How To

A How-To with Crimson Horticultural Rarities

Make a Living Centerpiece

crimson horticultural rarities!

Grocery-bought flowers? Where are we? In the burbs?

Create a table-topping impact with a living arrangement that turns heads — and lasts longer than those toe-up hydrangeas. Laura Burns-Lambert, co-owner of Oakland’s Crimson Horticultural Rarities (along with friend Allison Futeral), shows you how.

Recycled container, such as a tarnished bowl, vintage lunch box, or old tool caddy
Walled plant saucer (optional)
Horticultural charcoal (find it at a drugstore or nursery)
Small rocks (or broken ceramics)
Plants, such as Kalanchoe pumila, yellow cactus, or trailing fishhook
Various found accoutrements

1. Dig around your storage unit, kitchen, or garage for a worthy vessel. Keep in mind that the pot determines the height and quantity of plants you use.

2. Insert a tall walled plant saucer or use plastic to line the inside (optional, depending on how precious your container).

3. Barely line the bottom with horticultural charcoal to prevent undesirable odors.

4. Cover with a thin layer of very small rocks to help with drainage. You can also use broken plates or terra-cotta pots, but just make sure they’re in tiny bits.

5. Add soil.

6. Finally, the green. Succulents are popular (and low-maintenance friends), since they need less water. Whatever your combo, choose plants or flowers that need the same amount of water and light.

7. Add more soil and press plants firmly into the pot to ensure roots are secure.

8. Top-dress with found objects for texture and panache (rock, glass, mulch, deer moss, marbles, etc.). Quirky pieces make the most interesting statements.

9. Behold the conversation piece for your next dinner party.

Crimson Horticultural Rarities, 470a 49th Street, between Telegraph Avenue and Clarke Street, Oakland (crimsonhort.com).

Photo: Courtesy of Crimson Horticultural Rarities

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470a 49th St
bt Telegraph Ave & Clarke St
Oakland, CA 94609