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Hothouse is a podcast about design, ecology, and the way we garden now. Host Leah Churner sits down with experts and enthusiasts to talk about permaculture, the urban landscape, and how plants sometimes give us the feels. A meeting of the minds for plant people and the horticulture-curious, Hothouse is a different kind of gardening show: less of the how-to and more of the who, what, where, when, and why.

Sep 3, 2022

In this episode, Colleen unearths as much as she can about the largely unwritten history of plant pots.

When did humans start growing plants in containers?

How did innovations in materials and technology lead to the domestication of plants, plant collecting, and the growth of the nursery industry?

Why are plant pots so overlooked as a facet of industrial design? (We can rattle off several iconic chair designs, but flowerpots? Not so much.)

Why don’t the standardized names of nursery pot sizes correspond to their actual volume in the US?

We have more questions than answers, folks. 

First up, Leah is practicing her drawings. And we need an alternative name for the tricky season that comes between summer and fall in Texas. 

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Mentioned in this episode:

Rain lilies (Cooperia drummondii); Paper Garden Workshop; “Elevation to Plan” techniquePlan to Elevation (Leah’s sketch)The Artist’s Way (1992) by Julia Cameron; Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (1979) by Betty Edwards; Willy Guhl designs on Artneta bio of Guhlhistory of flowerpots from the Salem Maritime National Historic Site“Plastic Pots and the Nursery Industry: Production, Use, Disposal, and Environmental Impacts” (2020) by the APLDEric Soderholtz.