paros day 33: a planter box from scraps

Yes, before you say anything… I’m a day late again. But I have a great excuse. Yesterday was a stunning day. The sun was shining, it was warm and beautiful… I took Lainee down to town to pick up some marble scraps and walked her along the sea front and through the deserted streets of town. On the way back we stopped at my uncle’s place so I could make a planter box. And it literally wiped me out. I got home too exhausted to do much of anything but shower, eat and go to bed early.

I wanted something big so I could plant my new hydrangea. The one that seems to be dying already. I don’t have the money to spend on a huge pot so I figured I’d make one out of what I could scrounge. I had some bits and pieces of old timber at my uncle’s place I knew I could make work. The box is about 45cm x 45cm. It’ll be really heavy to move once its full.

Wayne always used to say I should buy dead plants, sort of cut out the middle man… Since I was going to kill them anyway.

It doesn’t stop me from trying though. I’m no quitter.

Anyhow… I went to the nursery the other day to pick up some seedlings for my uncle’s vegetable patch and fell in love with this hydrangea. Its BLUE. And yeah, I know its the soil that dictates pink or blue, but its BLUE, alright!

I’ve had white before but never pink or blue. And I’ve never had much luck with really healthy hydrangeas but I always longed for them. Given I have a big pine tree shading my front porch for most of the day I hope it will like it here. In the heat of summer it should be protected most of the day as the sun is high in the sky. I do know they prefer morning sun to afternoon sun, but I don’t get morning sun. At the back I get late morning and early afternoon sun, in front I get afternoon sun. Where the box is now it gets a bit of late afternoon sun, but hey, if it looks like its getting hot I’ll put an umbrella over it. I’ve done that before and I’m not afraid to look stupid!

I’ve never made a big box/crate before. I made this one up as I went along cause, ha, who needs to follow instructions? I had an idea of how it would fit together and just went ahead and made it. Hardly any mistakes either! I did have to do a little patchwork cause I didn’t have enough of the blue coloured timber, but hey, I made it work.

I’m more a ‘don’t do what I do’ type of woodworker than a ‘follow my instructions’ one.

It took me way longer than I thought it would. I worked on it all afternoon. Then I brought it home and thought putting a sheet of plastic down the bottom with holes in it would serve well to hold in the soil.

I discovered two things:

One is not so much discovered but later thought better of – a sheet of plastic, even with holes in it might make it too wet when it rains, even though hydrangeas like to be kept moist… I’m going to have to line it with weed matting (I dont have any) or burlap (which I have) to be safer.

Two – I’m gonna need a s@#$ load of soil to fill this sucker.

Cost of box: 0
Cost to till it: 12,343,235.00. Or thereabouts.

This morning I’m off to the nursery to buy soil.

Meanwhile, I found this latern at the rubbish the other day and picked it up. After a little wash it came up pretty good. I’ve put rocks in the bottom to stop the wind from blowing it away and found an ice cream container that fit into the top. While on our walk yesterday I picked up some cuttings of a pretty pink and orange pigface I’ve never seen before. The idea is for it to grow out and over and down. If its not too averse to the shade. If it is I’ll have to move it elsewhere.

Come to think of it, it might do well on the buttress-like retaining wall bits. They dont go all the way to the top of the big wall behind my place so they create a ledge… hm… maybe it will end up there, allowing the pigface to grow downwards over the wall. That would be pretty…

But that’s for another day. Right now I need to get on with this one!

See ya’ll tomorrow.

z

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5 thoughts on “paros day 33: a planter box from scraps

  1. Wow! You azre so industrious. Do you know that it is the iron in the soil that makes them blue? My mother-in-law used to tell us that they put the old gramophone needles in the ground near the hydrangeas. Anything that will rust will do it.
    I have heard that they are easy to strike new ones. The one you have there is a beautiful blue.

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    • I’ve always buried rusty stuff near and around hydrangeas, but apparently coffee grounds do the same job… Lucky I drink a bit of coffee! šŸ™‚ I just hope this one makes it. Yes, they do propagate well, and they come back from being cut down to stumps, but I need it to LIVE first!!!!

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  2. Looks great to me. If you can get your hands on any of those packing peanuts, they work to help fill the bottom of a large container. Not as heavy as soil or rocks.
    My mom used little home made dollies with casters to haul her heavy planters. She attached a piece of rope to pull them with.

    Iā€™m sure you can do something when you find stuff again.

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    • Dammit. I knew I should have made my own dolly with castors. Its not like I dont have them. Somewhere… I know I have them… but where… hmmmm… Anyway, I didn’t have any packing peanuts but I’ve used styrofoam pieces in large pots before as well.

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