Connie and Carol went to the Chicago International Gardening Association show and met a couple from Austin, Texas who had recently started a company called River Root Gardens. Connie and Carol loved and bought several of the couples products including some fantastic new planters for the spring gardening season. Each piece is hand crafted by artisans from 26 Latin American families that the Austin couple has hired and mentored and taught the art of forming the roots into baskets, bird houses and planters. The artisans live and work in a village along the river where the roots are harvested to make these products. Harvesting the roots doesn’t harm the trees and, in fact, the harvesting process actually makes the trees healthier and helps them grow stronger. After harvesting the villagers have three weeks to shape the roots before they dry out. Once the roots dry, they become very strong and sturdy.
Everything is done by hand, and each piece is unique because each root has it’s own particular shape and character. These durable creations can be used either indoors or out. Once dry, water won’t penetrate them so you can directly water anything that you plant in them. In our Boulder sun it’s best to use the planters inside or outside in the shade or under a patio or overhang. If you do put them in Boulder’s full sun, it is recommended that you use a wood sealer like Thompson Water Seal or polyurethane on them each year.
The gnarled roots are the perfect compliment to Fairy gardens. We especially love the planters with several levels. We’ll put ivies with long trailers in a couple of the receptacles and then fairy gardens in the rest of the structure. Then we add some moss and the ivies twine around the fairy gardens for a wonderful woodland look.
We have small benches, planters, bird houses and decorative wheelbarrows made from the river roots. Come by and see what Heidi and Sharon have created in the greenhouses with fairies, moss and ivies.