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Most of us are familiar with teak wood and its beauty.  Often, you can find it in a garden setting being in the form of benches, which weather the sun and rain with no problem.


Teak wood is extremely durable and unlike many types of wood, can handle water with no problem. 


A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by Teak Closeouts if I would try out some of their teak bowls, which would be suitable as planters.


I am always on the lookout for unique and unusual items for the garden that can be both functional and beautiful, so of course, I said said yes!  


One of the reasons I was excited to try out the teak bowl planters was that over the summer is that I saw a rustic wooden planter on a visit to the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.


I loved it’s rustic look and how the annual flowers fit into the interior of this piece of tree trunk.

So, when the FedEx deliveryman dropped of a large box, I couldn’t wait to open it.

Inside were several pieces, but it was the two teak bowls that got my attention right away.


The first bowl, was a piece of art.  Its sides were very smooth, which showed off the beauty of the teak wood.

You may notice the hole at the bottom, which is essential for a planter.

The next teak bowl that I unwrapped was a bit more rustic in nature, much like the tree trunk planter I had seen over the summer.


I always like pieces of wood that allows you to see the grain, which you could see on different parts of the bowl.



This bowl also had holes for drainage and I couldn’t wait to plant them both.


To keep the potting mix from falling out the holes, I put a coffee filter over them, which is a cheap and effective way to keep the dirt in and allow the water to drain.

I planted my favorite cool season annuals – violas.


I added a variety of colors in this large teak bowl and a touch of white alyssum for fragrance.

For my rustic teak bowl, I decided to add ‘Johnny Jump-Ups’, which were the first flowers I planted as a child.  I have always loved their sunny faces.

As you might expect, the amount of soil is rather shallow, but it is enough to grow cool-season annuals.  However, there wouldn’t be enough soil to grow warm season flowers through the summer – the soil would get too hot.


You could however, plant small succulents in them and keep them in light shade – maybe located on a patio?


Although I used this teak bowl as a planter, however it is so beautiful, you could certainly use it to grace a patio or large dining room table.

I often have clients, like those above, who want decorative, yet functional items for their patio.  Either of these teak bowls would work beautifully in this type of setting.

When exposed to the sun, teak will fade to a light gray color, which will provide great color contrast for plants.
As you can imagine, no two bowls are the same – each one retains the unique character from the part of the teak wood it was carved from, which lends to the uniqueness of these bowls.


In addition to the bowls, I also received a lovely teak vase – wouldn’t that look beautiful filled with flowers or perhaps a dried arrangement?

Teak Closeouts has a large variety of teak items including outdoor furniture and garden art at closeout prices.  I encourage you to visit their online store where you will find great gift ideas for the gardener in your life or for yourself!

*I was provided these items from Teak Closeouts free of charge to review, but my opinions are my own 🙂


In my last post, “Pots, Trash and Goodbyes“, I talked about how I bought some new glazed pots for my front entry.


You would expect that planting pots is pretty straight forward.  But, what many of you didn’t expect was the ‘trash’ that I put in the bottom of my containers.


You can see that the trash at the bottom of this pot consists of mostly recyclable trash such as milk cartons, soda and pasta bottles.

So why on earth would someone put trash in the bottom of a pot?

Here is a clue…


Have you bought potting mix lately?

It is expensive AND many pots are so large, that plant’s roots don’t reach down to the bottom.

So, why waste all that expensive, unused soil at the bottom?


Because this pot was to be filled with shallow-rooted annuals and perennials – I filled the bottom third of the pot with empty plastic containers.

I not only have saved myself money, but my pot also weighs a lot less then if I had filled the entire pot with soil.


If you are planting shrubs, trees or other deep-rooted plants, then you need a lot of soil for the roots to grow into – so, don’t use this trick for these types of plants.

The next time you plant containers, be sure to raid your recycle bin first for ‘trash’.

**You can also use foam packing peanuts in place of empty plastic containers.

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Thank you all for your kind words of support as my daughter, Rachele, left for basic training yesterday.

We got a 1-minute phone call, telling us she was okay and that we would receive a letter in one week and a phone call in three.

My sister-in-law attended her swearing in ceremony in downtown Phoenix just before she boarded a plane for basic training.

She got her hair cut ahead of time.
Rachele didn’t want her dad and I to go because she said it would be too hard for her not to be sad and cry.  So, I was happy that my sister-in-law, who worked nearby, was able to go and support her and take photos for us all to see.

We are all starting to write her letters and the ones that the kids wrote are so sweet and just break my heart because they miss her already.

I’m sure most of you know how much fun it can be to garden with your kids.  I remember my dad building each of us a raised planter where we could grow vegetables and flowers.  Today, my kids and I went to the store to buy flowers for their new garden.  You will NEVER guess what they are planting their flowers in 😉

Our first stop was our local nursery.  Each child was allowed to pick out 2 six-packs of flowers.  The kids decided to each pick a different type of flower and then share them with each other.  My youngest daughter selected geraniums and blue petunias.

My older daughter selected stock, (beautiful and fragrant despite its ordinary name) and white alyssum.


My son decided on dianthus and snapdragons.


We finished making our selections and then got ready to go home and start planting.  The only question the kids had was – where were they going to plant their flowers?  Well…..
 

How about their old kiddie pool?  You know, the ones that cost less then $10 and your kids have fun playing in during the summer.  When summer is over, most people either throw it out or store it somewhere out of the way.  Well, you can use it as a planter for either flowers or shallow-rooted vegetables or herbs.

First, move the pool where you want the garden to be as it will be too heavy once you fill it with potting mix.  Then make multiple holes on the bottom for drainage.  Then fill with a mixture of planting mix and compost.  Sprinkle some slow-release fertilizer and now begin planting! 


My youngest daughter planted the first plant, a peach-colored geranium.


My teenage daughter is overseeing our planting while texting on her phone.
 

We finished!  The kids are so excited to see their flowers grow.  The garden will be a riot of different colors and has no sense of design, which is as it should be for a children’s flower garden.

This will be our “before” picture.  We planted geraniums, stock, snapdragons, petunias, dianthus and alyssum.

If you would like to try this at home and you want the garden to become a somewhat more permanent part of the landscape, you can add a brick border or plant shrubs and perennials around the outside of the pool.

**Some of you may have noticed that my three youngest children do not look like me, (my two oldest daughters do).   We adopted our youngest children from China.  I call them my “Three Chinese Miracles”.