I have been gardening since I was knee high to my Grandad, he taught me as much about gardening when I was a nipper as I learnt at school about reading and writing! My father is also a keen gardener and so I have had a very well rounded gardening education. I have been working as a self employed gardener/landscaper for approximately ten years and I now work at Thompson & Morgan in the customer care department. I have a passion for gardening, growing things is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do.
I can also tend to be slightly “off the wall” in my thinking. I will try and make / build /construct things in the garden – from Old Compact Disc windmills to planters made from various bits and pieces. I still make Hypertufa using Geoff Hamilton’s recipe and have used it to make fake rocks and fake stone planters in gardens in the past.
But of course not everyone has access to their own (or other peoples’) gardens and so I started to think about growing more things indoors, things that would be useful in cooking, or would brighten up a room. I also wanted to recycle as it’s a cheaper and sometimes more fun way of doing things.
And so I’m going to share my “adventures” in windowsill gardening, I’ll document how I’ve made things and how well they do (successes and failures). I’m really looking forward to it and my brain is already whirring with a thousand ideas – some of which might even work!
So…. Uses for plastic bottles, and where and when? Those are the questions.
After some trawling of the internet, I came up with my first plan… a super windowsill onion planter, great! Onions sets aren’t in season yet and I’m a little keen to try this idea out, then I remembered I had some tulips and crocus and even a few daff bulbs that I hadn’t planted out yet that all had inch long shoots on them and needed using up.
So my first plan is… a super windowsill bulb planter.
We have some very large 4 litre squash bottles at work so I earmarked one of those and waited patiently for the staff to hurry and finish it up, as soon as it was empty I grabbed it and washed it out.
Looking very strange taking an empty squash bottle back to my desk, I started to work out how many bulbs I could plant inside and, armed with a marker pen, I worked out a rough criss-cross pattern which allowed me to put 64 bulbs inside. The next stage was to drill each of the holes out, which is a bit tricky as I didn’t want to split the bottle, I might try using a soldering iron or hot glue gun to melt the holes out next time as they were a bit on the rough side with burrs etc. Then I cut around the top so that I could get my hand inside.
And so to the planting, this was surprisingly easy, layers of compost and then poking the bulb shoots through each of the holes, until they were fairly tight (so that no water could escape), building up until I’d reached the top, I then planted four crocus bulbs in the top and taped the bottle top back, this was hopefully to reduce loss of water through evaporation.
Once I’d watered the bottle thoroughly I put it on the windowsill and I’m now waiting to see what happens…
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.