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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

French Country Spring Potting Table

Friday, May 1, 2020

The potting table on the back porch has a French Country look for Spring this year. Ivy wreaths, vintage French zinc seed pots, and a wire mesh birdcage remind me of authentic garden tables in the French countryside. 

French Country Spring potting table with a wire birdcage and vintage French zinc seed pots
Morning sunlight reaches blue lobelia bedding plants on the potting table, but the covered porch shades plants from the late afternoon sun. 

F R E N C H   C O U N T R Y 

s p r i n g   p o t t i n g   t a b l e 

French Country Spring potting table displays ivy wreaths and wire mesh birdcage
Usually the Spring potting table on the back porch is filled with blooming bedding plants, but this year there are only two blue lobelia plants. I have not been to the garden centers this Spring due to sheltering at home. 

French Country Spring potting table with blue lobelia in a blue and white pot
My sister put on the protection gear. You know, the mask and gloves, to make a trip to the local outdoor gardening store for a few bedding plants. It's not Spring at my house without blue lobelias, and she shared a couple of lobelia plants with me for my potting table.   

French Country Spring potting table with just two new flowering lobelia plants for color with green ivy wreaths
Gardening is in our DNA, passed down from grandparents and parents, and practiced every Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. Not getting to buy new bedding plants does not stop us from gardening anyway. 

Using a few ideas from my French Country spring potting table, you can also do a little Spring gardening at your house without all new bedding plants! 

French Country Spring potting table with ivy heart topiary and ivy wreath topiaries
Gardeners have to garden whatever the season or whatever else is happening in life. Gardens give us purpose, hope, and joy. 

Filling our minds and hands with tasks gives us purpose. When old routines vanish, gardening helps fill the void and creates new routines. 

Working with plants gives us hope for the future. Seeing their new growth reminds us life goes on. There is a tomorrow. 

Seeing the results of gardening gives us joy. Beautiful plants artfully arranged in the ground, in pots, or in flower vases cheer our spirits.

How to garden without new bedding plants?

Instead of all new plants, I spruced up the porch potting table with existing plants. 

Ivy and hosta plants. 

French Country Spring potting table with blue lobelia bedding plant and ivy wreath
Last year these ivy wreaths looked bedraggled, stripped of leaves, and gasping for life, with bare vines intertwined around wire ring forms.  Only a few struggling leaves lived at the base of each plant. Spider mites, over watering, and under watering had taken their toll on these ivy wreaths. 

A combination of morning sunshine and afternoon shade is a perfect environment for ivy and hosta plants. 

French Country Spring potting table with rejuvenated ivy wreaths
Scattered across the open decks and the greenhouse during the Fall and Winter, the plants were isolated from each other to prevent spider mites from spreading to other plants. A thorough washing, a mild winter, abundant rain, fertilizer, and sunshine brought these ivy topiary plants back to life. 

A variety of containers 

French Country Spring potting table with hostas in a twig basket
New small hosta plants came from existing crowded planters of hostas. A twig basket adds texture to the collection of plants on the potting table. 

Blue pots add a spot of my favorite color and complement the blue lobelia flowers. 

The solid blue pot started out as a terracotta pot. With just a little paint, I transformed it into my favorite color. Take a look around your house. You may have a terracotta pot and some left-over paint in your favorite color. 

French Country Spring potting table with a hanging twig basket with variegated ivy
Trailing variegated ivy in a hanging twig basket adds height to the potting table arrangement. 

French Country Spring potting table with a concrete planter with a feather design
A small ivy wreath sits in a concrete planter with a feather pattern. 

French Country Spring potting table with wire birdcage, blue lobelia bedding plant, vintage French zinc seed pots
A vintage French zinc seed pot holds one of the lobelia plants inside a wire mesh birdcage. Adding a French Country touch only takes one or two small seed zinc pots. You probably can find these online. Online shopping to the rescue! 

French Country Spring potting table with wire birdcage, blue lobelia plants, and vintage French zinc seed pots
Using existing plants, two new flowering plants, and a variety of containers, the potting table on the porch has a French Country garden look this Spring. 

Recipe for a Spring Potting Table 

Look around your house at what you have. Divide some existing green plants, paint existing terracotta pots in a favorite color, collect several green plants together (do not overlook small shrubs.) Include a vintage garden tool (hand trowel, watering can, floral snips...) Arrange on an outdoor table top for a fresh Spring potting table. 

Take a look at my potting bench  
in other Springs and other seasons. 

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Happy Spring, Gardening Friends 


  1. Pretty post Judith. I have killed more Ivy in my our old house I would never have the guts to try again.

    Yours are beautiful!


  2. Seriously beautiful my friend! I could sit and look at your patio for days and days. And those vintage zinc seed pots are my fave. Or is the the birdcage or maybe the topiaries... Hmmm? Guess I love it all Judith!

  3. This is gorgeous. I have been on the look out for a bird cage like that. Can you share where you found it? I love the zinc pots too. Lovely.

  4. Your ivy plants are stunning.
    Have a great week,


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