Sempervivum forum: Mark's Semp Planter Project 2018

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Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Feb 14, 2018 6:57 PM CST
Hello all,

I'm kicking around planting ideas as I'm rebuilding my semp collection in my retirement.

The intent of this thread is to chronicle one specific planter project for semps that I've started work on. After visiting an antiquing collaborative in the old industrial city of Worcester (natively pronounced as Worsta, or Wusta), about 1 hour drive from Boston, I had an idea of using old wooden crates as a theme aesthetic.

On my latest visit I found this unique machine tool crate, over 3 feet long, very heavy duty, and with a hinged lid which I imagine taken off to create side-by-side planter configuration.

Today was above freezing, although ground still frozen except for top 1/2" layer of mushy mud, I thought I'd get outside and start cleaning my future planter. On the outside it's filthy, caked in an oily dirt layer, the inside is relatively clean. I did a test on the left side of the lid, the oily dirt easily sands off, so I will power sand the entire outside of the crate.
Thumb of 2018-02-15/AntMan01/30be2b

Side view, heavy duty handle each side will allow me to move my planter around (as a 2-person job).
Thumb of 2018-02-15/AntMan01/b49689

Side view with the box-lid opened up, there are a pair of hinges.
Thumb of 2018-02-15/AntMan01/f89252

Looking inside the open crate and box-lid
Thumb of 2018-02-15/AntMan01/cbfc80

I unscrewed the lid, leaving the hinges on the crate portion (adds character). This will be the tiered position on my two side-by-side planters, the box-lid (3"deep) will be in front of the crate portion (7" deep).
Thumb of 2018-02-15/AntMan01/07786f

I can already imagine this planter arranged in the landscape someplace, filled with semps on order for April delivery. Inside dimensions are 3' long x 9" wide for each, so total planting area is 3' x 18". I do realize that space will hold only a small portion of what I have on order.
Thumb of 2018-02-15/AntMan01/a11cdc

Still more details of course, drilling drainage holes, installing side handles on the box-lid portion, finding just the right area to place it and other planters (which will require leveling with cut-and-fill excavation, most of my property is sloped).

Many of the first 80 semps I have on order are new to me; when I get closer to planting time, I'll look for your suggestions regarding semp cultivar growth and spread, I hope to avoid planting overly vigorous ones like 'More Honey'.
I'm all ears!
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Feb 14, 2018 7:00 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1641185 (1)
Name: Melissa Hopper
St. Helens, Or (Zone 8a)
Semp addict horse junky dog flunky
Sempervivums Keeps Horses Dog Lover Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Photography
Hummingbirder Region: Oregon
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MelissaHopper
Feb 14, 2018 7:18 PM CST
That is very cool Mark, but I am not going to offer to help you move that sucker.

I also like to repurpose things to plant semps in. You can come up with some really unique ideas.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Feb 15, 2018 12:11 AM CST
Mark - I really like using the lid along side like that looks great! Hurray!
Here in Seattle it is so wet that anything wooden only has a couple of years to live, unless it is somewhere out of the rain Thumbs down
Best to you on this sempventure nodding

Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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webesemps
Feb 15, 2018 12:27 AM CST
Have Fun with that 2 level Semp planter! The fun will be in the planning and doing and the resting will come with finishing the project and the admiring of creative work well done. Big Grin
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
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springcolor
Feb 15, 2018 2:46 AM CST
Interesting box, will be fun to see what you do with this. Happy day when all that plant mail comes.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Feb 15, 2018 9:26 AM CST
gg5 said:Mark - I really like using the lid along side like that looks great! Hurray!
Here in Seattle it is so wet that anything wooden only has a couple of years to live, unless it is somewhere out of the rain Thumbs down
Best to you on this sempventure nodding


Thanks Greg. The planter will sit on wooden "sleepers" so there will be no contact with soil, I use left over mahogany from my two-tier deck I built 15 years ago. Mahogany has similar weather-resistant quality as cedar, a wood of choice for outdoor use. Not sure what to expect about the "shelf life" of this wooden planter, but I'm hoping at least 10 years.



Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Feb 15, 2018 10:36 AM CST
Not going to treat the wood in some way to help prolong wood life? or was original oily residue going to be helpful?
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
Image
AntMan01
Feb 15, 2018 11:00 AM CST
webesemps said:Not going to treat the wood in some way to help prolong wood life? or was original oily residue going to be helpful?


I am indeed considering treating the wood planter. On my mahogany deck, I treat it with Cabot Australian Timber Oil, one paints it on allowing it to sink in for a minute, then rub off any excess with rags, it works good. My deck is 5 years overdue for an oil-rubbing, will get to it this spring.

I wondered about the existing thick oily residue layer, but it's mostly on the outside, and test sanding shows it comes off easily and perhaps not deeply penetrating the wood, so I will sand the entire planter and likely use the oil-rub. I need to pay particular attention to drainage; drainage holes, coarse inorganic free draining soil mix, and possibly the inclusion of small "reservoirs" (such as upfacing plastic dishes with some clay soil in them) buried a few inches below the semps. I'm not sure how deep semp roots will go, but I will do some investigation to arrive at best depth placement.
Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
[Last edited by AntMan01 - Feb 15, 2018 11:03 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1641434 (8)
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Feb 15, 2018 12:53 PM CST
That sounds good Mark!

Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
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valleylynn
Feb 17, 2018 3:36 PM CST

Moderator

I love that box Mark, and can't wait to see how you design the planting.
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
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AntMan01
Jul 31, 2018 9:07 PM CST
Wow, this goes back to Feb 2018. The project is on hold because of my marital separation In June and living at a temporary location (temp Blinking , on the eve of August 2018). The old wood toolcase would be an awesome semp planter but I'm not able to enact on that project at this time.

Today I visited a nursery, and found a wide (18") dish-shaped ceramic-glazed planter ($30) and bought it. Will test it for outside use and overwintering... dish-shaped "pots" don't break from expanding ice action, the freezing expansion happens vertically/lifting, without horizontal confinement and breakage.

I have my 7th semp order of the 2018 season arriving tomorrow, 21 new additions, bringing my total of new 2018 accessions to 167. Some of these will go into my new dish planter.

New glazed ceramic dish-shaped planter:
Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/9e64a6 Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/2e444d

New glazed ceramic dish-shaped planter, has a built-in base.
Right-hand photo, my personal peeve, stickers that are extremely difficult to remove and de-gum of glue residue.
Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/483c0d Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/d41ce7

Also bought a smaller terracotta-color plastic dish planter, same difficult price sticker removal issue. Need mineral spirits or turpentine to remove the glue residue, which I didn't have access to, but gasoline works to dissolve the persistent glue equally as well.
Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/aaa20e Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/e9d279

Come to find out, the ceramic dish product is designed to have an accompanying "pedestal" ceramic pot base, although they had none there. I mocked-up what it might look like to have the dish raised by a base, will work on getting a proper base. My planting up of this planter will follow: Smiling
Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/47a07b Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/ca1cbd

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
Name: Bev
Salem OR (Zone 8a)
Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Garden Ideas: Master Level Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Image
webesemps
Jul 31, 2018 9:42 PM CST
Nice project to get focused on and be pre-occupied in a creative way. I, for one, can't think of a more pleasant thing to do with plants. Enjoy the time and effort! Green Grin! Good luck on finding that pedestal; that hard-to-liberate label may provide a clue as to what brand to look for to complete the set?
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art
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plantmanager
Jul 31, 2018 9:49 PM CST
That's an incredibly beautiful ceramic dish planter, Mark. I'd have grabbed that one, too. I hope you can find a base that looks good with it. It'll be really great planted up with Semps. You're sure getting a big collection quickly!
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Jul 31, 2018 10:12 PM CST
That is a pretty ceramic bowl! Thumbs up

Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Dog Lover Foliage Fan Greenhouse Container Gardener Heucheras Sedums
Image
springcolor
Jul 31, 2018 10:28 PM CST
It is, just love it.
Sempervivum for Sale
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
valleylynn
Jul 31, 2018 11:08 PM CST

Moderator

Just love that bowl Mark. Here is a link for you. What a dangerous place that could be. Whistling
https://burleyclay.com/catalog...
Romania, Mures (Zone 6a)
Sedums Sempervivums Region: Europe
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PaleoTemp
Aug 1, 2018 1:42 AM CST
Very nice ceramic dish for sempervivum
Name: Mark McDonough
Massachusetts (Zone 5a)
Region: Massachusetts Enjoys or suffers cold winters Garden Procrastinator Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Foliage Fan
Birds Seed Starter Hybridizer Sempervivums
Image
AntMan01
Aug 1, 2018 8:31 AM CST
valleylynn said:Just love that bowl Mark. Here is a link for you. What a dangerous place that could be. Whistling
https://burleyclay.com/catalog...


Dangerous indeed! What a great site and online catalog, found my exact green glaze bowl planter, and now have the model number for the corresponding interlocking pedestal base, left them a message about ordering that base. What elegant ceramic products they have, this same "style" comes in black and a brighter blue. In the photos I show, the glaze looks decidedly blue, but in person it is a green-blue color. Here's what the series looks like with pedestals, from their online catalog.

Thumb of 2018-08-01/AntMan01/02e38e

Avatar: Jovibarba x nixonii 'Jowan'
Allium 'Millenium' - 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year:
http://www.perennialplant.org/...
https://www.waltersgardens.com...
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
valleylynn
Aug 1, 2018 9:01 AM CST

Moderator

I see now why they made the base of the bowl they way they did. Locks right into the base.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Cactus and Succulents Greenhouse Sempervivums Bromeliad
Adeniums Brugmansias Garden Ideas: Level 1 Tropicals Xeriscape Garden Art
Image
plantmanager
Aug 1, 2018 9:04 AM CST
I loved that catalog and could spend a lot, but sadly they don't sell from there. You have to go elsewhere, and all of the places are long trips for me. I think they're missing a bet not to sell directly too.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!

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