General ramblings

Plant it…

June 4, 2013

It’s that time of year…

Gardening!

I am a self-confessed antithesis of a green fingered person (what is the opposite of green-fingered? Black-fingered? I kill houseplants-they don’t whinge at me loudly or persistently, so they don’t get fed or watered-those are the rules in our house…)
Normally, my mum or mother-in-law are roped in to come and do it all while I hide indoors baking help but this year, they didn’t. Booooooo.
So it was down to us to try and make the garden look vaguely nice.

Now I know I have debated before where cut flowers fit into My Make Do and Mend Year, and The Rules, and not really arrived at any firm conclusions, and I suppose if we were being really hardcore, and forward-planning, then technically we should have grown all our bedding plants ourselves from seeds harvested from the plants from the previous year. But we aren’t really known for our forward-planning, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to Do It All, so we hadn’t. Sorry.
So we went and bought some bedding plants. In our defence, we went to a very sweet, independantly owned, local nursery (that also has a cattery attached, and they line their hanging baskets with cat fur-slightly creepy..) and therefore we were supporting a local business and boosting the local economy, etc. etc. And technically, plants and flowers are ‘consumable’, like food and toiletries…

We came back armed with all the plants we thought looked pretty, having given very little thought to how many pots/hanging baskets we had, and what plants work best where. You live and learn…

First up were our 2 hanging baskets. We knew we needed liner things as we had: a) seen my mum use them before; and b) remarked on the creepy cat hair liners at the nursery, so we scratched our heads as to what we could use. I suggested felt/fleece as I thought we had some from the Scrapstore kicking around, but we didn’t, and then hubby remembered that he had a load of old underlay in his mum’s garage (when I questioned him as to why, he mumbled something about carpeting the garage, or it’s walls-should I be concerned…?) and he whizzed of to his mum’s to get some. It was pretty much perfect, except it wasn’t nicely pre-cut in the shape of the hanging basket like the nice expensive ready made liners, but we coped.

Gardening1

Gardening5

2 hanging baskets down, and we turned our attention to the rest of the plants and some Make Do and Mend containers….

Sweet Williams (looking a bit sorry for themselves having been in our possession for a couple of weeks and been sat neglected and un-watered) in an old pair of BigSmall’s wellies:

WELLIE PLANTERS1

He wore through the toes on braking on his balance bike-hubby tried to mend them with Mastick, but it didn’t really work

My lovely old boots that I still love very much and have not been able to find decent replacements for (the zip had gone on one, and both had been patched up and repaired numerous times).

Gardening3

I cut the tops off and have plans to use the leather for ‘something’ as yet undetermined-any ideas?
Hubby had to use his drill to make some holes in the bottom for water drainage…

Gardening2

I hesitate to say this, but I think I may actually be a convert to gardening. I never want to go out and do any, but once I get started, I kind of enjoy it. And the Smalls ran around like loopy things, and BigSmall spent 20 minutes watching this

Gardening4

and then was VERY chuffed when he was allowed to use Daddy’s hammer to smash up an old broken pot to make bits to go in the bottom of the boots/pots. In fact, when questioned later about whether he’d had a good day, hammering up old pots was his highlight…..

What’s the strangest thing you have ever used as a planter in your garden..?!

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  • Reply The Big One | My Make Do and Mend Year June 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    […] it would be pretty scary if there actually WAS one in the room) so I skip about talking about planting up wellies and  making presents, and not actually talking all that much about the reason this blog is so […]

  • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) June 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Adopt a hedgehog & you will not have a problem with snails & slugs … I have to import them from my daughters garden to give to my hedgehog or supply it with dried cat food & water (never milk & bread !) If you grow your own veg just don’t plant it in old tyres as they can give off toxic chemicals into the food.

    • Reply Jen June 6, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Never thought about getting a pet hedgehog! How cool would that be?! Not sure it would be too keen on the cats though. Thanks for the tyre tip.

      • Reply Vivienne Downes (@VivienneDownes) June 6, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        I have always had cats & they respect the Hedgehogs (maybe something to do with their prickles !) so they just keep their distance. Certainly never use slug pellets, collecting the snails & slugs is next best option

        • Reply Jen June 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm

          Might send the Smalls out in their wellies 1st thing to go ‘collecting’..!

  • Reply KnitNell June 5, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    We did plant a couple of old wellies once – didn’t think of cutting the tops down which would have been better as they were a bit too wobbly. This year we have used a couple of old packing cases – the thin wood seems to cope with the weather ok so far.

  • Reply Jano June 5, 2013 at 8:42 am

    I really dislike doing this but it works. When it gets dark, put on your rubber gloves, take a torch and walk around paths and places where the slugs and snails begin munching your vegetables. Collect in a suitable container and dispose as you see fit.
    I am going to get some nematodes to try and lessen the slug population, I dislike the use of slug pellets for the birds sake.

    • Reply Jen June 5, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Let us know how you get on with the nematodes 🙂

  • Reply smallholderwannabe June 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

    We’ve got a bean wigwam planted in the drum from my old washing machine. It comes with its own drainage holes and the slugs don’t seem to like climbing up it : )

    • Reply Jen June 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Sounds brilliant! Am tempted to go to the tip to see if I can find one!

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo June 5, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Glad to see youve got the gardening bug (excuse the pun), will you be growing your own potatoes and salad veg next? Even growing your own radishes and lettuce is much cheaper than buying and tastes so much nicer fresh ( and also good for helping the smalls learn where their food comes from). Also, growing sweetpeas (for the flowers and heavenly smell) and sunflowers are a must as they grow so quick they keep childrens attention.
    If youve got a lawn with lots of moss in it, you can rake it out and use that to line your baskets with (works for me).
    Good luck in your gorwing (dont forget to water these).
    :o)

    • Reply Jen June 5, 2013 at 10:25 am

      We have got some bits and pieces on the go. My mum usually gets things started for us and then we get the glory bit of harvesting it all. Last year was a bit of a disappointment though I think lots of people had a bad year. Our main issue this year is trying to stop SmallSmall digging everything up…

  • Reply Louisa June 4, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    We haven’t actually planted it yet but when we do, the strangest planter we’ll have in our garden will be an engine block from a 1950’s Gardner 6LW engine (which used to be used in lorry engines) It’s a long story! 🙂 x

    • Reply Jen June 5, 2013 at 10:22 am

      That sounds amazing Louisa! Would love to see a photo when it’s all planted up 🙂

  • Reply Hazel June 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    We’ve got wellies with flowers in too 🙂 Someone bought Connie one of those kits where children can decorate their own boots- it seemed a shame to throw them away afterwards…
    I also have mint in a galvanised watering can and an enamel jug, both of which I rescued from landfill, then discovered why they’d been thrown away… Thyme is in an old Belfast sink, blueberries are in 2 ancient galvanised bath tubs, and this year I have veg in wooden chicken crates I acquired when the local scout unit were getting rid of them

    • Reply Jen June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Sounds fabulous Hazel!

  • Reply Skool-Kit June 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I love pottering in the garden but don’t seem to have the time these days at all. I had a vegetable box built in the garden to grow all my own herbs and veggies a couple of years ago. After spending a small fortune on filling it with all sorts of weird and wonderful herbs and vegetables, the lot was eaten by slugs! Sadly I haven’t felt the urge to do it all again. I do like to sit in the garden on a lovely sunny day though and listen to the birds.

    • Reply Jen June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      Sitting in a sunny garden listening to the birds sounds like my kind of gardening..!

  • Reply The Disenchanted Costumier June 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    I had an old mug, that I loved but due to numerous chips it wasn’t used so I put a little house pant in it. Simple and effective. By the way im already eying up a pair of the husbands old shoes for plants – brilliant idea!

    • Reply Jen June 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm

      Thankyou! Glad you like it 🙂

  • Reply alwaysfindahappyplace June 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    It’s not particularly strange but the large yoghurt pots (you know the grown up Onken ones), make brilliant planters. particularly for that mid-way potting on stage. Found an old hat pin of my Nan’s to heat up and bash drainage holes in the bottom. It’s full-on war this year with slugs and snails – they ate everything I planted last year!

    • Reply Jen June 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      The caterpillars decimated most of our attempts at veg last year 🙁 Great idea for the yoghurt pot planters!

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