A bold front door color certainly makes a statement, but so can a lovely container or two. With Thanksgiving around the corner and fall in full swing, we asked Bonnie Garrison and Chris Condon, the owners of Pollen, in Atlanta, Georgia, to dream up something beautiful and down-to-earth to decorate an entry.
The duo opened Pollen in 1999. “I was working at a wonderful garden shop in Atlanta and Chris was a newly transplanted sculptor who had just finished at the Rhode Island School of Design,” Garrison says. “I hired him as part time help and we immediately hit it off. Three years later we opened Pollen.”
At their Buckhead shop, the pair offer cut-flower arrangements, a well-chosen selection of plants, and Condon’s nature-inspired sculpture. They’re also known for clever container-garden ideas. “We always like the idea of using organic materials, but in an unexpected way,” Garrison says. “For the look below, we used a gorgeous variety of heuchera. And planting these with thyme is something that will last. Adding the branches and keeping them long and loose opens it all up and makes a nest for a clay-colored pumpkin. The colors are soft and subtle, but still ring fall.”
The assembly is straightforward. Garrison and Condon started with a vintage galvanized container with drainage holes drill into the bottom, planted the heuchera and thyme for a base of mixed greenery, and added cut branches for height. Garrison recommends varying textures and sizes. “For the add-ons, any pods or sculptural branches will work,” she says. “Most people have so much right in their back yard. Look to fall fruit trees and trees that berry, and mosses, acorns, even pebbles.” When the branches begin to lose their leaves, trade them for evergreen magnolia or pine boughs.
After Thanksgiving, the couple will shift their focus to the holidays and pinecones will be at the center of their arrangements. “We both love pinecones,” Garrison says. “We traveled extensively this summer and we collected some beauties! But we’re just as excited about our wreaths. They are all made to order from fresh materials.”
For more information (and inspiration) visit Pollen at 432 East Paces Ferry Road NE in Atlanta.