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Now that I’ve got an extra table, I’ve been able to sort the plants out a bit more ..

Table 1

Doesn’t look much, but what was on here has now been split between two tables, so a bit of room to spare.

Those pansies are looking a bit droopy, wonder if it’d help to cut them back and see if they pick up.

Table 2

Wanted less weight on this one, more evenly spread – the two small tables that make up table 1, and the large table 3, are each rated to take 300 kg, but this one is just a length of MDF over a couple of kitchen cabinets!

Table 3

There’s barely a couple of feet between this and the work table, so wasn’t able to get back enough to get the whole table in

This is where my mini-garden will be when I finally start getting it sorted; I’ll be able to see it from indoors as well.

Left side:


Right side:

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My, you've got a grand collection there Fran! good idea to have them up where you can get at them better.

29 Jun, 2012


lol not really a "good" collection, since I never once thought about harmonising them when I bought them! But a fair number - counting the pansies, I've got about 110. I have an injury to my lower spine which makes bending a no-no, and with my vision, I'd not be able to see plants on the ground anyway, unless they were triffids! taller plants will go on the deck, but for the smaller ones, they need to be within visual range

and as a bonus, look at how much storage space I have under the teables! lol I can almost see the floor here and there now!

29 Jun, 2012


Hi Fran. Good work ...
Another for GoYpedia Storage Ideas. :o)))

30 Jun, 2012


You have got 'high rise' plants there Fran, brilliant. and all looking so healthy, a nice view from your window too!
ps. I like your C.D. collection Lol

30 Jun, 2012


Your resourcefulness and determination never fail to amaze me, Fran. It is good to be able to see more of them now that they are spread out and up. You have quite a collection there! Looking good!

30 Jun, 2012


I like how you've arranged them at different heights on the table too Fran :-)

30 Jun, 2012


Thanks, TT, GM, Ojib and Geranium. lol the view from my window will be better when I get mini plants in mini-pots or troughs, but the view is better than I had before, which was the pile of wood waiting to be recycled.

I like to use as many dimensions as possible - given the space I have, a one-level scheme would mean I'd have no room for about a third of these plants. But even if I had a bigger garden, I'd go for split levels - a garden that's all on one level is missing something - lol if I had a real garden, flat, I'd get terraces put in! Gives so much more plant space as well as adding vertical interest.

I bought a couple of those green platic "steps" - they also had quarter-circle end sections, but I thought I'd get more on the straight sections - besides, I didn't want regimented lines any more than I had to, hardly natural looking!

The only snag is that one can't get larger pots on to the steps, well, not what I'd call safely. The pots at the back of table 1 are standing on inverted milk crates; other than that, I use inverted large planters and troughs - there's a trough between the steps on table 2

I've thought about hanging pots on the wire-mesh fence, but I'm not sure how much weight that would take, and I don't fancy the council charging me to put it back up!

30 Jun, 2012


Love it Fran :) so much going on:). P.S loads of heads peeking up in my seed trays now :) deffo was worth giving them a try, am waiting til they are a bit bigger before putting pics on xxxx

30 Jun, 2012


thanks, Magna, good to hear!

30 Jun, 2012


Didn't realise you have back problems as well as vision Fran - your determination is an inspiration.

30 Jun, 2012


lol Steragram, sometimes it's more stubbornness! but once I get really stuck in, I want to finish, no matter what - pay for it double the next couple of days, but at least it's done and I can pat myself on the back (if i can suppon the strength!)

The back injury has knock-on effects, I have little shoulder or arm strength, so working even at shoulder-height is a prob, let alone above head height. But that's why they invented step-ladders ...

30 Jun, 2012


I came back to your blogs to see what kind of gardening you do Franl. Its amazing how much you have packed in there or should I say stacked. I can see why you would consider using fish boxes. I like the cd collection which gives you some privacy from being overlooked by nearby houses and will reflect the sun in to your garden.

9 Jul, 2012


I've also got some plastic mesh crates of various sizes and depths which I want to try to make into troughs. They do need to be fairly light, given my strength, o rlack of, and how much the soil and plants will weigh.

I put the screen up for my neighbours' privacy rather than my own; I felt uncomforatble at being able to see so much of their garden every time I looked at the plants on the end tables. They don't blot out the view, but they do block it, but still leave air gaps. I think I'll loosen the strings that tie top and bottom discs a bit, give them a little more room to move and to reflect - lol, not long after I'd put them up I was puzzled to see shifting patches of light on the paving; took me a while to work out where they were coming from!

9 Jul, 2012


Could you get some Fibreglass matting. That would cover your crates and still they would still be light in themselves.

9 Jul, 2012


I've never heard of that, will check it out, thank you!

of course it'd be easier if i just kept everything in its own pot; then I could rearrange them till I found the most harmonious configuration (which would change as plants grow at different rates or as I got bored with one layout), but that would mean that if I wanted to move the whole thing it'd have to be done one pot at a time! and it would still be a collection of different-sized pots stuck together, and the pots aren't exactly things of beauty and joys forever.

The real problem is that I don't know exactly what I want and so I'm looking for something that I can't see the shape of to get a handle on. . Some Roman said that if we don't know the harbour we want to sail for, no wind will blow from the right direction - rather than try for some vague ideal I should work on what I've got and evolve it as I go along.

I'll have to make a decision soon: my list of "definitely want" plants is getting longer and longer!

9 Jul, 2012


At least if they are in pots you can change them around as they come in to flower. In gardening it is quite usual for pots of bulbs which have finished flowering to be replaced with pots of summer flowering annuals and then again with winter flowering annuals. You display the ones in season and tuck out of the way the ones which need to rest or be replanted. Fibreglass mat is what car repairers use to hide bad dents etc. It is properly named GRP or glass reinforced plastic. It comes in rolls. You might find it at a hobby shop. You smother it with gel stuff which holds it in the shape you choose and it results in very light weight containers etc. You could ask in a craft shop or a model boat shop - hobby shop. They will be able to provide all you need and probably leaflets with advice on using it. Our kids made trays out of it when they were in primary school, so it can't be too hard to deal with. My son in law uses it for boat repairs.

9 Jul, 2012


that's one advantage of pots, if only they weren't on show! maybe in pots inside boxes or crates, to disguise them. I'm always wary of having different plants in one pot (apart from overcrowding) becuase of their differing needs.

I had been thinking about small troughs, sort of jig-sawing them together in various combinations - allows mix-and-match, and means that one trough could be taken out and quarantined if neccessary - lol maybe very small troughs with one tree in each! or even cover each pot! (only just thought of that)

I've got three troughs of bulbs under table outside the lounge windows - I rescued dozens of grape hyacinth bulbs when I finally dug up the last bed, and planted them in the troughs, along with my 5 tete-a-tete narcissi and any other bulb I found while digging the beds. A couple of those are showing shoots, I've no idea what's in there, so it'll be a surprise. As far as I know, they're all spring bulbs, so they can rest under the table until they start to show a bit more, then I can get them out - lol and find somewhere to put them! (Still got some bulbs left over, even though I crammed them in as tightly as I dared - anyone want some grape hyacinth bulbs??)

As soon as I read your first post about fibreglass matting I turned to Mr Google; I've found a shop that seems to sell all sorts, and I wsa going to write to them to ask some basic questions, but your next post answered most of them. But shee, the list of things they have! most of which I've never heard of. resins and sealants and releasers and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. I'll need to do some reading up

thanks so much for opening this avenue to me!

\0/ \0/

10 Jul, 2012


Jonah13 one of our members gardens from a wheelchair. Do look at what he has done with his pot garden.
As a short term measure I suppose you could just use green paint to harmonise the pots.

10 Jul, 2012


Thanks, I will.

I've been checking up on the eHow "how to use fibreglass matting" and it sounds a bit ... it says one needs to wear a paper suit [?], breathing mask and eye protection. I'm also visually impaired, with a useful visual range of about four inches in good light - I don't know how safe it'll be at that range.

That's one reason I backed off from hypertufa; all the recipes I found specify Portland cement, which is very fine-grained, and posed an inhalation hazard - lol the other reason was getting all the ingredients and mixing them correctly, thought I'd start with ready-mix concrete!

10 Jul, 2012


I suppose these will all be new regulations. My youngest is early 40's and people did things differently then. It is for your own safety so that is a non starter. I would not recommend using cement it is very heavy when made up. It could collapse your tables.

10 Jul, 2012


I got the table off eBay, rated to take 300 kg - but I want most of that weight to be in plants, not planters!

sigh, another one bites the dust ... I'll have to leave them in pots and try to screen off the front and sides. But it won't be the same - the pots will be at different levels, and unless I get all square ones there'll be gaps between them. Still, needs must.

11 Jul, 2012


If you can cut holes in some of your crates and place them upside down on your table, you could put bigger pots down through the holes and sit the smaller ones on the remaining base area. Pots along in front of the crate would disguise it. You could use plastic grass sheeting or just green plastic under the pots to give the impression that they are permanently there. You can buy green or brown plastic 'railings' in different heights or log roll would do. You have a very exciting project going there.

11 Jul, 2012


never thought of that! I've used inverted crates as "steps" at the back of the table, but never occurred to me to use them to disguise the pots themselves.

lol I've been saving up to make my own "dry stone wall" - got a carrier bag full of empty fag packets, was going to pack them with inert soil from repottings and then concrete over them to make weatherproof bricks - had thought about making indentations in dirt in trays and pouring concrete in, but got all these packs to use up - given previous doubts about concrete, also thought of using plaster of paris, then painting and weatherproofing.

I did check out "artificial grass" on eBay, but most of it seems to be astroturf; I emailed one seller about his "greengrocers' grass" but that's not weatherproof.

lol if I can get all the pots at about the same level, even in steps, I can dress them with bark chips - i try to do that anyway, partly as a water retainer and partly to try to squirrel-proof them.

Once I find the spare wires to my hot-wire tile cutter, I can have a go at some contours: i've been saving polystyrene packaging for ages, got nice level thin sheets and some large boxes that I might be able to do something with. lol when I found the wires, I couldn't find the cutter - now I've found the cutter ...

There's a US site called "Two Green Thumbs" - they do really miniature gardens, and have accessories to match, in various scales - starting at 1/4" tall! even the largest scale, 1", I think is too small for me - besides, I want a "wild wood" type, rather than a garden patio etc. Still, I go there to marvel at the intricacies of it all, and the tininess (is that a word??) of their garden ornaments.

11 Jul, 2012


Wow Fran, go for it!

11 Jul, 2012


Its full steam ahead by the sounds of it.

12 Jul, 2012


well, it's full steam ahead on *thinking* about it! getting round to it needs more coal to raise enough steam :-)

12 Jul, 2012


I hope all this rain won't put the fire out lol.

12 Jul, 2012


not really, I've been smouldering for some time, what to do, how to do it, where to do it - still not come to any decision on any of them!

12 Jul, 2012


So we're waiting for a photo of what you finally do!

12 Jul, 2012


lol that's put m e on the spot! It's as I said in a previous post somewhere - when youi're not sure exactly what you want to do, nothing seems to be the right way to start.

I've got a 3x2 table, I can "landscape" all of it, I've got small craates i can reinforce and invert as beses for "hills", I've got stacks of polystyrene pieces, and all those fag packets. It's just, sigh, where do I start? Of course, I should start by starting! I want things to be separate, so I can move the "landscape" around, but I do need to work out the likely height of trees, so i can keep to some sort of scale. I was thinking of inch-to-foot, easy to work out - if the big brother of a 2-foot tree is about 50 feet, that'd work.

basically, it's just getting stuck in. There's no room in my kitchen to work, and I don't have a dry outdoor working space.

no doubt one morning I'll wake up, see the sun shining, and think, let's go! and I will at least make a start on making a start.

13 Jul, 2012


I had a look online and found this company in Kent who do artificial grass from £5.99 per sqm with free delivery.

There is a phone number on the website so you could phone them to discuss your options. I think the Astro turf you found earlier is what is used on football pitches and it would be expensive. If you can get to a garden centre I think some of them now do it on a roll and you just buy what you need.

13 Jul, 2012


thanks for that, checking it out now. I need something that's sort of flexible, so I can make it go over different levels - of ocurse, just covering the table top would do, if I could hide the pots - lol, drill holes in the table and put the pots through??

13 Jul, 2012


Necessity being the mother of invention lol. I think the cheaper types are quite flexible so I suppose you could cover the sides of the pots with it as well as having them sitting on it.

13 Jul, 2012


lol added that to my "ideas" list, thanks much! prob is I need flexible *and* weatherproof - I don't think I'll need to buy a lot [ha!] so I can maybe pay a bit more.

lol or, just thought of this, get some cammo material to put round the pots!

14 Jul, 2012

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