Next time you trim your plants, don't add the "waste material" to your compost like you are encouraged to do.
That's right, I'm offering you advice that goes against the grain.
That's what I did!
I had two planters that needed some pruning but I was in a creative mood. I was itching to produce a work of garden art from my refuse material!
1. Trailing sedum
Perfect "donor" plants for a new container garden, I thought.
After gathering my cuttings, I noticed some fledgling echevaria plants peeking out of another planter, "crying out" to be saved from under the weight of it's decaying mother plant.
How could I resist?
Echevarias, bulbine and other cuttings ready for planting
I Need a Container!
So you think I was going to go out and buy a container for my cuttings? How silly! Of course not.
I was in the mood for "FREE" and I was confident I could find something to repurpose as a planter around the storage shed.
But first, my future planter had to meet some requirements:
- Made of non-decaying material and stand up to water.
- Made of material that I could drill a drain hole into without cracking.
- Be of more value as a planter than as something that I never use!!
Repurpose a Copper Container!
I discovered a neglected copper beverage container that was destined for another purpose.
I reasoned that if it was designed to hold ice, it could function as a planter.
A little soil and water won't hurt it.
Copper beverage cooler = great planter!
I drilled a few drainage holes at the bottom of my new planter to ensure good drainage. Succulents are not fond of excess water.
Ups A Daisy planter insert
Before adding soil, I placed an Ups A Daisy planter insert into the container, about half way down.
The Ups A Daisy insert functions as a barrier between the plant and the bottom of the planter. Since the plant is suspended away from the bottom of the pot where water drains, roots are never sitting in water.
Another benefit of using a planter insert such as the Ups A Daisy is that less soil is required to fill your container.
I filled my planter with "cactus mix"
You can purchase a special "cactus mix" at the garden center for planting succulents or you can make your own.
Here is a recipe by Jeff Moore as seen on the Fine Gardening website for you avid DIY'ers
5 parts perlite
4 parts bagged potting soil
1 part coarse sand
Pinch of rock dust
Top-dress the container soil with small river rock, gravel, aquarium stone, or a fine-grade roofing gravel to keep the crowns of the plants from rotting.
To increase acidity just slightly—something all succulents like—add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to 5 gallons water when watering.
Thank you Jeff.
On with the planting!
I arranged the succulents along the perimeter and created a backdrop of bulbine behind them. I draped the pantyhose in the open area between the plants and tucked them in.
Pantyhose for the garden
Panty hose are binding, suffocating and too hot to wear in Los Angeles. But like many things, they can be used in the garden.
Panty hose make a great soil barrier and keep some of my finishing touches such as colored glass or designer gravel from sinking into the soil!
I topped the panty hose with tumbled, colored glass.
Colored glass is a sparkling accent that provides year-round color to the succulent container garden. The glass also highlights the subtle colors of the succulent petals.
This stylish succulent container garden only looks like a million bucks! Plants were free and the container was lost treasure!
What can you make from what you have sitting around your yard?
It's fun and easy.
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