CFR

Plant A Garden With A Message

If people were fleeing from you in droves and trying to get as far from you as they could…if they were grumbling about your presence, or out-and-out swearing at you for being near them, you’d take the hint and leave, right? Unfortunately winter just doesn’t seem to understand that it’s no longer welcome.  Winter must be noticing how we are no longer appreciating its finer qualities, but it’s just not connecting the dots. This season clearly doesn’t understand innuendo. I guess we’ll just have to spell it out.

Fortunately, you can buy just about anything with a blackboard on it these days. Go to a craft store and you’ll find signs, jars, bins and baskets, all with small backboards attached. Perfect for sending a message! Today’s weekend project is planting a miniature garden with a memo attached. You could make one with a “Happy Birthday!” or “Get Well Soon!” message for  a person, or a “It’s really time for you to move on, Winter….” for a cold, persistent season.

 

Here's the finished garden. There's no ambiguity in this note to Winter, right?  How can it possibly still hang around now that we've made ourselves crystal clear?

Here’s the finished garden. There’s no ambiguity in this note to Winter, right? How can it possibly still hang around now that we’ve made ourselves crystal clear?

Here’s what you need to create something similar:

A Container with Blackboard, or make your own using blackboard paint.

Potting soil

Sheet moss

5 or more tiny plants.

Heavy plastic for lining your container.

Chalk

 

I used a spring primrose (in rear) a pink and green Hypoestes  (aka polka dot plant), a Silver Carpet Dymondia margaretae, an African violet, and two tiny unnamed plants, one that's a fern.  Note that these plants will stay in this container until Winter gets the message, but I'll replant them into other containers later in the spring. Sometimes the plants we use indoors in winter plantings can be transplanted into our mixed summer containers.

I used a spring primrose (in rear) a pink and green Hypoestes (aka polka dot plant), a Silver Carpet Dymondia margaretae, an African violet, and two tiny unnamed plants, one that’s a fern. Note that these plants will stay in this container until Winter gets the message, but I’ll replant them into other containers later in the spring. Since we’re picking the plants for instant satisfaction or the look of their foliage, we are often putting plants together in a mini-garden that like different growing conditions, so these aren’t long-term planters. Transplant the ingredients later, however, and use them as houseplants.  Sometimes the plants we use indoors in winter plantings can be transplanted into our mixed summer containers.

For the plastic liner I used one of those zippered bags that sheet sets come in. You know the ones...they are heavy duty, and have a zipper, so you save them thinking "This should be good for something..." yet you're likely to find them in the closet years later. They make great planter liners.

For the plastic liner I used one of those zippered bags that sheet sets come in. You know the ones…they are heavy duty, and have a zipper, so you save them thinking “This should be good for something…” yet you’re likely to find them in the closet years later. They make great planter liners.

Fill the bottom of the container with damp potting mix. No, there's no drainage hole. I'll be careful not to overwater this garden while I'm waiting for the cold season to notice the message.  I tucked moss in between the plastic and the bin to hide the plastic behind the handles on this bin. You could use burlap or another fabric, or thin pieces of wood.

Fill the bottom of the container with damp potting mix. No, there’s no drainage hole. I’ll be careful not to overwater this garden while I’m waiting for the cold season to notice the message. I tucked some sheet moss from the garden center in between the plastic and the bin to hide the plastic behind the handles on this bin. You could use burlap or another fabric, or thin pieces of wood.

Before putting the plants in place, don't be afraid to trim them and make them smaller. Clean up yellowed leaves, broken stems etc, and then place the plants in the box. I always choose plants with a variety of colors and textures of foliage, and place the plants next to a contrasting plant.

Before putting the plants in place, don’t be afraid to trim them and make them smaller. Clean up yellowed leaves, broken stems etc, and then place the plants in the box. I always choose plants with a variety of colors and textures of foliage, and place the plants next to a contrasting plant. I also tucked some moss in any open areas to be sure that winter gets the message: TIME TO GREEN UP!

Hey, Winter! Can you READ?

Hey, Winter! Can you READ?

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