About a month ago, I gave the front porch a little spring makeover. It’s been really nice to sit on the couch, enjoy the beautiful weather and relax during my lunch breaks. While we try to our very best to use drought tolerant native flowers or plants on the property, sometimes, we fall in love with flowers that need a little extra care. That’s what happened with these beauties.
I spent almost an hour at the nursery picking these out. I swore I checked and rechecked multiple times to make sure all of the flowers were compatible. But once we got home and started dividing the flowers by the amount of water maintenance each plant would require, I quickly realized the purple ones, Ageratum, could not be planted in the same container garden with the other flowers.
Given the moist soil requirement, I knew they needed morning light so the hot afternoon sun wouldn’t dry them out during the day. It also meant a container that had slow drainage so they could keep their feet wet so to speak. Enter this old wheelbarrow. We’ve used it for everything like mixing up concrete, hauling off weeds and even to hold drinks during parties. It was honestly ready for the trash pile when I decided we should use it as a planter.
This was my first time using a container other than a wooden planter or clay pot for flowers. Because parts of it were already really rusted, I knew the drainage would be slow. I lined the bottom with a weed blanket to help hold the moisture in as much as possible. I also wanted to make sure it was lined because parts of it were covered in leftover bits of concrete.
Next I used 2 big bags of potting soil to fill the wheelbarrow. It’s important to make sure the soil is level. The inside of the wheelbarrow is obviously sloped so keep this in mind while you are planting.
I determined the amount of spacing each plant needed as per the directions on the flower card.
And added another layer of potting soil and watered heavily.
I also added a layer of pine straw to help keep the soil moist.
It took about a week for the plants to get established which I was surprised by. At one point the flowers and leaves started turning brown and I worried we were going to lose them. But once they settled in, the flower buds started coming back and I think they’ll be set for the entire season. Don’t you love the way the little purple flowers pop against all that rusted goodness? It’s my favorite part too.