Garden Diary - July 2017

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Potted: Make Your Own Stylish Garden Containers
by Annette Goliti Gutierrez and Mary Gray
Friday, 21 July 2017

Interior decoration can be defined as "decoration consisting of the layout and furnishings of a livable interior. decor. decoration, ornament, ornamentation - something used to beautify."

And then there are our gardens. Just as interior decoration requires a house to contain it, garden decoration would include objects that embellish a landscape with plants. Paving, fences, trellis, and . . . pots. Utilitarian flower pots - the black plastic containers that hold the plants we impulsively fall in love with and bring home from the nursery. Once home and on display in our gardens we want the pots to be beautiful, as well as functional. Typically available upmarket flower pots are glazed ceramic in a range of sizes and colors. If not exactly to your taste, there's always the DIY option. If you are hesitant to plunge in, not sure where to start there's a new book on the market with a broad series of options.

image courtesy Timber Press, copyright 2017

Potted: Make Your Own Stylish Garden Containers
offers ideas and how-to directions for using concrete blocks,
PVC plastic, terra-cotta flue tiles, metal cans and kitchenware.

image courtesy Timber Press, copyright 2017

Take, for example, using painted PVC tubes
to create an attractive wraparound pot cover.

This caught my attention as my friend Joan has a quite large dragon wing begonia in a standard black plastic pot. "Don't have anything else large enough to hold it." she explained. Six pages of detailed how-to directions, with pictures, takes this project from big box store PVC pipe through quantity calculations, cutting, drilling, painting, and putting the snazzy black / olive / pale turquoise disguise around the pot. One quibble - in the illustration it is displayed under a roof overhang. If it is outdoors then rain will collect inside the pipes. Perhaps - use smaller diameter pipes that could nestle under the pot's rim would prevent this issue and also add a crisp top edging. Another, very different pipe design uses multiple 4-inch diameter black PVC plumbing pipe cut to various heights with snap-in drain covers at one end. Then sand to a matt finish, embellish with stenciled designs and attach to each other with screws

There's clearly an imaginative mind that looks at concrete blocks, plastic vent covers, plastic trash can and think, "Aha! This could become a unique planter."

image courtesy Timber Press, copyright 2017

A galvanized stock tank? How about a water garden.

It is not quite as simple as "just add water." Decide where to site it - once filled you water garden will be too heavy to move. Think about how to customize it - here, a warm copper color harmonizes with the terra-cotta hue of the house itself. Sand, tape off, then spray paint. Make sure it will be level before filling with water, then plant.

image courtesy Timber Press, copyright 2017

Salad bowls and PVC pipes, turned into
flying saucer planters by these clever ladies.

Durable 14-inch diameter stainless steel salad bowls, 3-inch diameter PVC pipe, some sweat equity and voilà - an accent for your garden. These would be elegant in the garden too, as well as enhancing an entry as shown here.

The focus in Potted: Make Your Own Stylish Garden Containers is on creating the various containers, 23 different options and possibilities from a wall of concrete blocks with planting pockets and candle niches to a simple jute rope wrap for a black plastic nursery container. There are minimal suggestions on what to plant, leaving it up to your imagination. The authors have a garden lifestyle boutique in Los Angeles, so some of the plants in these DIY containers would not be suitable outdoors, year-round, for regions with cold winter weather. A gardener will always choose plants that appeal to them, just as they might prefer other colors for the PVC pipe wrap pot cover.

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Published by Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, 2017 ISBN 9781604696974 Softcover, $19.95

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