Modern Planter

The Art of the Matter: Spindel Planter designed by Willy Guhl and Anton Bee in 1951.
An veritable icon of Swiss modern design, this planter displays plenty of class and style.

The Spindel Planter is pictured above with an indoor plant that was a hugely popular house plant in Europe
during the 1950s; the mid-century modern Sansevieria Trifasciata aka Mother-in-Law's Tongue.

The modernist planter that can be described as 'functional art' makes a long-overdue comeback and is finally available again in the US through modern design purveyor nova68.  Fiber cement makes this mid-century modern planter unique in form and function.  Few pots get points for being as attractive and eco-friendly as what's growing in them, which is why the Willy Guhl and Anton Bee Spindel Planters ($399 to $499) are worth seeking out.  While they have the look and durability of concrete, they are made from fiber cement.  Fiber cement is a mix of cement, limestone powder, cellulose and synthetic fiber that is rolled into sheets, then shaped by hand by Swiss artisans into minimalist silhouettes.  Frostproof and impervious to heat, they work in any climate and can be left outside year-round.

The strong yet portable planter makes installation easy and flexible, while the natural ingredients allow plants to regulate their moisture.  The Spindel Planter, designed by the Swiss architect/designer team of Willy Guhl and Anton Bee, is a prime example of mid-century modern design: its smooth timeless design makes it suitable for use in contemporary garden design settings, courtyards, patios and poolsides.  Designed specifically with the landscape architect in mind, this is perhaps the most beautiful planter ever designed.  The Spindel Planter remains a visual threat whether standing alone or placed together.  This garden planter comes in two sizes: a standard 24-by-15-inch planter, and a 36-by-22-inch planter.  Excess water can drain off through a hole in the center of the Spindel Planter.  The modernist Spindel Planter is created by hand in Switzerland and tagged with the name of the Swiss artisan who creates it.

Aloe Polyphylla (aka Spiral Aloe) makes a wonderful choice for the Spindel Planter.
Use just one of these in the center of the planter for a modern and clean minimalist look.

This beautiful sculptural modern Spindel Planter is a welcome home for succulents and agaves.  Succulents and agaves thrive extremely well in pots, require little maintenance and look good year round. With an endless selection to choose from, they make the perfect plants for the Spindel Planter.  There are two ways to design your succulent planter. The first and most easy choice is the minimalist design approach that incorporates just one Aloe or Succulent such as the Aloe Polyphilla aka Spiral Aloe.  Another approach is to layer succulents.  When creating your 'succulent composition', aim for mixing colors and textures for visual drama. Succulents in varied tones of foggy skies and tumbled green grass will shine in this magnificent mid-century modern garden planter. Pair both low and tall succulents for a beautiful composition. Choose smaller varieties such as Agave Desmettiana 'Variegata' around the edges and mix in some Senecio- spp. 'Mini Blue' for a draping/overflowing effect. Add some taller succulents such as Agave 'Blue Glow' or a red Aeonium Cyclops for a finishing touch.

Text and Image Credits:
Lucia Fontana for