Meet Barb Bruns, Custom Container Designer

The brains behind the beauty

It comes as no surprise that almost everyone at Altum’s loves to be outside. Which is good, because we’d hate all this fresh air and natural beauty to go to waste.

Which is why Barb fits right in. She even likes the steamy, hot summer weather. And she raises the bar on what we consider beautiful and innovative. We caught up with her at the Potting Bar to see if she could plant and chat at the same time. What a silly question.

What’s your role here at Altum’s, Barb?

I am a Custom Container Designer officially, but I’ve become known as the Grab & Go Girl.

What’s a Grab & Go and what should we know about them?

Only one of the coolest things to happen to containers. I design custom plant combos for the season, plant them up in standard sized fiber pots that our customers can drop right into their containers. We also do custom sizes, colors, plants, you name it.

The best part is people get home and have gorgeous pots in minutes. We knew busy people would love them (and who isn’t?), but we were surprised how many seasoned gardeners loved them, too.

Why do you do what you do?

I love flowers, always have, but being surrounded by color and fragrance is my daily therapy. I have degrees in horticulture, floral design and graphic arts. I’m always in the garden. I guess this is my art.

What else makes you happy here and at home?

I love that I get to work with these gorgeous plants. I mean, succulents, c’mon! I get to think up new combinations in pots, terrariums and found objects we plant up. We’ve always got our eye on Pinterest and tradeshows, but we’re really inspiring each other right here in the garden center.

So how would people here describe you?

I had to ask and here’s a generous response: ‘Barb is the resident artist on staff. She paints in annuals. Brings her art to our customers. Plus she’s kind and insightful.’

Wow, impressive. So what makes you happy at home?

Hanging with my family and my Westie, Ivy. And being in my own garden.

Favorite plant and why.

Agapanthus for its color.

Best garden advice.

If a plant needs shade, it needs shade. Don’t try to make a plant be something other than it was meant to be. Plant where it will survive and thrive. And water, water, water!


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