The Outdoors Contained Crafts Beautiful Floral Arrangements From Rye

Enhance curb appeal (and fake a green thumb) with a house call from this Rye-based team of pro planters.

Enviable, eye-catching potted plants are a simple way to enliven even the humblest of yards, but they can be some of the most difficult items of outdoor décor to arrange, maintain, and lug to the proper spot — season after season. An alternative to DIY digging, deadheading, and rain-dancing is The Outdoors Contained, a homegrown, women-owned and -operated Rye business that pops over when a property owner’s will to sift through another bag of potting soil has wilted once and for all.

outdoor plants

Founded in 2013 by Massachusetts native Amy Dolan, who began honing her green thumb in her teens at area garden centers, the scope of The Outdoors Contained is summed up in its name. “We create custom plant and flower arrangements in pots or another kind of vessel,” says Dolan. Arrangements include outdoor and indoor potted plants and blooms, as well as cut flowers — fresh or faux.

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Dolan and her partner, fellow Rye resident Alyson Walsh, operate through all four seasons and work on-site at a client’s home (or business) where they discuss greenery and blooms, color, design, quantity and style of pots, best locations, and more, while offering an education on the plantings and tips for keeping everything alive and thriving. “Plant care is regimented,” says Dolan. “You have to follow directions exactly and be very consistent with your care.”

Dolan and Walsh purchase new pots for their projects or use ones from a client’s collection, and they offer maintenance plans too. “Most have us come monthly to water, feed, trim, and clean up and refresh their pots, though some have us more often,” says Dolan. “We provide as much hand-holding as the client wants.”

“Plant care is regimented. You have to follow directions exactly and be very consistant with your care.”
— Amy Dolan

Most of their current clients are homeowners in the Sound Shore area and Greenwich, with approximately one to four outdoor pots. How much a pot costs depends on how much goes into it, but when all is said and done, about $150 is the average price for a 16- to 18-inch pot that aims to be the envy of the neighborhood. “Think of it as your investment for the season,” says Dolan, who adds that per-pot cost goes down when the number of pots planted goes up.


The Outdoors Contained is busiest during the holidays when clients are prepping their property and/or interiors for guests and entertaining, at which time Dolan and Walsh turn to seasonal helpers (all women) for assistance. “We always figure out a way to get there and we pride ourselves on our customer service and fast response time.” And although Dolan thrives on helping clients discover arrangements that suit them best, if it was up to her: “I love the look of an English garden.”

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