I hope I am not setting a precedent for the rest of my fiber crafting year, but somehow, half the year has almost gone by and very few fiber crafts have been finished. Especially this spring- pretty much nothing has gotten done. Nothing by way of knitting needles, anyway. I am happy to report other things have been finished, but somehow they don't really count in my head. That seems totally unfair of my brain. While feeling bogged down and behind in all of my knitting and weaving, my husband and I, with the help of our two favorite tiny people, made a flower garden in a crate palette.
I am not sure what the correct term for this is...I'll go with up-cylcing. Many home improvements stores will give these palettes away for free if you ask, which is what we did. Generally speaking, I think they get so many, they are happy to see a few of them towed away in a minivan. Nine times out of ten the wood from these palettes is oak, too, which is pretty nice considering the price of hardwood. With some ingenuity, the possibilities seem endless. I've seen pictures online of people who have made deck furniture, headboards and end tables with this wood. It is remarkable. We were not, however, pioneers in creating art from palette wood. We turned ours into a planter by stapling some garden cloth to the back and sides. Less impressive, but still a nice addition to any porch, patio, or deck.
It's still early in the season, but so far, so good. The idea is that these flowers will start to cascade down the palette and really create a wonderful waterfall of floral color. The whole project, flowers and dirt included, probably cost about $40. If you feel compelled to create your own palette garden, there are a few things I learned as the process was underway.
Staple the garden fabric with abandon. You don't want any of your dirt falling out the sides or, worse, out the back. The stronger your fabric, the less worry you have when you prop it up against a wall or rail. Also, fill the palette to the brink when it comes to dirt. You want the flowers you plant in there to be snug. Try to allow as little dirt to show through the holes when the plants are in as possible. That means you want to choose plants that are happy growing in close quarters. If you space your plants out too much, the dirt will fall out the front (which I guess reduces the stress of it falling out the back or sides).
Lastly, and this is the hardest tip to follow, leave the palette with the plants in it laying flat on the ground for about two weeks. I know, I know, you want to prop it up right away. But it is worth waiting to allow the roots to all settle out and grow together to help hold everything in place. I waited just shy of two weeks and did not have any dirt spill from the openings. (I did have some dirt come off the wood where I was messy when planting, which tidied up the whole look from the front.) If you do need to tip it up earlier, maybe give it a steeper slant. A little dirt lost probably won't hurt anything.