The Modernica Case Study Ceramic Bowl with Plinth is an object of beauty in its own right – its simple clean lines would look perfect just as it is in minimalist surroundings. Being more maximalist than minimalist by inclination, I decided to plant it up with a selection of delicate spring flowers that contrast beautifully with the simplicity of the bowl.
Once the plants have passed their prime I will transplant them onto a wooded bank in my garden and find something equally lovely to take their place. My bowl will live outdoors in dappled shade in the spring and summer months, coming indoors for special occasions.
I will replant it regularly as the flowers fade, ringing the changes and mood of the planting as the mood and season takes me. It will look just as striking with a single type of plant – ferns for a shady spot, or lavender in the sun. With the arrival of the colder months, I will bring it indoors and plant it with a succession of bulbs, starting with hippeastrum (amaryllis) for Christmas. The wooden plinth will be kept for indoor use so that I can stand the bowl on polished surfaces without causing any damage.
Planting the Bowl
- Before you begin, give your chosen plants a thorough watering and allow excess water to drain away.
- When there are no drainage holes in a bowl, it is advisable to add a layer of grit or gravel to the pot to stop the roots getting waterlogged. I have also added some biochar to stabilize the nutrients and keep water sweet if it does collect in the bottom of the bowl.
- Half fill the bowl with a potting compost that is specially formulated for container planting.
- For a mixed planting add the tallest plant first – in this case it is a white bleeding heart positioned next to the rim of the bowl. Avoid placing the tallest plant centrally; it makes it more difficult to create a naturalistic arrangement.
- Arrange the other plants in front of the key plant – here they are snakeshead fritillaries, wood anemones, scilla, dwarf narcissus, and cowslips. Once you are happy with the composition, gently feed compost round the rootballs and then top with grit, gravel, or moss.
Stephanie Donaldson lives in the UK and is contributing gardens editor of Country Living Magazine as well as author of a number of books on Window Boxes, Hanging Baskets, and Container Gardening. You can read a little more about Stephanie on her popular gardening blog – The Enduring Gardener.