“The second I put my hands into the dirt I feel better,” says Lauri Kranz. She rediscovered gardening by chance, when the school her first son was attending asked parents to choose from a list of volunteering options. Kranz picked gardening, remembering many a happy afternoon spent as a kid, helping her dad in the family’s backyard vegetable patch.
Her interest took root and only grew stronger: She started a garden at her younger son’s school and began working alongside local farmers – when not reading up on plant varieties at the library. Since launching Edible Gardens LA, which builds, plants and sustains organic vegetable gardens under the simple moniker the story is in the soil, Kranz has become the go-to green thumb for everyone from chef Suzanne Goin to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
When asked to share her inspirations, it’s no surprise she favors a sense of touch. Just take the hand-thrown ceramic plant pot she collaborated on with L.A.-based ceramicist Victoria Morris. (The very first batch arrived at our offices this week, fresh from the kiln.) Here are some more of Kranz’s favorite things:
James English Vessels
Commune Design is one of my favorites. Pam Shamshiri, one of the partners there, is so talented. I check in quite frequently to see what she’s creating, and it’s always unique and beautiful. The lines and edges of these wood vessels give you a feel for the hands behind them.
Moby’s music has a powerful effect on me, especially this album. It is joyful, emotional and sonically beautiful. The cover image with the white images against the sky was also an influence in the color direction of the new line of ceramic pots we created with Victoria Morris. All-white is something I’ve never done before.
Best Before Baskets
Jenni Kayne is a client and a good friend. I’m constantly inspired by how she creates beauty everywhere she goes. Her home store has beautiful and functional pieces – two things that don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand – like the garden tarp she made for the Edible Gardens L.A. line: I’ve used it to drag trees across cement. It’s so well constructed!
Kilim Throw Pillow
Somebody really cared about making each and every one of these pillows. The fabric is hand-picked. I like the feeling of the human touch in an object. It has an emotional effect that a mass-produced product just doesn’t.
The Moon Before Morning
I start every morning with a poem. The right words at the right time can change the emotional course of a day. This new collection by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W.S. Merwin is exquisite.
Le Feu de L’Eau candle
Lighting a candle can alter the whole mood of a room. This company is owned by two women, Jo Stretell and Wendy Polish. Their candles are sculpted underwater and you can feel the strong attention to detail. I haven’t smelled one I didn’t like, but if I had to choose the Amber fragrance is my favorite.
Free City Soft Socks
I’m on my feet all day long, climbing different hillside terrains through rocks and mud. I go through a lot of boots. These socks are such a comfort and feel so good. You can tell they’re crafted by someone who is very committed to superior craftsmanship and impeccable design.
Leading image courtesy Brian W. Ferry. Last image by Dean Kuipers. Product images courtesy Lauri Kranz.