Sunday, 9 June 2013

A hanging idea via MFT

Having popped over to Elaine's blog the other day, I noticed she had posted pictures of a hanging garden courtesy of a friend. You can find the link here

This to me, seems an ideal solution on what to do with some of the myriad of plastic milk containers we recycle. I spent a happy time cruising the internet looking for different ways of using plastic bottles (we don't drink pop so never have any of those except those we poach from a friend when we need to protect early plants). More ideas can be found here on Pinterest. I am not a member of this site so have no idea whether you have to join to view the idea's in full.

Anyway, long story short, I decided I like Elaine's shape the best and set out to make one. This is it after drawing the shape as per her tutorial and cutting it out. Try to keep it whole to use as a template for any more you want to make.
Leftover bit
Some bottles, such as certain milk containers in Morrisons, have their handle on the corner rather than at the back but you can still use them but hang them slightly differently.

DB was not at all sure about the aesthetics of hanging them as they were so I decided to try and disguise them. I had some leftover Paverpol (fabric hardener for sculpting fabrics) from my BA days (but you could just as easily use children's glue) and decanted 3 tablespoons into a container. I then sieved in some garden dirt. Allowing for the fact that Paverpol is white but clear when dried, it was difficult to gauge what the final colour would be. I put a little on some plastic and left it to dry. Nope, too pale.

A few drops of gravy browning plus spent tea leaves for texture were added (hubble bubble toil and trouble etc.!). Yep, much darker and with a better texture. A friend called round to bring me a baby aubergine plant and I showed her, she just gave a smile!
Anyway, the bottles were well sanded to give the mixture some grip and I started painting.
It needed two coats on the outside and 2 on the inside of the back bit plus another centimetre or so on the inside of the lip as well as around the top hole of the handle. You could paint them any colour you wish but as our fences are dark brown I wanted them to blend in.

I have no idea whether the first heavy rain will make it slip off, but hey, no pain no gain! The tub Paverpol comes in is plastic and often it sticks to the inside as the dregs dry. It peels off rather like a face mask!

Here it is freshly planted up with a verbena, looking a little sad but hey, it still has to grow. I have temporarily potted on some more verbena, nicotiana and French marigolds for more bottles.

A few holes need to be drilled or poked into the bottom (do this before you start to paint, it is easier), a little gravel, then compost. I shall post some more pictures when the plants are hanging and growing well. As the plant grows it may be difficult to water but there is always the hole at the top of the handle to put water in using a long, thin spouted, watering can (the sort you use indoors on houseplants).

To hang them up, thread a sturdy stick or cane through the handles and attach the cane or baton to a fence or wall at both ends and in the middle. You can grow lots of different things in them including salad ingredients, herbs and such like, but mine will have flowers and hang above the apline garden atop the log store. We can see this when washing up in the kitchen.




8 comments:

  1. Very nice and love the colour; much better than left looking like milk jugs.
    Would love to see them hung eventually.

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    1. Thank you Lizzie. I have just tried it against the fence and it is a bit dark but better than white. Also, I think the dark colour will lend itself nicely as a backdrop to the plants. Just started painting my second one (going to be a long, slow process methinks).

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  2. That is a really nifty idea and looks great. Popped over to the link on Pinterest and there are some great ideas there too. Weather still horrible, cold NE wind :(

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    1. Amazing thing the internet isn't it! Temperature currently 14C here still with a cool wind. Having lemon chicken curry for tea!!

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  3. Brilliant idea! Would be really handy for small amounts of herbs too, you could have a collection right outside the kitchen door - save that mad dash down the garden path in the rain! Speaking of which ..........

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    1. My herbs are about 15' away or can be accessed in the rain via one of the back bedrooms. They wouldn't be too happy in this spot as it can be quite windy. In this current weather they would be wearing their overcoats!

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  4. Its a very clever idea.Perfect.

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    1. I'm so glad I found it on Elaine's blog.

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