Thursday, April 30, 2020

wine-barrel planters made from buckets

Hi there!

The gears of the world may be slowly grinding to a halt, but life in our little household goes on.
I'm sweating on the final straws of my PhD thesis, Joost regularly shouts at our wifi-router to improve the connection for his many video-calls, Inky works hard to keep our mouse population at bay while simultaneously keeping her belly as rotund as possible, our roosters hold daily shouting matches, and finally, Lieve's task is to watch the garden: a task she takes very, very, seriously.

The plants in our greenhouse doing their very best under her watchful eye.. 
Lieve is a ruthless garden-monitor. Whenever she thinks a plant underperforming, she has no qualms at all to sit on them as punishment.

However, there was something hindering her in her job….

Yeah, remember how I told you I had removed the ceiling of our living room? Well, there it is! All over Lieve's office 

Poor Lieve… We should have shipped this away to the skip months ago, but we hadn;t gotten around to it, and then I read that currently there are hour-long daily waiting lines at our local skip, because appearantly, the entire population of the Netherlands is simultaneously clearing out their attics.

So, as the skip was not an option, there was only one thing for it.. upcycle! Luckily there was another thing that had narrowly escaped the skip..

an old, leaking cement mixing bucket!
With Lieve's professional occupation in mind, there was only one way to go with this one: planter. 

Had I been lazy, I could have just used the cement bucket as a planter as is, but I sorely needed a break from completing my thesis, so I went for something a bit fancier. 

If you want to replicate this DIY -which I can most certainly recommend, because who doesn't need a nice planter in their life?- you'll need the following items. 

- A plastic bucket, a cement mixing bucket works great for a bigger planter, but a standard sized one works just as well. 
- wooden slats 
- A saw
- An drilling machinge with a drilling bit for drilling holes, and one for screws
- Some screws ( they must not exceed the width of the bucket and slat combined) or construction kit

I began by removing the top of the bucket, for a straighter edge with a jigsaw . 
 The cut-off makes a bonus hula hoop, if you need one! 
I drilled several holes in the bottom. If you live in a dry climat, and want plants in there who need extra moisture, It might be a good idea to drill the holes in the side instead, a few cm above the bottom, so there's a little reservoir for water. 
Then I gathered all the smaller slats I could find in our heap of junk..
and cut them to the right size, about 6 cm longer than my container, so the ugly plastic won't be visible. 

Time to screw that! For sturdiness you'll need to screw from the inside out. This means that the length of your screws  shouldn't exceed the width of the combined materials, or they'll poke out.
If you want an easier option: when I made my second planter, I discovered that construction kit works perfectly well too, and is a heck of a lot faster. Especially when combined with some band iron, it should be more than sturdy enough.

Then I screwed everything into place, making sure the bottom of the slats aligned nicely with the botttom of the bucket.

getting along nicely.. 
almost done! as you can see, I didn't really bother with vutting the slats exactly even, because I liked the rustic effect ( I have a wooden planter made from an old wine barrel that is a bit winky as well, so I figured they'd match nicely. 
As the top of most buckets is ever so slightly wider than the bottom, I needed to space them out evenly. As I used scraps of wood, and had some tapered pieces in there, I used those every now and then to keep it looking good ( you could also cut some pieces to fills the gaps)

And done! 
I thought it was quite succesfull!

I filled it with some lavenders (which prefer containers any way around here, because don't really like the clay soil) and sowed some extra cosmos in there.
and a slightly odd garden sculpture that I made years ago)

I made a second version from an old bucket! On this one I used construction kit and iron band instad of screws. Hopefully my aniseed will grow nicely in there ( as you can see, I need to put sticks in most of my containers to keep Lieve and our chickens out)

One original, and two copy-cats for free

Ah, our garden inspector approves, I'll call that a win!

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