Tiers of colour
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...