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Saturday Temple

June 13, 2010

Temple center

After a hard work week, I find working on a garden project very calming. And, since last week was one of those toughies, I decided to take on what I call The Pagan Temple as my Saturday project. I had plants that needed to find homes, pots that needed filling and concrete bits that needed incorporating, so in spite of being tired and work-stressed still, I took a deep breath and got started. My main task was to switch-out the central planter — the notorious acrobatic putti pot I’d bought on craigslist — and make it physically taller by raising it somehow, and by planting something more vertical in it. I accomplished that goal using a curvy concrete fountain fragment to give the pot more height. I followed that with a concrete paver, then the pot. I then removed the agave that had been in the pot and replaced it with tall twin cacti, and colorful succulents, one trailing. Great! Now the temple’s focal point was more pronounced and colorful, truly hard-to-miss … after a satisfied sigh it was time to address the large cast iron urns that flank the central temple area.

Lizard alert!

Both urns, the rusted one on the left and its white twin on the right, were planted with the agave bovicornutas I’d bought at the Green Faire last month. I liked their scale, and felt they would have plenty of room to roam in the urn’s large bowl-shaped openings, plus …

Temple torchieres

… they have the effect of looking like green flames. Now the urns looked like pagan temple-appropriate torches — perfect! I was on a roll …

Concrete riser

More urns, much smaller ones, flank the center pot, raised on slanted concrete piles. Encircled by salvaged concrete rings bought at a garage sale for $5 apiece, the arrangement is a mix of industrial and classic styles. Inside these small urns, tiny textural euphorbias, also purchased at the Green Faire, were planted, their texture and texture of the urns complementing each other. The use of both classic and industrial elements is a theme of the Temple. Industrial elements include cinder blocks, salvaged steel factory windows, red and black  commercial planters (ceramic and steel, respectively), a factory gate, and an 8-foot long steel table. On the classical side are the putti-pot, the cast iron urns, the smaller urns, and concrete trough planters and pots, both featuring Roman and Greek motifs. Re-working the Temple was a success on a few levels: it looks better, all the unfinished planting chores are done, and, after three-hours of sweaty labor, I finally decompressed from last week’s stress … hallelujah!

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2010 9:07 pm

    Cool project. I’m drooling over your plant selections. I always find gardening projects such great therapy for those stressful weeks.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 13, 2010 9:10 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Megan … I love hearing from gardeners in places very different from mine!

  2. June 15, 2010 5:52 pm

    Nothing like moving pots, stone and concrete around, studying pure spatial relationships, to release a week’s worth of tension. Love the pagan temple. The bovicornuta is one of my favorite agaves, great choice. And the checkerboard metal backdrop — I don’t remember the story on that!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 15, 2010 7:38 pm

      Thanks, Denise … the checkerboard background is really two banks of metal industrial windows and the effect is provided by the absence of panes in spots. I got them and the gate behind the central area at a great estate sale several months ago.

  3. June 23, 2010 12:04 pm

    i love your style, so unique, modern, original and personal. I love your garden, your sketches, your design and your blog. It’s a great place, here !

    • reubix1 permalink*
      June 23, 2010 3:27 pm

      Thanks, Delphine… I feel the same way about your site, and I’m very happy you’ve including me on it!

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