Just as I enjoy small and intricate card designs, so I enjoy smaller, creative container gardening. It also makes me feel good as I can be frugal by recycling objects that might otherwise be thrown out, like old wellies, and results in something totally original that appeals to my slightly quirky nature!
Now I know you can be thoroughly green and use cut out milk cartons, plastic bin liners and old tyres, but I think whatever you use for your plant containers needs to fit in with your surroundings and be to your style, otherwise, you won’t be happy with the end result.
My favourite quirky planters include old watering cans, old wellies (the more colourful, the better!) and tin cans. The latter need some care and using tins with ring-pull tops are best as they give you a safer edge, you don’t want to cut yourself, but I do think they look good. Any containers you use will need drainage holes, so you might need to get someone (a man with a drill?!) to help you do this, unless it’s something soft when you can probably punch or cut the holes yourself.
Alternatively, old kitchen utensils such as colanders have built-in drainage holes and you don’t need moss or coir to line them – they make great hanging baskets too! Perhaps this is something Victoria should think about in our second novel ‘A Violet Death’, due out very shortly! Oops - did I just give our next book a plug there? Naughty me!
Have a think about what flowers will be right for the scale of your containers and try and get a nice mix of trailing and taller plants and decide whether you want similar colours, or more vibrant contrast shades.
One lovely idea is to grow herbs in tin cans or in old kitchen utensils, they look great and it’s so apt too!
Here are a few more tips to help you get the best out of your containers:
- Always raise your containers off the ground so that they can drain freely, both in summer and especially in winter, when they can freeze.
- Water plants either first thing in the morning or in the evening – avoid the middle of the day when temperatures are high and so is the rate of evaporation.
- Always add a barrier layer between the drainage materials and the compost to stop the compost washing down and blocking drainage holes. Use old net curtains, washing-up cloths, pillowcases, capillary matting, sacking or landscape fabric, and use old broken pots to help drainage.
- Group containers in their final position before planting, especially when moving heavy pots.