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  • Potting around...

    Happy New Year to all!

    As a ceramist by profession I am known in the trade as a potter, but apart from having made pots in the past, when time permits, I have another past-time with a different sort of potting, namely that involving plants. Unfortunately I have very little time these days for either pastime so I have to leave it to Norma to at least take care of the second one.

    Unfortunately my darling wife has struggled in the past to develop gardening skills and she definitely doesn't have my green fingers. Nevertheless she has stuck with this past-time and after condemning many types of plants to an earlier death in the past she has finally found a range of plants which are very difficult to kill, namely cacti and succulents, which here in Mexico aren't too difficult to find.

    We don't have too big a garden area so most of our small patio area outside of our kitchen window is now filled with an array of plant pots housing a variety of thriving plants.

    Once Norma bites the bullet there is no stopping her so after hearing her continually complaining that she had run out of space I took to making her a wall planter to house a few more plants.

    I saw an idea a while back in an eco-housing exhibition using PVC piping to create planters. The idea looked very crude but functional and I decided to run with it, particularly as I unearthed some 3" diam PVC piping and a few 'Y' connectors whist cleaning my workshed out over Christmas. I'd planned to do some woodwork after cleaning the shed but instead ended up using my mitre-saw to cut PVC instead of timber. After measuring and cutting all the pieces I glued everything together with PVC cement and then sanded all the surfaces with 80's grit paper to help 'key' the terracotta color Rustoleum PVC paint I used to give my planter a more professional look.

    I mounted the structure to an exterior patio wall using some home made U-brackets cut from some scraps of galvanized sheet steel. The wall is in the shade for about 50% of the day which should suit the succulents nicely.

    The final task was 'potting' the plants into place. I purposely selected a number of small succulents which over time should grow out and fill the space.

    Norma is very happy with the result. The only problem for me is having seen one of these wall planters she now wants me to make more! - I guess this was to be expected .... LOL

    Here is the finished result - 38" height x 24" width and is mounted with the base positioned 30" from the floor.

    Pretty neat eh!


    wallplanter-2.jpg
    Last edited by jim_mex; 01-05-2020, 09:48 PM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Jim,

    When you do a good job success will follow you. That is what you call a vertical garden.
    cwmagee
    aka Fibber
    Producer of fancy firewood​

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    • #3
      Ooooh, you must try to grow strawberries too.
      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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      • #4
        That is ingenious Jim. Happy wife, happy life.
        Denny
        ArtCrafters in Dayton, TN

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        • #5
          A great looking wall garden, Jim. I have not yet shown it to Jan as it might create work for me.

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          • #6
            Hey Rhys - not to add to any pressure from Jan but it occurred to me that in view of your penchant for musical instruments you could hang a homemade wind chime from the lip of middle bottom planter and create a Zen themed vertical garden!
            Jim in Mexico

            Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
            - Albert Einstein

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            • #7
              Great idea! I am assuming that you put some sort of plug in each tube to keep everything from slipping inside the tubes.
              Rolf
              RBI G4 26 Hawk, EX 16 with Pegas clamps, Nova 1624 DVR XP
              Philosophy "I don't know that I can't, therefore I can"
              Proud Member of the Long Island Woodworkers Club
              And the Long Island Scrollsaw Association

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              • #8
                Hi Rolf - I did wonder about plugging the tubes but couldn't find anything to hand which would do the job without getting complicated so I cheated a little.

                I filled the vertical tubes from the bottom to each planter position with a mixture of equal parts by volume of pumice stone, graded between 1/4" to 1/2" diam size, and leafy soil and threw in some small pieces of crushed charcoal to prevent the mix from souring over time. The pumice is lightweight and porous and helps the soil mix drain easily.

                As I reached the level of the lowest planters I used a similar mixture to pot the plants but with the pumice graded between 1/8" to 1/4" diam . I then proceeded to work my way up the vertical tubes in the same manner planting as I went.

                I finished the job by drilling 3 x 1/2" diam. holes at equal distances along the underside of the horizontal tubing base of the planter to allow excess water to drain out.

                I'm fortunate in that pumice is easy to source locally as we live in an area surrounded by volcanic rocks and this material is often used as a lightweight filler for building blocks for home construction so most builders yards carry it and will sell you some for a couple of dollars a sack. Apart from being porous it also contains minerals which succulents and cactus seem to like.

                I'm interested to see how this planter fills out in a few months time. Its certainly a novel way of covering a small wall space and with the terracotta paint finish looks reasonably professional and interesting.

                Jim
                Jim in Mexico

                Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                - Albert Einstein

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                • #9
                  Great idea 👍 Now if only you had used a scroll saw to make part of it you could submit it to the magazine for an article.😁
                  Scott
                  Creator of fine designer sawdust.

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                  • #10
                    That planter is so cool looking. Creativity to the max in Mex!
                    Linda at www.ArtIngrained.com

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                    • #11
                      Now you have gone and started a trend. Soon, Norma will have those in various locations and be the envy of the neighborhood. (Could be a new sideline when you get tired of playing with clay and heat)
                      Jim
                      When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
                      Too early to leave, too late to call in.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks folks for all the nice comments.

                        Jim - This planter idea seems to have gone viral with several of Norma's friends asking if I could make one for them. Fortunately I am able to say I'm not at home long enough to find time to make more - at least for the moment! 😃




                        Jim in Mexico

                        Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
                        - Albert Einstein

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