Modern Garden Part 2: Container Herbs

The second installment of our Modern Garden series is perfect for your balcony or rooftop garden. This week we planted a container herb garden – a wonderful way to cultivate fresh herbs in a small space.

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We chose popular, easy-to-find herbal plants that can adapt well to containers and indoor spaces. A few points to remember when planting your own ceramic herb garden:

  1. Drainage is vital. Your containers must have holes in the bottom to facilitate adequate drainage. Modernica’s ceramic planters are not sold standard with drainage holes, but the holes can be drilled upon request at purchase, or if you prefer to DIY, you can drill them yourself with a ceramic drill bit.
  2. Elevation is ideal. As you can see in the photo above, we chose planters with elevated stands to further ensure proper drainage and air flow.
  3. Sun is essential. Herb gardens are best suited for balcony and roof gardens since they need lots of sunlight to thrive.

If you like the look of our container herb garden, you can create your own with our wide selection of Case Study Ceramics, and a few of the plants below:

Chocolate Mint

Mint

Chocolate mint leaves have a delightful minty chocolate flavor, similar to the classic Girl Scout cookie. They are attractive, fragrant, and easy to grow, but you’ll want to keep them trimmed back if they are planted alongside other herbs. Mint is notorious for spreading rapidly and overcoming the plants around it.

Greek Oregano

Oregano

Greek oregano has a delicious pungent flavor, claimed to be better and sharper than traditional oregano. It is a perennial warm-season herb, hardy to frost and light freezes.

Lemon Balm

Lemon

While lemon balm’s clean, lemony flavor can be used in drinks and desserts much like its mint cousins, it is widely known for its calming, relaxing effects. The hardy little plant is not picky about soil, but wants lots of sun and water.

Garden Sage

Sage

Sage is a wonderfully-versatile herb that can add flavor to vegetables, meats, soups, or stuffings. The plant wants sandy or loamy soils in full sun, but can tough through many different weather conditions.

Catnip

Catnip

Every kitty’s favorite herb is easy to grow and will tolerate most soil conditions. You’ll want to keep it trimmed back, since catnip loves to take over any space you put it in. The real trick is how to keep your felines from nibbling it to death.

Onion Chives

Chives

Chives come with a double benefit of both flavor and beauty. The tasty plant acts as a great seasoning, and occasionally sprouts beautiful purple flowers that are also edible. This is one of the few herbs that can sustain colder temperatures from time to time.

Sweet Basil

Lemon Balm

Basil serves as a delicious addition to vegetable and pasta dishes, and serves several purposes in natural medicine. It is easy to grow, but is sensitive to cold temperatures so bring it inside when the weather drops below 70º F.

Terragon

Terragon

This herb will add distinction to your meat and seafood dishes, and is also quite easy to grow. Terragon is hardy and can withstand a range of temperatures. This particular plant prefers a little less sun than its herbal neighbors, and enjoys dappled shade throughout the day.

March 27th, 2015|0 Comments

Modern Garden Week 1: California Natives

Take out those spades and shovels; spring is only 15 days away and it’s time to get your garden on! We’re celebrating spring with our own series of modern plantings, featuring different plants each week in Modernica’s Case Study Ceramics.

This week, we’ve looked in our own proverbial backyard to bring you four lovely plantings – all native to our local California climate.

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Monterey Cypress (Hesperocyparis Macrocarpa)

Monterey cypress is a species native to the Central Coast of California. Some say this particular species is over 2,000 years old. You can find seedlings in nurseries throughout central and southern California.

Cypress

We chose a Case Study Ceramic Cylinder for the cypress because it’s deep enough to support the little tree’s future root growth. Here’s a how to:

For this tree, it is important to loosen up the roots and tease out any coiled roots. Then, you want the top of the root ball to sit approximately 2 inches above the surrounding soil. Once it is in place and at the proper depth, fill the hole with soil to within about four inches from the top and water gently. Then, continue filling the container with soil, firming the soil as you go. Cover the area around the base of the tree with 2 to 3 inches of mulch. This particular tree needs good drainage, lots of sun, and regular watering to thrive.

Wendy Bells (Heuchera ‘Wendy’)

This California native sports delicate pink flowers in the spring and summer that are attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds.

Bells

We chose a large Case Study Ceramic Bowl for our Wendy Bells to set off their long stalks and flowers. Like most flowers, planting is relatively simple. Fill the pot about 2/3 full with potting mix and gently place the roots into the center of the container. Then, gently pat in the the remaining soil until no roots show through and add water to make the soil moist. Wendy Bells need to sit in a partly shady spot and only require water about every 2 weeks.

Figueroa Purple Sage (Salvia Leucophylla Figueroa)

This aromatic sage is native to the southern coastal mountain ranges of California and blooms in spring and summer with lovely bunches of purple flowers.

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Given space and sunlight, the plant can grown into a nice low-lying shrub, so we chose a relatively-deep Ceramic Bowl to give it plenty of room to grow. The little shrub wants clay, loam or sandy soil with excellent drainage and lots of direct sunlight. It requires water once a week for the first 6 weeks, after which it should only be watered when the soil becomes completely dry.

Sea Lettuce (Dudleya Caespitosa)

Growing along the SoCal coastline, this pretty little succulent is a great option for rock gardens and container gardens. Every once in awhile it sprouts a tall clump of rosettes that attract hummingbirds and butterflies.

Sea Lettuce

Sea lettuce likes sandy, well-draining soil, but doesn’t need a lot of root space, which is why we placed it in our smallest Table-top Bowl. Like most drought-resistant succulents, it only needs to be watered occasionally.

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All of the above plants were acquired at the Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery, a non-profit company that is dedicated to the understanding, preservation and use of California native flora. Please click here to learn more about their organization and inventory.

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March 6th, 2015|0 Comments

New Editions: Take a Gander at Modernica’s Latest and Greatest Product Releases

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The Equinox Floor Lamp

Featuring three long steel legs to form a base and a George Nelson Saucer Lamp on top, the Equinox is simplicity defined. This striking piece is totally unique and will make a statement, no matter where you decide to place it.

As with all George Nelson Bubble Lamps®, the product is constructed for durability. The stand is made out of brushed, nickel-plated steel and each lamp is constructed using the same vinyl-coating process that was invented by George Nelson in 1947.

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The Case Study Ceramic Funnel

Our newest Case Study Ceramic planter is tall and sleek – a wonderful option for deep-rooted plants and small trees. The shape was inspired by archetypal mid-century planters like those featured in Julius Shulman’s photos of the Stahl House. Get your Case Study Ceramic Funnel today at Modernica.net; it is also available with a walnut stand.

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Storage Units with Fiberglass Panels

You may be familiar with Modernica’s line of mix-and-match Case Study Storage Units, which can be customized almost endlessly to attain the desired shapes, colors, and textures. Now, we’ve improved the selection with a range of fiberglass panels, which you can pick and choose for even more color options.

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Mini Wire Tables with Fiberglass Tops

The ever-versatile Mini Wire Table is also available with fiberglass table-tops, now offering over 15 colors! If you can’t decide which color you love best, drop by the Los Angeles showroom to see the rainbow of little tables in person.

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February 24th, 2015|0 Comments

Dealer Spotlight: The Sill in New York

We’re besotted with this quirky little potting shop in New York City. Known for a gigantic range of planters and a knack for ‘potting design,’ The Sill has become something of a sensation among New York’s window and balcony gardeners. One of their specialties are teensy-tiny potted succulents that can fit onto even the smallest of window sills. See examples of their work below, and you can find them on Instagram as well.

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January 21st, 2015|0 Comments

Modernica’s First Day of Gifting: The Tabletop Ceramic Bowl

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Yes, readers, it’s that time again. We’re kicking off our Twelve Days of Gifting this year with the new Tabletop Ceramic Bowl. This smallest addition to our Case Study Ceramics collection fits in just about anywhere – perfect for a small shelf or a side table. This makes it a lovely and versatile gift with an attractive price point – only $39! Order today and stay tuned for eleven more days of Modernica gift ideas!

December 2nd, 2014|0 Comments