Going on vacation? Put a few of these together for your container gardens to keep them hydrated while you are away.
The concept of repurposing a wine bottle into a container garden “watering device” has been around for a while. I was intrigued at first, because I love to see glass in the garden, and the idea seemed practical as well as pretty. However, after trying several different methods and contraptions I gave up, until recently. After thinking it through, I made a trip to the hardware store with a very specific idea in mind: use copper tubing to make a wine bottle "funnel."
What You'll Need: ...
I have a client who has a number of these beautiful wire scroll window boxes that I fill for her every spring and fall. She has them on a full-sun terrace where they receive plenty of sun and wind - normally an ideal place for growing beautiful flowers, right?
Well, for those of us who have experienced planting and maintaining these kinds of planters during the summer, you'll understand the challenges of trying to keep them properly watered. When I posted one of these window boxes on my facebook page, one of my followers, Barbara E. from Santa Cruz, California, told me a friend had given her one of these same scroll planters, and she wondered what I did to "keep it all together." I told her how I prepared the coconut husk liners, and she was able to do the same with her window box and sent me pictures of her L O V E L Y herb planter, using my suggestions (see below).
You'll need to purchase a roll of coconut husk liner, and cut it by hand to fill your basket (you will need some heavy-duty scissors). Following these instructions, this liner will last for about two years, depending upon the severity of your local weather. I double-line all four sides and allow the folds to fill the corners (you many need to trim away some of the excess coconut husk if it's too bulky). Allow enough overlap around the upper rim so that you can fold the extra husk back inside the planter and secure it with zip ties all around the upper rim (every 4-6" - see photo of unfilled planter). This reinforces the liner so that it can be filled with dirt, plants, and water, and maintain its shape. Before adding the dirt, I cut a heavy-duty black plastic trash bag and line the bottom of the planter, allowing it to come up the inside by several inches. I carefully cut a few slits in the black plastic, about 2" long, to allow for drainage in the bottom (have someone help you fill the planter with dirt, so that the plastic liner stays in place). The extra layers of coconut husk, and the plastic liner in the bottom, help keep moisture around the roots of the plants so that they do not dry out so quickly and have a longer, healthier, growing season. ...
Have you given any thought to transforming your birdbath into a water garden? Well I have, and after a couple of years experimenting with various aquatic plants, I’m sharing my ideas here.This is a birdbath that I converted into a water garden, and you’d be surprised how simple it is. Choose a complementary pot to go with the birdbath, then choose your aquatic plants to fit inside the planter.
These newspaper pots can be planted directly into the ground once seeds have sprouted and are ready for transplanting outdoors. The ink and the newspaper itself are nontoxic and biodegradable.
Further reading about Soy Newspaper Ink: Myth vs. Reality
I've long been fascinated with plant foliage, and the remarkable symmetry of Mother Nature - you too?! I love collecting plants for "theme gardens" and so, naturally, heart-shaped plants is one of my favorites. Here are a few ideas to get you started on your own Heart-Shaped Theme Garden.
I'm sure you have many other favorites, like Dicentra (Bleeding Heart). Share some of your ideas with us!
We are all becoming aware of the importance of protecting our pollinators. Many plants depend upon bees and other insects to reproduce.
So while you are planning a garden, why not include some of these plants? They are not just beautiful and reliable landscape plants, but they will attract pollinators - bees in particular. And because bees are often drawn to a plant by fragrance, several of the plants listed below are also fragrant.
Tips for attracting bees: bees are not only attracted by the fragrance of a flower, but also by the color due to their keen color vision. In particular, bees are charmed by yellow, white, blue, pink, and purple flowers. Mass-planting one particular variety is sure to draw swarms of beneficial pollinators, so allow plenty of room. Designating one area of the garden to Bee Charming will not only attract more bees, but it will allow for easier care and maintenance of pollinator plants. By choosing different sizes, shapes, and colors of flowers for your pollinators, you'll increase the availability of plants throughout the year. ...
This is not a pretty post. But it can become one.
Here in Zone 7B (Suwanee, GA) we had a wicked winter, like much of the country. Temperatures were well below normal, and the wind-chill factor hovered around zero on more than one occasion. All this has taken its toll on our plant materials, but with spring on the horizon, it's somewhat amazing to see how little permanent damage was actually done.
The worst problems for some of my clients seemed to be with plant materials that (1) were installed in the late fall (November 2013), just a couple of weeks before temperatures dropped dramatically, and (2) with a few established broad-leaf evergreen trees and shrubs - in the way of "leaf burn," aka desiccation. Desiccation occurs when harsh winds and cold temperatures remove the moisture from plant foliage, faster than the root systems can replace lost moisture. (That's why it is a good idea to water around the root systems of newly installed materials several hours before a freeze: this allows the roots to pass moisture to the foliage before the foliage is disturbed by frigid temperatures.) ...
Have you been to a garden center or farmers market lately? They are starting to fill up with spring gardening gems. Just take a look at what I found!
Edible gardens are popular right now, and for good reason: you can eat what you grow, even if it's beautiful. Here is a container garden made up in shades of purple and lavender foliage and flowers, using edible plant materials. (NOTE: before consuming edible plant materials, make sure they are 100% certified organic, and better yet, grow them yourself so you have complete control over what goes into your garden.)
Even if you don't intend to eat what you grow, you can still create colorful container gardens using seasonal "edible" ingredients. This container garden is made up with plants readily available February through May, depending on what part of the country you reside. ...