CREATING THE PERFECT PLANTER
In Practice is our series featuring creatives, makers and visionaries who inspire us in how they approach their craft, their environment and their lives. This In Practice Series is through the lens of Vancouver's Bamboo Village.
When shopping for houseplants, look no further than Bamboo Village, at 135 E. Pender St. in Vancouver. It’s our favourite local plant shop and one look inside tells you why. Located in the heart of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, Bamboo Village carries a large selection of tropical plants and bamboo products. Our founder, Treana Peake, purchases all our showroom plants there, and many of her personal houseplants. She also has a greenhouse, so that will tell you that this is a bit of a passion for her.
One of the owners of Bamboo Village, Keller, joined the Obakki team at our Holt Renfrew Marketplace Pop Up store recently and showed us how to repot our houseplants into something a little more stylish (if you bought a handmade artisan pot at Holt’s that weekend, you know a plant came with it).
Keller from Bamboo Village picked out the Rounded Earthenware Bowl in small for this small plant.
MATCH THE POT TO THE PLANT
There are so many interesting houseplants and so many ways to contain them. Match the pot to the plant. There are whimsical pots and whimsical plants. Formal pots and formal plants. Unique artisanal pots and unique exotic plants. The combinations are boundless.
SOIL CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR HOUSEPLANT
Two important considerations for your new plant are the soil type and the drainage. Some houseplants require more sandy soil, others prefer richer soil. Do some research or ask the experts at the store where you purchase your plant. All-purpose potting soil is generally a safe bet. And if you wear plastic gloves – your hands (and nails) will be spared.
"There are so many interesting houseplants and so many ways to contain them. Match the pot to the plant."
ADDING TO THE SOIL
Soil for any potted plant will benefit from the addition of perlite, porous white bits of ground volcanic rock that are added to soil mixes to improve the drainage capacity. Drainage is especially important in vessels with no holes in the bottom. And of course, many of the nicest containers you can choose won’t have drainage holes, which then require a saucer.
YOU NEED GOOD DRAINAGE
Another important tip for good drainage is to add some gravel pieces or small rocks to the bottom of the planter. Like the perlite, they will help absorb moisture. Your plant will not live in saturated soil (unless it’s a water plant, but that’s a different story).
Keller from Bamboo Village picked out the Oaxacan Red Clay Head Planter for this small plant.
HOW TO DETERMINE THE SIZING
Keller illustrated a very helpful technique for repotting houseplants. Gently remove your plant from its old pot by slowly pushing upward from the bottom. Place this (now empty) pot inside the new larger pot on top of the gravel and build the soil up around it. When you remove the old pot from the soil – the space will be the perfect size and your plant will fit snugly.
"Gently remove your plant from its old pot by slowly pushing upward from the bottom. Place this (now empty) pot inside the new larger pot on top of the gravel and build the soil up around it."
TOOLS TO USE
The houseplant trend is leaning toward smaller potted plants and many of them are succulents (not surprising, since their watering demands are somewhat less). And to repot these, a regular gardening trowel just won’t do it. It’s far too large and awkward for these gems. But you don’t need to get fancy. Just temporarily repurpose a chef’s or baking scoop – we’re always big on repurposing here at Obakki.
If you liked our Akiliba pots as design pieces, you are going to love them as planters. A green, living plant adds so much to these unique handmade pots. And our new Oaxacan clay head planters – a true Mexican love story – are ideal for displaying smaller, interesting plants. And if large houseplants are your style, then have a look at our Basket Collection inspiration. A plant is just a plant until you put it in the perfect planter. Then, it’s part of your style.
Bamboo Village is located at 135 East Pender Street in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown
FROM THE COLLECTION
From the rich, red clay of Oaxaca to the beautifully imperfect earthenware of locally-sourced Ugandan clay these artisan made pieces from around the world celebrates ancient craft and slow design.
My pottery is inspired by the generations that came before me who have passed down this sacred craft. In my community you are born, raised and live each day by the clay—the Holy Mother. Every part of my being is woven through the story of this magical mud.
Summertime, and the living is easy. In this week's Journal, we take you to the magical Italian island of Sardinia. Perhaps a quick pit stop for a refreshing summer cocktail might be in order.
I try to marry modern and classic design while taking cues from the environment of the Pacific Northwest around us. I like the idea of having a timeless aesthetic, distilling the essence of a space, and focusing on tactile and natural materials that don’t feel rooted in a single moment in time.