porch in the morning sun and is just lovely. The basket is an excellent idea. Perfect for the rustic yet elegant lavender topiary.

  5. Thanks for the information, I’m heading to Costco now. By the way, my pot addiction is being helped by White Flower Farm. They aren’t inexpensive but there are some beautiful pieces worth collecting and using.

  6. I have a question for topiary lovers. (And I’m not being snarky, I really want to know.) Why wouldn’t you buy a full lavender plant? Topiaries always look top heavy to me, like someone got a little too crazy with the clippers. When I see one, I think, “Oh, that poor naked plant.” It doesn’t seem to have good balance as a decorative item. I thought they were just a fad (or a poor imitation of a real art form), but it seems that some people really do like them. Explain the attraction, please.

    1. Ha! I think it’s just a preference. I like both “regular” lavender plants and those that have been trained to topiaries. There’s something elegant about them to me. It just depends on what you like! 🙂

  7. A little tip. Your plants will generally do much better if you remove them from the plastic pot they are sold in and repot them. New (good) potting soil, break the roots apart gently if needed. I suppose you could repor in the same plastic pot bought in, I just never have. I repot mine directly in the pot I am going to use. But you would need a pot or liner in a basket.

    1. I’m also of the thought that you never keep your plants in the pot they’ve come home with. They’ve already been grown to their full potential in a pot that size and are usually becoming root bound by the time you get them home. They need fresh dirt, a little space to grow and a loosening of their roots to keep thriving, otherwise they struggle to get enough nutrients. The only time I don’t do this is when I plan on the display being around a short time (maybe fall mums that I won’t be over-wintering in my zone 5 for example) . Beautiful plants though!

      1. Good to know! I am still a novice with plants, although I’m trying to get better. I typically keep plants in the pot they came in until they look like they are growing and could use more space. Maybe I should move them right away, though…

      1. I always move them to just the next size pot. Gives the roots room to spread out but then the plant doesn’t look “dwarfed” by the container. 🙂

  8. Hi Marian!

    My email has dropped twice now from your newsletters! I just re-signed up, but you may want to have that checked! I love your newsletters and I’m sure you don’t want to lose subscribers!


    1. Hi Marian

      Like Deb, my email address also dropped off your list….gremlins somewhere?

      Being in Australia there’s always a little delay as your weekends don’t coincide with ours, but this morning (Friday) I realised that my routine was missing the little spark of joy I get from opening your email each morning with my cup of cocoa (it’s cold here at the moment – lighting the fire each day – and so nice to read about happenings in warmer climes..)

      I checked and the last blog post I received was from May 30th. I’ve re-signed up and hopefully it will work.

      We have lavender in the garden but I’ve never thought of bringing a pot inside. Like so many of your ideas, what a great suggestion.

  9. Deborah good question and not snarky at all! A couple of things off the top of my head from a practical standpoint-small spaces like apartment dwellers or those who don’t have big yards, some varieties can be grown indoors to enjoy inside your house, people that can’t manage the upkeep of lavender bushes outside (older folks or people that can’t take extreme temps (it’s hot here in south and they can get big with proper care!), or just because they like the look! I have bushes, lavender planted in pots outside, and topieries-can’t get enough!

    1. great reply to Kate – and I agree with both of these things. I really love the look and usefulness of a full plant better but in small nooks or indoors a topiary can be a great decorating addition!

  10. I bought one at Costco in Hoover, AL today. I want to use it in the house but the tag says they don’t do well indoors. Do you care for it differently indoors? Thanks.

    1. I can keep them alive inside for a few months, but yes, they eventually start to look sickly. I’m going to keep them in a sunny spot, fertilize them, and keep them watered, and how these do well! I view them like a living bouquet, so I’m okay with them not lasting for years.

  11. I bought a couple the other day – (meant to tell you about them)
    I’m slightly worried about keeping them alive in the house, so one is outside.
    I do love them though!

    1. I was able to keep them alive in my last house for a few months, but I didn’t have great light. I think they will do well in a sunny window or room.

  12. LOL! Even the plate you put in the bottom is pretty!

    Yikes! 34.00!!! Target has gotten pricey.

    1. I was surprised, too! I put them in my cart without looking, because I assumed they would be $17-20. I almost put them back when I saw the price, but decided I would use them for years.

      1. That’s the thing when you find the perfect thing! I have wasted so much money ‘cheaping out’. If I would have just bought the thing I loved, the expensive thing, in the first place it would have been cheaper than buying the 5 things that were almost but not quite perfect!!!

  13. Hi Marian, great advice on planting potted plants. Why did I ever remove it out of the pot it came in??? Well, not anymore!

    Pinning and Following 🙂

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