Tiers of colour

Landscape (UK) - - Life At Nature’s Pace -

Old enamel tubs are eas­ily turned into a planter where del­i­cate early blooms shine

Step 1: If the enamel pans do not have drainage holes, sev­eral are made ran­domly on the un­der­side of each us­ing a ham­mer and nail. If the pans are very thick, a drill and suit­able bit are used.

Step 2: One of the plant pots is up­turned and placed in the cen­tre of the largest enamel pan. Crocks are placed over the drainage holes of the tub, to stop them be­com­ing blocked with com­post.

Step 3: The pan is filled with pot­ting com­post around the up­turned pot, and firmly pressed level. Care is taken that the pot re­mains cen­tral. The medium enamel pan is placed on top of the pot, which sup­ports it.

Step 4: Mean­while, the root balls of all the plants are soaked in water. A se­lec­tion are re­moved from their pots and planted around the rim of the bot­tom pan. The medium pan is then re-po­si­tioned and smaller plants are added to the lower pan to fill any gaps.

Step 5: Steps 2-4 are re­peated with the medium enamel pan. Once it is filled with com­post, the small­est pan is placed on top. Crocks and com­post are added, then it is planted with nar­cissi, which are firmed in to en­sure they stand upright.

Step 6: Ivy is added to the plant­ing in the top enamel pan. It is ar­ranged so its fronds drape down the tiers. The planter is fin­ished with a few pansy plants.

planter Care Each layer of the tub needs wa­ter­ing. The com­post is checked reg­u­larly to en­sure it does not dry out com­pletely. The bot­tom layer is not al­lowed to be­come sat­u­rated as water drains through the tower to the bot­tom. Reg­u­lar dead­head­ing keeps the pan­sies bloom­ing. More spring bed­ding plants are added as the nar­cissi and pan­sies be­gin to go over. Us­ing a liq­uid fer­tiliser ev­ery few weeks from late spring on­wards keeps the plants look­ing their best.

ma­Te­ri­als • Three enamel pans in dif­fer­ent sizes • Ham­mer and nail, or drill and bit • Two plant pots • Crocks • Pot­ting com­post with sand or grit added for drainage • 3 x bell heather, Erica cinerea f. au­reifo­lia ‘Windle­brooke’ • 6 x pan­sies, Vi­ola...

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