Monday, May 11, 2009

Garden Fever

When water begins flowing through our garden hose each Spring, Garden Fever takes over. This year my spare time has been spent preparing art pieces for our July First Friday event at Terra Bella's, which means I haven't begun my typical gardening routine, but it doesn't mean I haven't given it much thought. Actually my next art project is destined as yard art, which will be posted upon completion.

Yes, I approach my gardening much like anything else I do -- with a creative twist, and although the 'shoe and rain boot planters' didn't originate with me, I was immediately swayed by their visual appeal. I smile when I look at these whimsical applications for deck and garden use. They are fun, cheerful and add extra surprise to every day gardening. Shoes and rain boots are readily available at a reasonable price in thrift stores, and don't pass up the forlorn boot or shoe that somehow ends up on the highway for some unknown reason.

This shoe happens to be new - missing it's mate, so why not elevate its purpose and thereby keep it out of the dump! Lobelia and an extra pea plant looked fresh and happy in it, located in the semi-shade of our back deck last summer. Bright yellow and purple rain boots paired beautifully, even before filling them with potting soil and adding contrasting lobelia colors. As an alternative, a jar of water set inside each boot can function as vases for cut flowers on a patio table. I recommend filling the base of each boot with sand or pebbles to stabilize it from wind.

Something to consider with small container plantings like these, is keeping the soil well drained but moist. Because they are small receptacles they will dry in sunny areas and the rubber would likely overheat, so place them in semi-shade. If you choose sun loving plants, limiting their sun exposure is doable, since these mini-containers can easily be relocated. Pushing the limits just requires diligent 'plant sitting'.

I hope you are inspired to re-purpose some one's cast offs into fun garden receptacles. Acrylic paint will add extra zip to a bland vessel if you aren't happy with it's current color. I have added more colorful kids rubber boots to my collection over the winter and now look at other things as possible planters as well. Its fun to decorate the yard with my version of 'from trash to treasure'. I'd like to see what my readers are doing along these lines. Please send comments or photos we can all share in.

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