Now I’m not a drinking person. But the people I live with do like the occasional bottle of wine, so when I went outside the other day and found the glass recycling box was rather full, I decided to do some recycling of my own.
I wanted something that would look neat and tidy but at the same time have a bit of uniqueness to it and wine bottles seemed to fit the bill nicely, after all, they were only going to be smashed up! So if it all went horribly wrong I could pretend it hadn’t happened and take a quiet trip to the bottle bank.
I’m rather lucky in one sense that over the years I’ve managed to build up a collection of various DIY tools and so it didn’t take long for me to dig out my electric tile saw, pop it onto my work bench and make a start. My first attempt at cutting one of the bottles in half was a disaster, I didn’t keep the bottle steady and level and so I managed to end up with a 1cm difference in just one circuit of the bottle, it didn’t look good – one for the bottle bank.
My next attempt was much better; I decided on a line and kept my hand steady, producing a nicely level cut bottle, one down, and five to go!
Once they were all done, I filed and sanded down all the sharp edges, after all, there’s no point in getting cut yourself when reaching for some herbs – which I’d decided to use the bottles for by the way. I lined up my creations on the windowsill and stood back to admire my handy work. They were going to be a nuisance to clean around etc if left loose like that so back to the garage for some plywood off cuts ( a man never throws away any wood “just in case” ). Twenty minutes later a nice little box had been made and everything looked neat and tidy, I was a happy chap.
Now for the fun part, the seeds… after much deliberation I decided on Oregano, Mint, Basil, Chives, Plain Leaved Parsley and Coriander. Mint being a bit unusual to grow on a windowsill, but it beats going to get some from the garden in the pouring rain!
I filled about a quarter of each bottle with horticultural grit and charcoal as there were no drainage holes in the bottles so I wanted to be able to see if there was water sitting in the bottom and the charcoal would help absorb any smell of sitting water, which would be unpleasant. Then topped them to within a couple of cm from the top with good quality compost. Once I’d sown all the seeds, I covered with cling film to make a propagator and waited for the shoots to appear.
Overall I’m very pleased with the look. I’ve recycled, in my own way, half a dozen wine bottles and a friend will be benefiting from a windowsill herb planter in the very near future (as long as I get to taste them in a nice meal of course).
Last months project was a success all the bulbs have grown well, the crocuses and daffodils have all flowered and the tulips are still to come. On reflection I will probably plant the same bulb variety in each planter next year as now the crocuses have finished it’s looking a little bit untidy and there are gaps.
I’ve managed to acquire some onions and even some shallots which have been planted in another two bottles (the shallots had fewer in the bottle and larger holes to allow room for them to split (hopefully)).
Next month there might be teapots!
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I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember, my first earliest memory being planting seeds in my Grandfather’s prestige flower bed and having a prize lettuce growing there, which he proudly left to show everyone.
Since then, gaining knowledge and experience from both my Grandfather and my Father, I’ve continued to garden, both as a hobby and later on as a professional gardener and landscaper for 12 years. I love all aspects of it, from the design and build, to the planting out of summer borders with plants you’ve either grown from seed or raised from plugs. Unusual varieties always catch my eye and I’m keen to try growing them, even if sometimes it means learning from my mistakes.
Really like the blog. Keep up the good work. We are just starting a community veg plot which will mean 0-80+ can have a go. The recycling ideas are great for us as we can also get our young folk busy. I remember Geoff Hamilton’s hypertufa, might give that a whirl in my own garden!
many thanks for the comments. Have fun with the hypertufa, I made troughs and allsorts with it.
Keep an eye out next time as I was also planning on a little project for the “young folk” that should be a bit of fun but will also hopefully reward them with some fresh salad and veg!
Omg I love your recycling ideas. Don’t laugh I have a colander from my late dads kitchen am thinking of cutting the handle off and using it as a hanging basket. It’s a pale green. Any thoughts on what to grow in it? I don’t want the usual petunias or lobelias I want something quirky any ideas?
Excellent Idea for some recycling, nothing wrong with that!
I would probably try some tumbling tomatoes as it’s easy enough to germinate the seeds and they’ll enjoy the heat , although always remember to water regularly!
If you’re dead set on a flower then a Fuchsia like Buds of May – Adrienne would look lovely and are also easy to look after, but if you want a combination of decorative leaves, flowers and an edible fruit (plus something a little different) then Indian strawberries (Duchesnea indica ‘Harlequin’) grown from seed sown directly into the colander will give you a culinary use as well as looking great.
Hi, thank you, I am going to order the Duchesnea indica Harlequin seeds on Monday, they are jst what I am looking for.