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New Container Gardening Area

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Good morning all. So, I was thinking... (which is often dangerous)... I'd mentioned in the Shady Garden area that it's about time I tackled my back yard, which is mostly shady. I got loads of wonderful ideas from some wonderful people (thank you very much!). Well, as I'm sure most of you can understand, I went to bed last night with visions of ideas rampaging through my head like a herd of elephants.... and had an epiphone! I've got this "interesting" looking fence across my back yard, separating us from the neighbors behind us. (shown in the picture). Well, in the "New Year's Resolution" thread, Catbird shared a really cool picture of a fence using adorable gardening boots as planters, attached to a similar fence. I, personally, am "into" watering cans... so, why couldn't I do the same thing along my fence with lightweight plastic watering cans?? I'll have to get out there today and measure the length of fence that I want to cover, but so far I think I'll be working with about 15 feet or so. The next, fun, part will be to scour the area for cheap plastic watering cans... cute ones, maybe kiddie ones. So, the question is, do any of you have any experience with using watering cans as containers.. HUNG UP on a wall/fence? I'm just wondering how I'll be attaching them. Any helpful tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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Hallowell, ME

I think your best bet is to make individual shelves due to the weight of the pots/cans.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh that's a brilliant idea, I hadn't thought of that, thank you Frank!

I'd been thinking I'd just make my planting mix really light-weight, like 2/3 perlite and 1/3 compost, but you're idea is a really good one. Before I add "hardware" to my Gardening Shopping List, any other brilliant ideas out there? =)

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

So, Hubby brought up a good point this evening that I hadn't though of: I will have to secure the watering cans to the fence/shelf because the crazily active squirrels would just knock 'em over and ruin my babies if I simply just sit the pots on shelves. Soooo, I'll have to figure out some way to secure 'em really good, but still be not too much of a pain in the dupa to work with. Boy oh boy, what fun. =/

Hallowell, ME

Try one wood screw with washer inserted at the top of the can screwed into the fence.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Good morning! Update on my soon-to-be shady garden area!
As I was out and about day before yesterday, I hit a couple of jackpots! My first stop was the dump (aka: Transfer Station). While there, I chatted with my buddy Donnie who works there, and in our gardening conversation (yes, he's a gardener too), he mentioned that last year, some nice patron gave him this cool water pump garden ornament thing. He'd taken it home, but try as he might, he could not get it to fit in with his garden decorum, so he brought it in to work and there it sat, next to the recycling bins. He told me to take it, FOR FREE!! Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!! That was jackpot #1.
Then, since I planned to have time to kill (before taking my truck to her Dr. to have her brakes checked), I wandered over to the Farmers Market. (this was all planned, of course). After nosing around in several different buildings, looking for old watering cans or the like, I wandered to the back of the property where there's only 3 buildings in use. BINGO!! The first place is an antique place, and that's where my first find YELLED at me. A very cool black-and-white oollldddd water pitcher thing. Then, the next building, was PACKED with the widest array of odds and ends, and in it I found a really cute.. I dunno what you'd call it, I call it a planter! And a cute wooden 'rack' that would PERFECTLY hold 3 round 4" growers pots. All 3 for the low low price of $18 total.

Now, here they are:
First is the old pump with bucket, in which I'll grow... I dunno yet, some lovely combo, maybe with Dusty Miller and Artemesia..??
Then is a pic of the other 3 things. You an see the "pitcher" thing on the left looks round, however...
In pic 3 you can see that it's flat on the back, with a hole in it, just MADE for hanging! Woot!! Okey dokey, I'm on a roll now! =)

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

You really are on a roll and you found some good bargains! My major thought is they're too nice to be hung on a fence.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

They are rather lovely, huh? But they're going to look sooooooooo nice filled with colourful flowing babies!! I can't WAIT to get that water pump bucket planted, OH BOY!! Tons of ideas of combos run through my head, Wheeee! =)

I put together some combo pots at work last year, that'll give me some idea of what I want in 'em.

Here's a couple pics of my handy-work!

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Hallowell, ME

I think you might place some sort of vine in the water bucket so it can grow up the pump.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh absolutely YES Frank! Of course, the fun part will be to decide which one(s). =)

Silver Spring, MD(Zone 6b)

The yellow daisies..is that Banana Cream?

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Hmmmm, ya know, I don't remember now, I'm gonna have to think about that one, but I don't think it was any sort of "regular" daisy. Let me think back on what we had last year and I'll come back to it. =)

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

You can always build a shelv like this and attach it to the fence.

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Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes yes YES!!! You have totally hit the nail on the head, that is PRECISELY what I want!!!! WooHoo, you are BRILLIANT, thank you!!!! I am going to print that out so DH can see exactly what I have in mind, oh THANK YOU!! If we can do them 4 or 5 (or so) feet wide it will be perfect, for display and for me to still be able to reach everything easily (I'm not really tall, just a hair over 5'). Yippeeeeee, you're wonderful!!

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I am glad to be at help, I have saved the picture thinking to do the shelf, looks like even I can do it by my self. Probly should be done of treated wood . Good luck. Etelka

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes Ma'am, I agree that it should be treated wood. I personally wouldn't try to make it myself, I'm sorta handy but not quite *that* handy! =)

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

What a great looking shelf. I think I will pass that idea along to my DH, too. I saw the post and photos from Catbird and loved those ideas, too. As for attaching watering cans, L brackets might do the trick. Attaching them so that the L is up rather than down, so that the watering can hides it some, and then screw the bottom of the watering can into the part that extends out. That might be more secure and be less stress on the can than screwing the side into the post. Alas, we have no fence.

Speediebean, please say you're coming to the midAtlantic plant swap.

Backward glance

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

I'd shared somewhere else the stair-step shelving thingy DH built for me last week, but this week he's at it again. I got home from work to find that, not only had he stained it, but he also got the lumber for #2, cut it, sanded it all, AND stained it all!! AND he got a bunch of matching pots to go on them!! Sheeeesh!!!
Here's the finished product of #1 along with the pots, and then a shot of all the prepped lumber for #2. It's just about time to finally get that back area looking like something, WHEEEEE!!! < =D

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Hallowell, ME

Ya know speedie, since your DH has shown his talents he can make you some nice individual shelves to hang on your fence using precut brackets from Home Depot or Lowe's. Your stairstep shelves could be the center with the hung shelves on either side.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

That's actually a very good idea Frank, but there's a slight problem... I'm always such a problem child. =/ We're trying to be as "non-invasive" as possible with that fence since it's not really 'ours', but was installed and paid for by our neighbors behind us. It seems to me to be a bit of a sticky wicket, maybe more so than it really is. I keep thinking and thinking about that fence, since the time to act is nearly upon me. Yes, DH certainly could do that, but I'm still 'riding the fence' as it were. How 'invasive' do I really want to be with someone else's fence, even though it borders my own property? Would the screws necessarily have to be very long to install the shelves you're talking about? Ya know, long enough to poke through to the other side? If not, then that's a very good idea, and we've certainly got left-over lumber to do that, so I will propose that to DH. But I'm not sure about your proposed placement... I've had this idea in my head that I'd like the shelf thingies about a foot apart or so, that wooden hand-pump thing in between with a climber and some spilling/flowing flowers of some sort in it, and then the stuff up on the fence ... maybe above and on either side of the benches..?? What do you think? Or, should I just forget about the hand-pump out back and use it as a focal point in my biggest bed out front instead, and go with your idea out back? I'll add a pic of my biggest bed out front, maybe I could/should think of a spot there for that pump? I know I've been wanting a focal point there... Oh, and please ignore the lousy-looking "lawn", this picture is from last summer and the lawn is MUCH better now. =)

I appreciate the ideas!!!!!

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SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

That front is just SCREAMING for some fire engine red planter boxes under those windows. A pop of color that will go a looooooooooooooong way to breaking up all the white!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

While that is a FANTASTIC idea, there's just no way I'd put holes into the house to install planter boxes. We both, DH and I, are very anal about putting holes into the siding or cinder block of the house. That being said though, I'm sure there MUST be some way to give the same effect without being "invasive", yes? Given how handy DH is with a hammer and nails (or a drill and screws), I'm sure he could build me a couple stand-type thingies that would hold the boxes, and I could sink the legs down into the soil for stability. Then plant some taller stuff just in front of the legs to hide them... Hmmm, what WONDERFUL ideas you have given me, THANK YOU!!!!!!

Oh, and I've discussed the shelf/bracket idea with DH as well, for that back fence. The lumber we've got "left-over" from the benches are all 2x4's, so we'll have to get really creative about turning those into shelves, but I'm sure we can come up with something. The next trick will be to figure out how to make them "work". Maybe we could insert a few vertically, securing them to the horizontal "braces" that go across the fence, and then secure the planters to those vertical ones?? Or, put in the vertical ones, and *then* some more, smaller, horizontal ones, secured to the verticals... but they're just 2x4's, so I'm not sure how "shelfy" they would be... < =/ HELP!

I've made a few purchases the past couple days too, some Hostas, Virginia Bluebells, Columbines, a Coleus, and a Setcresea. I also found some seeds for a lovely Columbine Mix that I hadn't seen around here anywhere else (found 'em at the grocery store!), and some Johnny Jump Ups. I've never grown those before, so if anyone's got any helpful hints/tips, I'm all ears! < o_o >

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Well, I think I (we, DH and I) have got it figured out. We went out shopping this weekend, hit up Lowe's, and found these wonderful "trellis planters". We got 2 of them and plan to set them in between the 2 benches with Clematis Dr. Rupel in each one. Then we got a lovely bird bath to sit in between, but in FRONT of, the trellis planters. Here's a pic of the planter so you can get a visual.
This weekend we shall finish building that second bench, then prep the area to set 'em up... gonna put down some landscape fabric and cover it with mulch, to give the benches a pretty mulch bed to sit on. (I bought the fabric and mulch at work yesterday).

I'll share pics this weekend after we get stuff set up. Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

Here's that trellis planter thingy, compliments of Lowes's website.

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Very nice! Take photos when the area is done.

You will love Dr. Ruppel - it's a beauty. Plant it deeply.

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Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Thank you Pirl, I didn't realize that, I'll be sure to plant them as deeply as I can... as much as the planter will allow for. My GOODNESS, that sure is a beauty in that picture you shared!! Have you got a farther-zoomed-out picture that shows your planter a bit more? I have a feeling I'll fall in love with that trellis. =)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thank you. I love the obelisk.

The clematises should be planted with 2" (at least) covering the root ball. Add manure, compost, bone meal and a drink of Epsom Salt (1 TBSP to a gallon of warm water - not hot). Make sure you mulch well. Happy growing!

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Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Oh WOW how gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! See, I KNEW I'd fall in love with it!! =)

Ok, I'm gonna copy/paste your instructions to my 'Gardening Journal' so I don't forget what to do when I replant the Clematises, thank you a TON!! I don't have any manure, and I've promised DH that I am DONE spending money... for now. But, I've got great organic fertilizer with Microrrhyzae (sp?), and I've got all the rest, too. Do ya think that'll be good enough? Gosh I hope so, 'cause I don't want to break my promise to DH. :)

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

That is indeed a beautiful addition to the garden. Sure wish one of those was going in mine.

The southern MD craigslist has free manure being offered in Hughesville.

Photo is our newly acquired trellis kit, aka crib, that we got from the Frederick craigslist last week. Hoping to join the 2 side rails in an L shape and have some sort of planter between them, a bit like the Home D style, but without a taper.

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Brady, TX(Zone 8a)

speediebean, I really like that "trellis planter thingy, compliments of Lowes's website" but I'm not finding it. Do you think it might be a regional thing?

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

This should at least give you a bit more info on the trellis planter.


(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks, speediebean. My husband made the first one (right) and we had a local guy make the second (left) as a replacement when the first one wore out after many years. The obelisk does tend to become obscured with five clematises and nearby peonies, hydrangeas and roses.

Manure isn't mandatory so go with what you have.

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Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Thank you Pat, I wasn't sure if it was a regional thing, I'm sure that'll help TX_gardener. =)

Goodness Pirl, that obelisk sure becomes lost in all the plants, but it looks FABULOUS!! After all the lovin' all those plants put on the first one I'm not surprised that first one wore out! =)

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Wisely, we had the second one made of cedar.

Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi speediebean,
You don't need to attach any planters to the siding of your house. You can support them from the bottom and lean them against the house. Keep the planter about 2" away from the house to let air circulate around to keep moisture damage away. Lean the planter to the house with touch plates. You could even cover the touch plates with old carpet to avoid chafing the siding. The planter could be painted fire engine red with the supports painted house color to blend in to the rest of the house.

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Hiya Paul, and a BIG thank you, that's a wonderful idea!!! I can hide the support posts behind my taller growing stuff in the back, so I won't have to worry about any unsightliness... oh BOY, now I'm really excited!! OK, this new idea has been added to my gardening journal and I'll discuss it with DH while we're building that new bench this weekend... may as well 'grab' him while he's in builder's mode, eh? =) Just hope we've got enough left-over lumber for them...

***wanders off singing "When the flowers are so dangerously near me, I get ideas, I get ideas..." ***

Elgin, IL(Zone 5a)

Oh speedie, you're such fun!

Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Aaaaw, thank you Donna! =)

I brought up the idea of the window boxes to DH this past weekend, while we were working on the second bench, but it was lousy timing! Don't ya just hate it when one project doesn't finish the thought process, but instead turns into needing another project done to complete it? Well, that's what happened here. Ya see, as it turns out, I have no vision. Go figure, right? Well, I just simply could NOT tell by looking at that back fence line just HOW horribly sloped the ground is.... I mean, I knew it was sloped, but to what degree, my mind's eye just could not see. Not until that second bench was done and we put everything out there. Both benches AND both trellis planters, AND the bird bath. NOW I can see how EEEEEK it really is. My goodness, this just simply will not do!! Here, take a look at how awful it is!!

Soooo, next on the list will be for me to bring home 4 railroad ties, 2 of which will be cut in half. I'm gonna dig 2 gradually graded trenches, one that will come out 4 feet from the fence on the left side, then one that will go 12 feet across in front of the fence parallel to it. That will create a sort of 4'x12' "bed" in which the benches will sit. Now, in those gradually graded trenches will sit the railroad ties; a 4' piece coming out from the fence, and then another sitting on top of it. Then the full one and half-one, side-by-side in the 12' trench across the front. The other full-length tie and half-tie will sit on top of those, but staggered. That "bed" will get filled in with topsoil, appropriately graded so-as to give a flat(ish) surface, or as much as possible. THEN the benches and stuff can go back into place and should look more normal and not so hideous like it is now.

Meanwhile, one of my Clematises is blooming very happily!! (second picture) I can't WAIT to get all this done and get 'em planted out back!! I found out from Boss-Man yesterday that he'll be glad to cut them for me, which is a big help in carrying them from the truck to the back yard when the time comes. So, I'll purchase them today and let Boss-Man know that he's got until tomorrow to get them cut, heeheeheee. No rush, mind you. ;)

The project marches on.....

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Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

Well Speedie it looks awesome in the picture, you just have to do a little grading. :)

My BF's father was a professional custom cabinet maker. When he passed my BF inherited all these fancy woodworking tools. I just ASSUMED that he'd be ultra handy, but he just doesn't have that kind of initiative that your DH had with these lovely benches he made for your pots.

I'm sure it'll work out beautifully. I too fell in love with the obelisk. I just know I could do it if I had fancy tools of my own. Hee hee hee.

Let us know how it's going!


Longview, WA(Zone 8b)

Hi Friends,
I thought I would send along a picture of what I call my, "Grow Towers." These were assembled and planted around the 15th of April.
I have them covered with some umbrella greenhouses for now, waiting for the weather to warm.
So far I have planted;
bush beans
and impatiens
in each.
I have set up a drip system to water them often as they will dry out pretty quickly. Soon I will add a fertilizer injector to feed them.
More pictures to follow.

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Somewhere in, MD(Zone 7b)

Neat-looking idea Paul!! WOW you sure do have a lot of stuff planted, huh? Looking forward to seeing how they fill out, they're going to be gorgeous, and yummy! =)

OK, the progress so far... came home from work in Friday planning to get out there and do some digging for the trenches... shoulda known DH would have beat me to it! Not only did he get ALL the digging done, but the first layer of railroad ties is down, so all I had to do was "help" him secure them with rebar. ("help" means keep him company and start on the clean-up). ;)

It looks rather wonky at the moment, 'cause there really is THAT much of a slope!! We'll be chipping away at the work all this week so I can come home from work on Friday with topsoil to finish filling it in. We're thinking now, what we'd like to do is put a 'face' on the front and top of the ties, the same wood he used to build the benches... give it a nicer "finished" look.

Meanwhile, I have also been commissioned to buy LOADS more annuals to "fill in" the blank spots in the front big bed. Oh, woe is me, more plants! **snicker**. < =P

Time to hit the shower and go enjoy work, have a GREAT day all!! < =D

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