Outdoor Projects

Confession:  I may have stared this post over two months ago. Ok, I DID start this post over two months ago.

It was late May, and the weather was nice so I spent the day outside working on some projects out on the patio I’d been wanting to do for a couple of months.  I found these ideas on Pinterest here and here.

I pass a Goodwill every day on my way home from work and have to talk myself out of stopping by pointing out to myself how many projects are on my to-do list with their materials scattered about my Yellow Room, taking up precious space and on occasion, making me feel a little crazy because I don’t know what to do next!

But, on the day that I found the filing cabinet I used for the big green planter, I lost the battle as I found myself turning into the parking lot. This was not your average little office filing cabinet; it’s got to be 30 years old, is very heavy, and has deep drawers, which means that when put up on its side, it’s quite tall. Which means that it required a lot of ‘stuff’ to fill it up.

I began by priming the inside and outside with anti-rust spray primer, then painted it with the same pretty green I’ve used on several of my indoor projects. All of a sudden, pale green and coral are my two favorite colors. Not necessarily together. But coral seemed a bit bright for our patio, and all the other pots and planters are blue, green, or brown, so green was a better choice.  Priming and painting the cabinet took a couple of hours in the morning, and I was able to prepare the pallet for the pallet planter herb garden while I waited between coats of primer and paint.

Once the paint was dry and I was ready to begin filling the planter, I moved it into place (whatever you do, don’t wait until after you fill it or it may require a forklift to move it!) then gathered the following:

1. Potting soil

     2. 5-gallon bucket to gather pine cones from around the yard
     3. Water bottles and other recyclable plastics to use as space fillers
     4. Yard fabric to cover the bottom of the cabinet with so soil wouldn’t leak out of it
         every time it rains or I remember to water it
     5. Plants…it is, after all, a planter!

Before I started filling it, I had the Mister drill little drainage holes into the back (what would become the bottom once turned over). We started out with a hammer and nail, but the metal was just too strong for us and we wound up finishing up with a drill.

Finally, ready to fill!

First, I cut the yard fabric to fit and laid it in the bottom of the cabinet. Next came the plastic bottles. They didn’t even fill it halfway!

After the bottles were in, I gathered pine cones and leaves for about 10 minutes until I was sure that the amount of potting soil I had would be enough to fill the planter the rest of the way and leave enough left over for the pallet project.

I knew the soil would settle some after I watered it, so I made sure to put in more than I thought I needed as I added my hydrangeas and an Easter lily.

Once all was said and done, I had this cute planter on the patio…
including the suffering hydrangea we bought last summer that had been
sitting on the patio with very little attention for nearly a year. 
After a few days, it perked right up with big blue blossoms.

…and it was time to get back to the pallet planter.

It started out like this

By this time, I had already sanded off the rough edges and coated the wood with protective water sealer for decking. The water sealer had dried enough to move the pallet to the patio and screw the hose clamps into place. While I thought I was choosing a random design, it turns out I basically went with parallel diagonal lines across the pallet. Oh well.

Before the hose clamps were added
After the clamps were on, I tightened them to fit under the rim of my little pots. Then it was time to fill them. I gathered the rest of my potting soil, some fabrics scraps to line the bottoms, and a selection of herbs, and got to work potting (I removed the pots from the pallet to do the potting).

The last thing to do was drop the pots into place!

The finished product!

And in just one day, I had a handy herb garden and pretty hydrangeas on the patio!