Too tipsy for their own good

Tipsy 1Oh, Empress of Dirt. You inspired me with your Tipsy Pots. You made me want to be crafty like you.

And so I told Steve’s Mom about your cool idea, and she got all excited, and we went in search of plants and pots and something to hold the whole thing up.

And we found plants — a pink Gypsy Rose, a six-pack of blue Browellia and a white Bacopa — all selected to coordinate by color and just by general interest and height differential. And we found some terracotta pots that we liked. And we found a curlicue stake that just seemed more perfect than anything.

I threaded the pots down the swirly stake. I filled them carefully with potting soil and mushroom compost. I thrilled myself with the whole deal Tispy 2because really, people, I am not one of those girls who does garden projects. I mean, I’m the girl with the edgeless bulb bed. I am the garden equivalent of the girl who throws things against the wall to see what sticks.

Steve’s Mom served as Official Inadvertent Photographer during the tipsy pot assembly process, which attracted the attention of the grandfather of a girl who I think lives next door, possibly with her boyfriend. They were all out in the yard for a graduation party, and the grandfather wandered over to see what we were doing.

Tipsy 3“I’m admiring your work,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Oh yeah, oh yeah, I brought Tipsy Pots to Iowa. I’m like a pioneer, only a pioneer who copies other people.

The grandfather and Mary Beth and I chatted about graduations and Tipsy Pots and The Beautiful Day, and then he wandered back to the barbecue.

And then, the next day, the Tipsy Pots fell. Right over. I went to water them, and I just barely touched one of the pots, and the three collapsed into each other like they had imploded. The collapse was caused by a combination of factors, the most prominent of which were as follows:

  1. Heavy pots.
  2. Weak stake.

I unthreaded them – and, I should tell you, those three words do not even describe the level of hysteria that occurred when the collapse happened – and added the three pots, individually, to the herb garden collective in the corner of the sidewalk.

I am not saying I won’t try Tipsy Pots again. I’m just saying that, this year, they weren’t so successful.

Photo credits: Mary Beth Bishop

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12 Responses to “Too tipsy for their own good”


  1. 1 Briana May 29, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    “I am the garden equivalent of the girl who throws things against the wall to see what sticks.”

    I like it. We can call it “Spaghetti Gardening.” It’ll be the next hot thing. There’s a book deal in anything with a catchy title.

    I practice I similar type of gardening I like to call “I-can’t-see-you” gardening, where you close your eyes and pretend the rust sports/aphids/insert-pest-or-problem-here will just go away on their own.

  2. 2 Katiez May 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Over here we call that a ‘tomato stake’….LOL

  3. 3 Carol May 29, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    At least you tried! That’s what counts.
    You are becoming quite adverturesome in the garden. Would you have ever thought last year you would have the confidence to even try?

  4. 4 chigiy May 29, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    They don’t call ’em tipsy for nothin’
    I love this idea.
    I want to try it now!!!!!

  5. 5 wes May 29, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    Who is that with the red hat in the photos?

  6. 6 wes May 29, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Wait. That would be you, right?

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener May 29, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Briana, I love it…spaghetti gardening…that’s fabulous! I really like “I-can’t-see-you” gardening, too. I practice that often.

    Katiez, I think the fact that it was a tomato stake was most of the problem. Not nearly strong enough…

    Carol, I would never have guessed…seriously…

    Chigiy, it’s a great idea. Just make sure you have the right equipment…

    Wes, yes — that’s me.

  8. 8 Tracy May 30, 2007 at 9:51 am

    I think if you really stuck that tomato stake into the ground – maybe by a foot – it would hold up the pots. I have a great rubber mallet I use just for things like that. Not only does it get the stake way into the ground, but it feels good to really pound something sometimes.

  9. 9 inadvertentgardener May 30, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Tracy, I think if I’d gotten a normal stake, rather than a swirly stake, that would have worked. I might still try all this again…and the idea of pounding something is definitely tempting!

  10. 10 ~~Melissa May 31, 2007 at 6:19 am

    Yikes! Thanks for mentioning me right before gardening tragedy struck! LOL. Promise me you’ll try again. I always use 1/2″ diameter copper pipe or thick rebar (anything a strong person cannot bend in their hands, even on a bad day). Pound that sucker until it’s firm in the ground. Then stack your pots, stand back and don’t hold your breath because they will stay in place. Or your money refunded. :-)

  11. 11 inadvertentgardener May 31, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Melissa, I’ll definitely try again — no worries! When I was buying that stake, I was thinking that there was no way it would hold, but I figured I’d try it anyway…worst case scenario, I’d have to go back for some actual serious pipe or whatever. Thanks for stopping by with more tips — I’ll keep you posted! It’s a really cool idea — you’re awfully crafty in the garden. :-)

  12. 12 Sylvia March 27, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I am looking for a frothy blue plant I’ve purchased in the past to fill in with red and white impatience and white alysium…I thought it was called browellia (spelling may be off)..it looks so good in window boxes and planters. I have purchased blue lobelia and it is pretty but not as “frothy” as I recall the other plant being. Does anyone know of this plant…it’s scientific or common name and of course the proper spelling? thanks. Sylvia


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