Search This Blog

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Containers - Small

Containers - Small, what a boring title. I would have loved to punch this up with some exciting wording, even something simple like "Contain It" but I'm trying to make it a bit easier for you to find what you need.

You see, I have so many images of fun, wacky, unusual and even just plain beautiful containers that I'd like to share. By breaking them down into categories; like small, medium and gigundo, hopefully it simplifies things. One thing to keep in mind is that if you are a beginning gardener, the smaller containers are easier to begin with but don't be afraid to try something larger too.

Something I'd like to try with this message is to add additional photos and have them interspersed throughout the blog. We'll see how that works. To begin with I chose one of the easiest plantings of all.

What you see is an old flour sifter, this one in particular came from my mother-in-law. It has everything needed to make a great container. A wide open mouth for the plant material, a handle to move it around and best of all, lots of built in drainage at the bottom.

Planted in the sifter are Hens & Chicks. To be botanically correct, they are Sempervivum and the hybrid name of this variety is 'Silverene'. What a perfect name for this container!

All I did was put a handful of potting soil in the sifter, slipped the hens & chicks out of the plastic pot I had bought them in and then slid them into the sifter. A few more handfuls of potting soil around the sides and a quick tamping down with my fingers to assure there were no air pockets in the soil and tah-dah, my wonderful creation was finished.

Well now that you saw how simple that was, I'd like to share a few more small, easy and yet totally different container plantings. Here's where we'll find out if adding more photos works out the way I'd like.


Ok, so far, so good but I still have some experimenting to do. Shoes...they make wonderful containers in the garden. These images show two pairs of bowling shoes that have been in my garden for 3 years now. Nope, I don't even bother to bring them indoors, they just hang out all winter and come spring I add some new plant material.

To be truthful, my intention was to put the bowling balls in the garden as accents but when a fellow band parent dropped off two bowling balls with matching shoes that he found at the curb, well, I just had to do something with those shoes too!

Of course, as any woman knows, you can never have enough shoes. So sure enough, before my family members can throw any shoes away, I'm going to check them out to see if they work in my garden. These are my husband Don's old workboots. They required a bit more preparation before plantings. I was driving myself crazy trying to drill a few holes in the sole for drainage. All I kept getting was a drill bit clogged with rubber shavings. Don quickly solved the problem for me by taking his utility knife and simply scoring a few cuts in the leather near the sole.


Baskets also make great containers for plants. A few things to remember when working with baskets. One, I like to line the basket with something to help retain the soil and keep it from drying out too fast. If you have landscape fabric, just cut a piece slightly larger than your basket, tuck it inside and trim off any edges that show. No landscape fabric? No worries, just grab one of those plastic supermarket bags, cut a few drainage slits in it and tuck that in instead.

The second thing to keep in mind with baskets is that you will not get too many seasons out of them before they rot away so don't use your Grandma's heirloom basket if you plan on keeping it for a long time.

As you can see in this photo, I hung the basket on the handlebars of an old bicycle that I prop up along our fence. Quite charming if you ask me.

The Old Standby - A Clay Pot

The last small container I'm going to feature here is a simple clay pot. The drainage is already there so just choose your material and plant it in the pot. What's different about this container is the larger container I used to showcase that clay pot. An old set of golf clubs that was hanging around in our garage for years worked perfectly to hold this container. It's just a subtle way for me to say that we have too much lawn and need more flower beds around here :-)

Medium containers will be next if this message comes through well.

1 comment:

Terri Jones said...

Hi, Melanie,

This looks really good -- congratulations! I will try to remember to visit again, and do please remind us on the robin whenever you add to your blog.

Terri Jones