Well that was a very chilly weekend, but I’m not complaining because the sun is here, along with a bright blue sky.
I spent some of the weekend sprucing things up right outside the kitchen door, clearing away the herbs and re-housing them in the shelter of the porch by the front door, and putting together a more seasonal scene.
Even if I’m not in and out of the kitchen-door quite as much in the winter months, it’s somewhere that I gaze out of while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, so it’s worth making it look nice.
Which brings me to up-cycling and the wine-boxes I’ve used as plant containers. I saw them at my local wine-shop and really liked them, turns out their willing to give them away for donation to their charity box, at least they were when I started getting them a year or so ago, now they cost a fiver. But I reckon that’s not bad for good sized containers that look a bit different, and I do like the chunkiness of the wood and the different vineyard stamps and fonts.
How to prepare for planting:
they need drainage-holes drilling in the base of the box to stop the plants getting soggy and eventually rotting, the holes in mine are about 2cm diameter,
I lined them with plastic to stop the wood rotting away too quickly, using a plastic compost- bag, turned inside out so if the plastic does show, it’s black rather than a glaring white.
The boxes were filled with compost, I firmed it down gently firmed with my finger-tips so the soil didn’t get too compressed, using mostly multi-purpose compost with a couple of handfulls of loam-based compost like John Innes.
Leave a gap at the top of an inch/2.5cm, so water doesn’t spill everywhere when you water them, though they need very little over winter, just enough to keep the soil damp.
I planted the bulbs twice the depth of the bulb, using muscari bulbs in the shallow box and tulips in the deeper one. The soil was covered with a layer of moss, it looks a bit like a badly-fitting wig at first, but gradually settles down and looks more natural. Some of the pots have violas and pansies in them so there isn’t just a sea of moss everywhere.
There are more up-cycled plant containers here
Have a good week, and happy gardening when you manage to get out there.
all photos: Jill Anderson