The Del Mar Fair…through Poetic Home’s Eyes

Jul 9, 2009 by

The excitement, nostalgia, and curiosity of the Del Mar Fair makes the event one of my favorite experiences in San Diego (the funnel cake does not hurt the cause either!).  The Del Mar Fair this year was themed “Music Mania.”  Would you like to join me and my little camera to explore how the floral designers and landscapers interpreted the theme?

Repurposed piano in landscaping

This piano (which I blindly hope was defunct before the installment) is repurposed into a gorgeous symphony of overflowing greenery.

repurposed drum planters

In the same installment, a set of drums are artfully repurposed to become loud planters.  To the left of this was a fountain made of cymbals, but alas, I have not yet mastered the art of capturing water movement!

piano inspired walkway

Who wouldn’t love to dance across this walkway, imagining the beautiful notes one could create on each faux piano key?

repurposed piano planter

A repurposed grand piano plays a symphony of green notes amidst a scene set with beautiful lighting.  Outdoor lighting, you have been usurped by twinkling lights and chandeliers!

repurposed brass horn vase

Long-lasting orchids and brass instruments combine to make a lovely duet.  This would be a marvelous display for any party — or even intriguing decor pieces for a musician’s wedding!

repurposed dresser planter

Airing out dirty laundry is easy when you have drawers filled with greenery and flowers!

Major San Diego entertainment events come in various forms, ranging from concerts to fairs.

There are so many elements I would love to incorporate into the concert of my own home decor.  How about you?

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Repurposed Nature: Pure Floral Arrangements

Feb 2, 2009 by

“Look deep into nature and…understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, thoughts of flowers are certainly in the air.  Yet, the most beautiful flower arrangements need not arrive in a Murano glass vase or tied with exorbiant amounts of satin ribbon and cellophane.  Instead, some of the best vessels for holding flowers are those found in nature.


While climbing down the cliffs to the beach by our home, my husband and I found this intriguing rock, carved by decades of rainwater dripping over the cliff.  In our home, it now serves as the perfect repurposed vessel for Ikebana (a Japanese floral artistry that melds together nature and humanity to create arrangements that represent heaven, earth, and people).  Each hole holds the perfect amount of water, and it is a lovely, Wabi Sabi way to show off the natural, simple beauty of Maidenhair fern cuttings and a Cymbidium orchid bloom.


A miniature blooming bulb fills my home with a heavenly scent, while it seems quite at home amongst sprigs of Maidenhair fern tucked into a bowl carved out of a fallen mango tree.


Floating flowers are a classic romantic image, but they don’t always have to float in glass bowls.  Inspired by Hawaii, where I met my husband, I will be filling shells with water and floating candles to place around our home on Valentine’s.


As you may recall from a former repurposing planter post, shells make the perfect vessel for holding more than just flowers!


This beautiful and quintessential Ikebana arrangement is housed in a perfect nature vessel: a repurposed bamboo cutting, as captured by tomooka.


Who says we even need a vessel to enjoy flowers indoors?  This breathtaking Ikebana arrangement captures the unruly temperament of nature, untouched by mankind.

What inspires your floral arrangements?  Have you arranged flowers or plants in natural, repurposed vessels?

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Peek into my vintage re-purposed garden

Aug 14, 2008 by

As promised, I took advantage of the sun today and snapped a few photos of the vintage re-purposed garden vignettes in my home.  Finding new uses for vintage items is such a great way to add creative flair to your house, not to mention saving the environment.  Almost any vintage item can be re-purposed into a planter with a few rocks, activated charcoal, plastic lining, and creativity!

I always ask my guests to take off their shoes when they come into the house…and this planter is a great reminder to them!  I had a pair of vintage boots from a photo shoot that were just begging to be displayed..and voila!  One plastic liner tucked into the shoe later, you have a very unique re-purposed vintage planter that is perfect for your foyer.

Succulents are such great houseplants because of their will to grow in any environment.  If you have any vintage tin or can, they are perfect re-purposed planters for succulents, which require very little water, and therefore, will minimize any risk of rust in your antique tin.  This is part of my lil’ vintage tobacco vignette…those are antique tobacco tins, and all my antique pharmaceutical bottles are held in a vintage cigar box (when they were only .15 cents each!)

If you have any larger vintage food tins, they look darling as re-purposed planters for your kitchen herbs.  I grow my mint and verbana in this antique Campfire marshmallows tin with great success (like Borat..haha).  Make sure you place a half to one inch layer of pebbles on the bottom to allow for drainage (so the roots don’t rot), and you may also want to add a plastic liner to protect the tin from rust.

Being from California and having lived for many years in Hawaii, I feel really peaceful when surrounded by elements of the sea.  I took this large vintage shell I found at the Aloha flea market in Honolulu and turned it into a tropical planter.  Because shells naturally “breathe,” they make great planters for plants, especially tropical ones that like moisture.  Again, make sure you place a layer of pebbles on the bottom to allow for proper drainage.

What type of planters do you use in your home?  What are your ideas for re-purposing your vintage treasures into practical planters?  I’d love to hear about your inspirations or see pictures!

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