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Gardening with Creative Containers
Author: Paul Simon
The hot summer months of July and August are great activity months for children. This summer, our family has been busy biking, swimming and kayaking quite often. It’s also the time of year to visit your local parks, stop by roadside lemonade stands and perhaps attend a few weekend garage or yard sales.
As a parent of three girls, I’m somewhat discouraged from attending a yard sale when our family already has more “stuff” than you can possibly imagine. On the other hand, a yard sale offers some inexpensive finds that you just can’t pass-up, like an old record, a good book, or perhaps a nice bicycle. And of course, I’m always looking for useful tools and materials for the garden.
One weekend this summer, I decided to go on a ‘yard sale adventure’with my girls in search of some creative garden containers. The thought came to me when thinking about what to do with an old, unused bird cage we’ve held on to for so many years. During our ‘adventure,’ we found many other exciting and inexpensive treasures to go with our bird cage. My daughters found two recipe boxes (one shaped like a pig), a wooden toy wagon, a wicker basket and a few other items. It was exciting traveling from one sale to another in search of specific and unique containers to use. Part of the game — “real” planters such as clay pots, flower boxes, and garden planters were off limits. After finding our unique items we then traveled to the local garden supply store to purchase our garden soil, some colorful annuals, and a coconut liner.
We then spent the afternoon constructing our creative containers. My kids were so excited, all I had to do was watch and take photos while they placed the coconut liner, the garden soil, and the plantings in each of the unique container features.
My oldest daughter Nathalie (11yrs) focused on tackling the bird cage. She placed the coconut liner at the bottom of the cage and filled it with garden soil, finally planting a mandavilla vine in the center. My second oldest Olivia (8yrs) enjoyed filling the pig shaped recipe box with soil and planted pink annual pentas. All three girls including my youngest Elena (14mo) helped fill an old toy wagon with soil and planted a variety of annuals. In the end, all of our container features looked so beautiful and my children (very) much enjoyed the entire process.