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DIY Activity for November


Promise in a Pot: Raising Your Sight

“You’ll never find a rainbow if you’re looking down.” This quote by Charlie Chaplin reminds us why it is so important to raise our sights! Lifting our point of view to a higher perspective becomes easy if we find beauty there to marvel at. Raise your sights with us and try your hand at eye-level gardening on a small patio or balcony.

We’re into month four of our promise in a pot series. This month we’re placing special focus on gardening in small spaces. If you are limited to growing what you can on a patio or windowsill, this is ideal for you. We’re harnessing the power of vertical space by making a vertical garden by means of a trellis, and planting up a hanging basket. If you live in an apartment, you can enjoy all the pleasures of the garden, like riots of flowers from your window.


Trellis Garden a Vertical Delight

A trellis is a lovely way to decorate a wall. A balcony garden invites nature closer and decorating the walls of a small patio couldn’t be easier. Forget plain walls - go for a living ornament that offers food to bees and butterflies. If you’re lucky, you might even have feathered friends visiting in the springtime.

What you will need:
A trellis
Decorative pots for the trellis
Small flowering plants
Well-draining plastic pots, if the pots which the plants come in aren’t suitable
Cable ties
A bucket or Tubtrug (to catch soil)


How to make a vertical trellis garden:

Step 1: Choose your plants
Select plants that will thrive in the light you are able to provide in their new home. For this reason, it’s necessary to know how the light tends to move during the day, is there a period of full sun? Full shade? Get familiar with your space before you choose your flowering plants.

Step 2: Planting your plants
Using the correct potting mix for the plants you have selected. Plant them in well-draining plastic pots, being sure to pat down the soil once the plant has been placed. Once the plants are snug in the plastic pots, water them thoroughly and allow the pots to drain

Step 3: Attach the Decorative Pots to the Trellis
Using cable ties, attach the decorative pots to the trellis. Once the pots are secured, trim away the excess from the cable tie. To get the final effect we achieved, attach your pots in a slightly staggered angle and turn them so that each pot faces a different direction to its neighbour. You can choose to attach them in any pattern that works for you.

Step 4: The Final Touch
Once your decorative pots are properly secured, you can place your plastic pots with their plants inside the decorative pots. The final step in this project is to enjoy it!


Hanging Basket - Suspended Glory

Hanging baskets are an old favourite but it’s easy to forget just how versatile they can be! They can be used indoors as much as they are outdoors. Placing them near doorways adds a welcoming touch to the decor.

What you will need:
A hanging basket
Water retention crystals
A bucket or Tubtrug (to catch soil)
Plants for the basket (keeping the final location of the hanging basket in mind - full sun/full shade etc)


How the activity works:

Step 1: Preparing your soil
First, mix your soil with some water retention crystals and place the mixture in your hanging basket. Ensure there is enough space for the roots of the various plants you will be planting in the hanging basket. The basket should be approximately a quarter of the way full at this point.

Step 2: Planting your plants
It’s time to plant your plants. Cut the plant bag with care, being sure not to disturb the potting soil around the plant’s roots too much. The larger plant should take its place in the centre, while the smaller plants should take their place around the outer edges of the basket.

Step 3: Just add water
Fill the space between the plants with soil and hang your basket. Remember to place a bucket or a tubtrug on the ground below your suspended garden to catch the overflow. Once you’ve seen to this essential step, water your hanging basket thoroughly. Overflow water can be reused in the garden to water other plants.


Getting your patio garden to reflect your taste and style:

The trick to getting your patio garden looking exactly the way you want it is to select planters and containers that resonate with your personal taste and style. There is such a wide variety of pots and planters available for purchase, you’re spoiled for choice. Terracotta pots are an old favourite, while cement planters with small trees also add a burst of life to corners and patios. Hanging baskets are available in any shape, size, and colour too. Visit your local GCA Garden Centre to see what else you can find!


Source: Life is a Garden