Intro: Urban Jungle (sort Of): Recycle an Old Piece of Furniture Into a Lush Mini-garden
Story & photos by Emilie Zanger
Courtesy of Venus Zine
Sadly, its a fact of urban life that city-dwellers can go days or even weeks without real contact with nature. If life in a concrete forest has you craving chlorophyll, but your tiny walkup apartment has only a postage stamp-sized balcony or back stoop to green, try planting a container garden in that old, unwanted piece of furniture you havent yet been able to unload on Craigslist. We promise it will look a whole lot prettier with leafy greenery spilling out of it.
� an old dresser, trunk, or drawer (depending on your space situation)
� latex house paint (optional)
� heavy-duty plastic trash bags
� staple gun or hot-glue gun
� container soil
Step 1: 1
1. Thoroughly clean your soon-to-be planter and allow it to dry. If you want, give it a new coat of paint to freshen up its appearance.
2. If your planter is made of wood, you will need to line it to prevent wood rot from watering your plants. Use a staple gun or hot-glue gun to attach the plastic trash bags to the inside of your planter, paying special attention to the top edge.
3. Drainage is really important to the health of a garden, so use a drill to make some drainage holes about the size of dimes through the liner and the bottom of the planter.
Step 2: 2
4. Now it’s time for the fun part! When choosing plants, consider your climate, how much sunlight your garden will get, and how much maintenance you can commit to. African violets are beautiful, but maybe a selection of cacti, which require almost no care, is more your speed. Plants you buy at a nursery will have tags that indicate the best climate and the care required for each species.
5. Fill your planter with container soil up to the point where the liner ends. A note about soil: Choose your container soil based on the plants you’re growing. For most green plants, simple potting soil will work just fine; cacti and other desert-dwelling succulents, however, require a sandier soil. Check the bag to see what you’re getting.
Step 3: 3
1. Gently remove a plant from its plastic pot and check the roots; if theyâre tightly intertwined, loosen them a bit with your fingers. Dig a hole in the soil roughly the size of the plantâs root ball and sink the plant into the soil, making sure the base of the stem is above the soil. Pat the soil softly but firmly around the plant to keep it in place. Repeat with all of the plants.
Decorate the top of the garden with stones or a cute little garden gnome.