Miniature Gardening forum: How to finish this mini garden table?

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Feb 14, 2013 8:52 AM CST
Can't believe DH actually made this for me, I'm blown away! It's treated lumber, and he stapled screen in the bottom, which is treated plywood, drilled many holes. I have some vague ideas about proceeding from this point, but wanted to solicit input from people who have done this before, or just have an idea to consider.

It seems like if I fill this with 50 pounds of moist soil, it's going to rot too soon. Of course it's not going to be sopping wet, and I'm pretty sure I'll keep it inside so squirrels, storms, or whatever don't mess it up. I will be watering the plants with a squirt bottle because they are mostly succulents, tiny ones, and "regular size" drops of water will mess up the details when I get it all together.

Any thoughts welcome! TIA for your time and effort!!!!

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Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Feb 19, 2013 5:52 AM CST
That looks like a really nice fairy garden container he built! Hurray! I love the fact that it's on legs so you don't have to bend down so far to work in it. I imagine it would get heavy with 50# of moist soil in it, but you're right - since you seem to be using mostly succulents, you won't want it too be very moist anyway. Do you have a place to keep it inside that will get lots of bright light? That would be a main concern if it was mine. And once it's full of soil I would think it would be pretty heavy to move. So be sure you know where you'll want it to end up before you fill it with soil! Hilarious!

You've already got a nice assortment of plants and accessories so go ahead and jump in on construction! I guess if you're using a fairy house or structure I'd decide where to place that first and work my way out from there. Since your plants are all in containers you can just set your containers around until you find a combination you like, and then plant them.

Looking forward to seeing more of it. You should post progress pictures here so we can watch as it grows. Smiling
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 19, 2013 11:24 AM CST
Thanks, Goldfinch. Very helpful suggestions, I appreciate it! I mentioned to DH that I think this needs some type of metal or plastic liner. He's usually, as you can see, good at "that stuff." The best thing I can think of is to line it with a sheet of vinyl stapled to the sides near the top. Maybe that's a better idea than I think it is.

We're going to paint it with outside paint even though it will be inside. You're right about not moving it around - HEA VEE. I can't move the thing around empty. I'm worried about squirrels and toads and other various critters that come into the yard messing it up but it would be so much better outside. So now I'm also thinking we could fashion a raised kind of frame lid with screen covering it. That would let light and air through but keep critters out. Probably put a couple latches so the wind doesn't throw it into the neighbor's yard.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Feb 19, 2013 12:29 PM CST
I like the idea of a cover to keep the critters out. That would keep leaves and such out too. If it's outside you wouldn't have to put a liner in it either.
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Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
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gg5
Feb 20, 2013 8:06 PM CST
Hi Purple and Chris, I'm joining the conversation late but wanted to say what a nice table-box! I love that its on legs too! Its very unique!
One thing that's important is to reinforce the sides (I can't tell if they are or not from your photo)
I recently made a mini vertical wall of wood, and within a month one side came loose -
(I know, I live in Seattle and I put it outside in winter - so very wet, but still it didn't take long at all to begin to deteriorate, I was very surprised :thumbsdown:)
You can buy those right angle metal things with a screw in each side, that goes inside each corner, or 2 in each corner
The other thing is the liner idea. Would it be to keep the wood from getting wet? Would it have holes in the bottom for drainage?
Just wondering, since if it was something that didn't breath it could incite mold. And if you're growing succulents, as you know, it would need good drainage!
(can you tell I've been thinking about these issues with some of my own projects) Hilarious!
Have fun mini gardening, and I agree with Chris, I love photos along the way! I tip my hat to you.
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Feb 21, 2013 1:56 PM CST
Hey, GG, you're not late at all. Thanks for the thoughtful, helpful ideas and input! I can't get moving on this until the house plants all go outside, hopefully just a couple more weeks. Can hardly walk around in here at all.

Corner braces are a great idea! Hurricane clips came to mind but there may be other similar doodads. The sides have 3 screws at each corner and are over an inch thick, but sure couldn't hurt. This is going to be full of heavy stuff, pushing outward for sure, and could get sideways (trapezoidal?) without them.

I'm nervous about ruining this planter way too soon too. I've used wooden boxes that were intended to be window boxes on the ground and after 2 seasons, they are mulch. Same with old drawers used for planters. The bottoms of those usually only last 1 year. But this won't be on the ground, and it will be dry all the time, except for some light spray during really windy storms. It will be under the roof of the porch, and have waterproof paint.

The bottom has about 100 drill bit holes in it. I think if it was lined with vinyl, stapled up the sides, I could poke through it at some of those holes, just in case, but don't plan to be putting enough water for it to run out. I'll be using rain water so a buildup of tap water chemicals won't be an issue.

Keeping it dry enough for succulents should make/keep it an unsuitable environment for mold. I only have trouble with that on the back porch where the sun never hits.

For potted plants, I usually use some kind of mix that drains so well that copious amounts of water must be applied all over the surface to ensure that the contents are moist throughout. But for this type of thing, I think a much more water-retentive mix would work a lot better because the way those soils wick and distribute water upward and sideways. Of course going all the way to a bag of peaty potting soil would be way too far in that direction, but I might buy some for the first time in a LONG time to add some to get the texture I think this needs. Or I may find enough suitable material already in other pots while repotting, stuff that's too broken down to suit "the big boys" but could be just the ticket for this.

The table doesn't look any different yet, but here's some of the stuff I've made. Chairs, a wind chime, don't like to wear that pearl pendant so put it on a wire to look like it's hanging from a shepherd hook, DH hollowed those corks out to be decorative planters, and the rocks I bought on ebay years ago, planning to string them for jewelry but never happened. So I strung them on florist wire and they keep their shape when bent, so they can be borders for little "flowers beds" in the mini garden, or along a path or something. Won't have to place each rock, or worry about them getting out of place, easy to rearrange.

Thumb of 2013-02-21/purpleinopp/6f21ee
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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goldfinch4
Feb 21, 2013 2:25 PM CST
Cute ideas for your garden accessories!!
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
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gg5
Feb 21, 2013 9:44 PM CST
Purple, very cute!!
Chris I like the idea of using semps as garden veggies. Now I have to come up with some themes! I always try to be "unique" so think of having the fairy slamming into the tree (with blood and all) just taking the "cutsie" and making is making it sort of "sick" Hilarious!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
goldfinch4
Feb 22, 2013 3:52 AM CST
Greg Blinking that's what witches do, fairies can fly better than that! Sticking tongue out
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
Image
gg5
Feb 22, 2013 6:25 PM CST
Love that! You're right I could do a house with the shoes and legs sticking out of it!! See it doesn't have to all be gruesome to be funny! Hurray!
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Chris
Ripon, Wisconsin
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages Forum moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Seller of Garden Stuff I sent a postcard to Randy! Sempervivums Sedums Region: Wisconsin Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
goldfinch4
Feb 23, 2013 3:01 AM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing OK, that's better! Hilarious!
Cubits Store: The Sempervivum Patch - plants, containers, accessories!
Also stop by Timber Treasures and Garden Buddies on Cubits
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
Image
gg5
Feb 23, 2013 6:29 PM CST
Whistling
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
Image
purpleinopp
Feb 24, 2013 9:42 AM CST
Oh that's funny! My son would LOVE that. Thanks, and thanks!
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
🍀👒☀🍄🍍🌱🌿🌴🎄👣🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻🌽🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌺🌸🌼🌹🌳🌲
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Greg Colucci
Seattle WA (Zone 8b)
Sempervivums Sedums Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Cactus and Succulents Container Gardener Garden Ideas: Level 1
Garden Art Birds Dog Lover Cat Lover Region: Pacific Northwest Hummingbirder
Image
gg5
Feb 24, 2013 11:35 AM CST
nodding
Plants bring me peace and calm, more of what we all need Smiling

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