First of all, I'd like to thank Sweet Becky for the post she did of pictures of my garden. That was so thoughtful of her. The remarks have been overwhelming and very humbling. I don't think I'm so much of a great gardener as much as I just love my yard to look nice. Seriously folks, anyone can do this. All it takes is a little O.C.D. and a bottle of Motrin and you're off!
Many of you have asked about my "pot tree". (No, I'm not growing pot! Tee Hee!!!) I can't take credit for inventing this little beauty. I first saw it in a gardening magazine a few years back. Then I found one all made up at our wonderful little local nursery last year. I had planned on making it then but never got around to it. I had to find just the perfect spot in the yard for it so when I did this spring I gathered up all the materials and had at it. Of course that doesn't mean I didn't hit a few snags. It just wasn't coming together so I had to literally dust myself off and run to the nursery to look at their sample again and get some more advise. After that it was a piece of cake.
Directions from the magazine can be found here and here. I followed the directions pretty well with the following exceptions.
A. I didn't set my pots on newspapers. I first ran the re-bar into the ground and then surrounded it with bricks for the pots to set on. That would assure good drainage and an even base.
B. The size of my pots graduate from large to small, bottom to top. My pot sizes are (approximately):
Bottom: Standard clay pot 15"tall x 18" wide
Next: Standard clay pot 12"tall x 14" wide
Next: Azalea pot (squatty ones) 8" tall x 13" wide
Next: Azalea pot 7" tall x 12" wide
Top: Azalea pot 6 " tall x 9" wide
**Note: These sizes are approximate as it was difficult to measure them while they were planted. It would have been much more logical for me to record the measurements before I made it. I had no idea so many people would be asking about them. I could have done a nice little "How To" post. Bad Blogger! Bad Blogger!
C. After you get the re-bar into the ground, put the large pot on for the base and fill with dirt. The next step in critical. The next pot is not "balanced" on the rim of the base pot. It's partially buried at an angle. If you don't do this the whole thing just won't work. After the second pot is buried, thread the next pot on and angle it by balancing it on the rim of the pot below it. Use the pictures for your guide. After you have threaded each pot, add soil before putting the next pot on. You should have a little bit of the rod sticking out of the top when you are done threading the pots on. When you are all finished, you can plant it.
Please refer to the pictures and directions I linked and you should have no problems whatsoever. I promise! Keep in mind that because you are using clay pots and they are exposed you will need to water more often. Even the plants that take full sun need attention daily. Now that I have made one, I have ideas for others. How about one planted with all herbs or one planted with succulents? Endless!
Here's another idea. If you have a drip system you can hook your pots to it. Simply secure a drip line up the re-bar and add emitters on each pot as you are making it. I, however, do not have a drip system because my dog ate it but that's another story......
Thanks again for all of your kind words. If you ever need help, just email me. If you are near my little town in central California you could drop in for some sweet tea and a personal lesson.
Have a lovely weekend and Happy Gardening!