Flower Shows

Crafty ways for building plant displays

Written by Barbara Winkler step by step o

Recycle an old window frame and shutters by sanding and filling holes or cracks with wood putty and painting. Affix the window frame to the wall with several IVs-inch brads on all sides, tapping in gently. Mark shutter placement ©

Affix the lath strips (or battens) on back of shutters to the shed with T/2-lnch wood screws. Purchase 5/4-inch-thick boards for the box cut to size (three equally long boards for front, back and bottom; two short pieces for sides).

omctimcs a garden just isn't enough—you want more ways to showcase those plants you love. Here, three innovative takes on outdoor displays: a fake but fabulous window with a tailor-made box, a hollowed-out log to hang on the house, and an easy-to-make shelf to embellish a fence. And to ensure your work is appreciated all year round, try these planting suggestions: For spring, plant pan-sic s teamed with creeping thyme or primroses in a bed of ryegrass. For summer, try white nieotiana or geranium with chartreuse sweet potato vine, or pale pink begonias paired with sweet alysum. Embrace autumn with deep red nasturtiums mixed with a variety of coleus or Swiss chard and salad lettuces (especially nice in the log planter). For winter, tiny boxwoods strewn with pyracantha vines will last until spring. Remember—container plants need more frequent watering, so be diligent about checking your plants' moisture needs.

Inside Tips on Outside Projects

When it comes to outdoor carpentry projects, it pays to consider the elements. Check out these pointers before you begin.

  • Choose rot-resistant woods such as cypress or cedar for window boxes. You can also protect Inside surfaces with Thompson's WaterSeal, polyurethane or even roofing compound.
  • Another option for wooden planters is to line the inside with weed cloth or fine screening, available at garden supply stores. Cut to size and simply staple into place.
  • Be certain all planters have adequate drainage. Drill holes in boxes and containers, and scatter pot shards or gravel over the bottoms,
  • In general, wood screws are best for attaching wood projects to wood surfaces. Only use brads or nails when affixing a thin or lightweight piece of wood, such as the muntins of the window frame.

Build an open-top box by joining the long pieces to the shorter sides using wood glue and nails to hold them together. Once the box is built, use wood screws to finally fasten the sides firmly. Drill drainage holes with a Winch drill bit.

Caulk the inner joints and paint the box. Attach two wood furring strips the length of box to the shed under the window. Affix the box to the furring with l'A-inch wood screws. Scatter gravel in bottom of the box; add soil and plants.

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project file

Hollowed Out Log Flower Pots

21 Out on a Limb

LOG IN A hollowed-out log makes a rustic cache for plants such as impatiens and verbena. Plant into the soil-filled log and fill the gaps with sphagnum moss.

step by step

Start with a softwood log, preferably pine, poplar or cedar, cut to fit the length of your window and at least 12 inches in diameter. With a circular saw set to the highest setting, make a iong cut, a few inches in from each edge, along the top of the log.

Repeat process with more parallel cuts spaced about an inch apart; your "sliced" area, which will form your trough, should measure about 8 inches wide. With a chisel and a hammer, chisel out the area formed by the cuts, going down at least 6 inches.

Flip log over and with a W to '/z-inch bit, drill several holes for drainage. Coat inside of log with deck sealant or polyurethane to prevent rot. Attach brackets wide enough to hold log under window. Set fog onto brackets. Arrange plantings as desired.

3 Unique Display

SHELF LIFE Turn a fence into a fetching flower display with carved wooden brackets and recycled barnboard. Paint if you like, or allow it to weather for homespun appeal.

step by step e

Purchase decorative wood brackets (the ones here are a spindle design) and attach each to fence with three wood screws, about 3A inch longer than the depth of the side of bracket.

Place a barnboard plank atop the brackets (ends should extend beyond brackets) and affix to each bracket with three more wood screws. Camouflage screws with exterior wood putty.

Arrange potted plants along the plank, making sure to put gravel or pot shards in the bottom of the pots. (Pot feet are an even better idea to prevent the shelf from rotting.) =5=

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