Recycled planters, from single use to a new lease of life.
What better way to liven up your space by bringing a bit of nature into your home through some simple re-cycling? Here are a few tips for both practical and playful additions!
TeapotsGuaranteed to bring a smile to your face whilst also providing the perfect growing space for herbs, small alpine flowers or sempervivums – just remember to save one so you can water (sparingly) in style too!
Small but perfectly formed, these little planting spaces can either slot in to a light corner or be pooled together for a perfect little display. Keep it simple in terms of planting – parsley or coriander plants would be perfect, or perhaps some wildflowers if you have a group.
Green fingers mean green shoots for green boots! Just remember that the bigger the foot, the deeper the roots – why not try growing bigger daisies on the inside (even better if you can match them on the outside! Just remember not to over-water – like people, most plants don’t like their toes sitting in water!
Once you’re done cleaning out your old pipes, why not put them to good use? Tied up with string and filled with a bit of compost you’d be amazed what grows. If you’re keeping them in the kitchen, try something simple like cress, mustard or some baby herb leaves to add a last-minute bit of zing to a salad. If you’re looking for flowers, go for something hardy like calendular – though I’d avoid keeping the pipes in full sun as they will dry out quickly if you’re not careful.
A bit more heavy-duty than the others on this list, tyres can give you a great raised flower-bed in a small space but they really work well if you’re growing your own veg, particularly if you can stack two or three together! Try planting potatoes in a two-tyre stack – once the shoots start to get tall enough you can add another tyre and bury them until just the top couple of inches showing. You can do this a couple of times and should get a bumper crop from the buried stems!
A more solid option, I’d look for different coloured glass to give a rich variety of contrasting tones. While you could fill them with soil, the narrower necks make for simple but stylish vases that will show off cut-flowers to perfection – while roses work well, the simple stems of alstroemeria or dahlias are also perfect.
These are really great for kids, who love seeing the roots develop through the glass – which also means it’s easier for you to see when they’re really getting dry below the surface. While smaller house plants will survive well in larger jars, if you’re looking for something low-maintenance then why not try a cactus or two? Just make sure you give them sandy soil and warn any little fingers about the spikes!
Simple to re-use, most people cut the top half off to make for a simple versatile container. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more fun why not turn the bottle on its side, open the wider side section and connect wires to hang it. As a container it’s the perfect size for little lettuce plants (rocket would be ideal!).
The Hanging Garden
If you wanted to go bigger and bolder, why not try connecting multiple bottles to create your own vertical hanging garden. Not only are you making the most of your available space, it means you can grow multiple varieties to pull together your own tasty little salad without having to leave the house!
By Jonathan Martin