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Sunset Hanging Gardens

Sunset Hanging Gardens - front cover

Wanna look at another vintage magazine with me? I found this old Sunset Magazine special on hanging gardens and it sucked me in, all thanks to that cover. Hanging baskets overflowing with flowers, a timber deck overlooking the ocean, a person with a leather vest and ponytail who could be either male or female. Yeah. It’s 1974. 

Aerial Plants: Freewheeling Fun

Aerial Plants… Freewheeling Fun. FREEWHEELING FUN. Nothing like indoor plants to announce to the world that you don’t answer to nobody. The angular Godfather-esque headings also add a special something throughout.

Hangers for herbs and bonsai (?)

The point they’re making about aerial plants being FREEWHEELING FUN is that hanging gardens are a new frontier beyond digging holes in the ground. Pretty much anything can go up in the air, because why not?

I have to say, the container herb garden is a really good idea. That’d be smart, growing a bunch of them in one container in the kitchen. Tall spiky chives, lush basil, trailing thyme — it’d all layer on top of one another and send off plenty of fresh sprigs. Yum. Some of the other proposed ideas, though, like bulbs and bonsai… I’m less convinced about those.


I’m sure you could have figured it out from the start, but In case it wasn’t already obvious: this post has a lot of macrame in it. It’s a California-based periodical printed in 1974, so, the height of macra-mania. I’m such a sucker for this era. Everything looks so bright and stylish, yet cozy and relaxed thanks to all the organic elements. Your apartment is never too small for five (5) little macrame weaving hangers.

The collection of vessels and hangers is for sure going in my inspiration bank. Even in black-and-white, it makes me want to seek out a more interesting collection for myself. It also makes me miss summer, like, real bad. It makes me want to hang up a bunch of them in one corner of our deck and then hang a wooden windchime in another corner. What is happening to me.

pretty plants - spider plant, Christmas cactus, string of beads

A few examples of indoor hanging plants that I liked. Christmas cactus! Hey, just like mine. I don’t regret giving his container a ‘70s makeover. The string-of-beads and the spider plant have really neat foliage, especially the spider plant with all its little pups.

diagrams: plant hooks and hangers

This magazine has basic instructions on planting and hanging your pots, which I won’t go into, but there are a few useful diagrams throughout. I particularly liked these ones showing different ways of attaching hooks and drip saucers.

How to make a macrame planter.

Speaking of instructions and diagrams: here’s how to make your own macrame planter. Sweet.

pretty hanging plants

Here are a few more examples of lovely hanging plants. There’s a long section detailing “Plants That Like to Hang” — they sound chill — but most of them are not easily found or they’re invasive locally, so I skimmed through it. I was happy to gawk at the pictures.

  1. The sculptural piece of driftwood cradling the little peperomia pot is a work of art. Aw, I really like this.
  2. Fuchsias! I’ve been considering some for the garden, though I doubt I’ll keep up with watering them.
  3. I scoffed at the idea of bonsai in a hanging planter, but this one looks good. I don’t know squat about bonsai, but I’d say that more casual, free-flowing bonsai plants could look all right in a hanger.
  4. Pretty mix of things. Pretty pretty.

people hanging a giant fern

And here’s how it ends: in a ‘70s-fantastic living room with an utterly ginormous Boston fern. I can’t believe this is real. It’s perfection. I would live in this living room, and I’d even wear that burgundy shirtdress and belt. Hem the length a bit, wear it with tan riding boots… it’d be cute, right?

I swear I didn’t post this just to make fun of silly or dated ideas; I got it because it looked pretty and educational, and it really was.

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2 thoughts on “Sunset Hanging Gardens”

  1. Early 70’s – yeah, I did a lot of macramé. Getting back into it again. I have a book on it (I think) that you can check out when you visit. Also was into houseplants in later 70’s before cats & kids. Are you planning a few more hanging plants? Spiders are great hanging plants. I also like ivy, but given your experience with it, probably not your choice. Boston ferns are gorgeous when they’re lush & full, but they don’t often stay that way. Summertime begonias work as seasonal hanging plants. Another cool one I’ve seen is a strawberry plant – pretty little white flowers and berries. If you bring it in overwinter, it should keep going too.

    1. I’m thinking about a few little hanging planters on our deck! I love treating it like a conservatory. (It’s north-facing, sheltered from wind and gets direct sun in winter, and under those conditions my jalapeños managed to survive winter. I can’t believe it.)
      Jamie clipped and potted all the runners from our summer strawberry plants, and they’re in a mini greenhouse ready to go in the ground when it gets warmer. It’s going to be a strawberry forest in our veggie patch!

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