Tag Archives: planter

Recycled Milk Containers

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It started off with milk containers, paint and a pallet. To be fair, paint and pallets are at the bottom of most of Julia’s projects.

I went to the Mencap garden with Julia last Friday to photograph her latest project.

Obtain some milk containers, making sure they are the same size, as this makes things easier. Cut the bottoms off, paint them and mount them upside down in a pallet (a batten through the handles helps), fill with potting compost and plant things in them.

Then make sure you keep them watered.We also had tea and biscuits. I like Fig Rolls: they remind me of visiting ancient aunts when I was a youngster. Some of them were fearsome, but the Fig Rolls generally made up for it. Time, as always, lends enchantment to the view, and I remember the biscuits more than the feeling of being found too frivolous.

They were, of course, of the generation that thought I’d look better up a chimney, though to be fair to them they had left school around the age of twelve and, mostly, worked in cotton mills all their lives. They tended not to marry, as the supply of husbands had been seriously depleted in the years between 1914 and 1918.

What with the Great War, the Great Depression, the death of the cotton industry and the Second World War, they didn’t have an easy time of it.

It’s made quite a good planter now it’s finished, though I expect to be asked about automatic watering systems next.

Paint, Autumn Colour and Upcycling

Despite my desire to do something different I’ve drifted back to the garden. The pictures are taken and the temptation to use them is too great to resist. The top picture shows part of the bookshelf. They will not be short of reading material, though they may short of light to read by. Despite being near both a school and a lamp post the gardens have no power, which could be a problem as time goes on. It seems that as the winter progresses, the number of attendees falls.

At least the broken window won’t be a problem, though it did cost £70 to fix it in the end. We weren’t able to dismantle it ourselves to fit the new glass so we had to call the professionals in.

Painting is going well, with multi-coloured panels (depending on available paint) cheering the place up. The stationery trays (which were fruit boxes last week when Julia got them from the grocer on the market) were painted using the same system. I wonder if I should tick “upcycling” as a category, or if that might be a bit too grand to describe painting three boxes with left over paint.

Note the cake stand. Julia found it in a school bag that had been dumped in the school skip, with other lost property. She has an affinity for cake stands, and we have several at home, though we rarely use them, as we aren’t that sophisticated. And I’d rather just cut it and eat it instead of showing it of on a double-decker plate.

The library shelves are looking fuller now, with a number of the titles looking familiar. I’m sure I used to have copies of those books, I think, before I realise…

I may go for “upcycling”, considering the planter is a re-used litter bin striped with bits of window blind.

More from Yesterday

First stop of the day was in the garden with Julia.  A Robin was singing its heart out, Goldfinches were flitting round the treetops, two Cormorants flew over and a Green Woodpecker was yaffling in the trees. (Later, the woodpecker would visit the garden and perch on top of the large polytunnel.)

It was too cool for insects, but we had a window to mend and various other things to do. The glass for the window is going to cost £24. We’d spend that if we had a meal while we were out, but when it has to come from fund-raising, and when you consider it was broken by the worst burglar in the world, it is extremely irksome.

I did manage to get a dragonfly picture.

At the end of the day, when I returned from Men in Sheds with the pieces of 16 nest boxes, there were a few more insects about, including a massive bee and a strange fly. The quality of photography was not good and I didn’t get much worth showing. The newly painted door has a frame now, and the planters have become white. The blue stripes are lengths of fabric from discarded blinds (skip-diving again) – it’s probably not a long-term solution but it saves paint.

Have to get Julia to work now, will add ID notes later.

The dragonfly is a Common Darter.

The fly is some species of the sarcopaga family – flesh flies. You have to examine the genitalia closely to tell what exact species it is and, frankly, I don’t care enough to do that.

The bumblebee was massive. In pre-metric measurements it’s about the size of the end of my thumb. I could see it from 20 yards away. It’s probably a queen Buff-tailed Bumblebee.