Cedar window planters....and how to keep cut flowers fresh!

What a weekend. Lots of projects and yard work. I finally got my pots planted and even worked on a few furniture projects I will share a little later. On top of all the projecting and yard work, it was prom weekend. So there was a dress to pick up at the alterations place, boutonniere at the florist...and of course pictures. 

So much to do, so little time!

One of the projects I completed last week were the little cedar inserts I built for the iron window planters outside my bedroom window.

Last year I lined them with the dried mossy stuff...

It was really pretty with flowers planted...but they didn't last long. I think the biggest problem was lack of "space." I had to put a lot of mossy stuff in them to hold dirt...and there just wasn't room for enough soil to sustain the plants.

So I removed all the mossy stuff and decided to make cedar inserts for them.

The best thing to use for cedar planters is plain ole' cedar fencing...about $2.50 for a 1"x6" x 6'  (actually 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 6') board at Lowe's. I used 3 boards for two 32" planters. 

Fortunately, the width of the boards are the same as the depth of my iron planters...about 5 1/2"...so I didn't even have to rip them down. I just measured the length and width of the planters and made little boxes for each!

My boxes were not "square"...they were "angled" so I had to cut the top width longer than the bottom width. About a 12 degree angle! Crazy, I know. My suggestion is to buy square planters...makes it a little simpler! (The window boxes on my storage shed are square but they came with little copper inserts!)

I constructed the boxes using liquid nail and my nail gun. I used liquid nail rather than glue since it would be exposed to soil and moisture!

My little trick for this box was NOT adding a bottom. I used chicken wire on the bottom.


I doubled plain old chicken wire and then I used my stapler to attach it to the bottom of the box. After stapling it on, I cut the excess off with wire cutters, leaving about 1" all the way around.  

Then I folded the excess back onto the box.

The boxes slipped right into the iron planter. And if you ask me, it looks sooo much better. You can really see the detailing on the metal boxes now!

After placing the cedar boxes in the planters, I lined the bottom with the dried mossy stuff, a layer of small rocks and then potting soil. Then it was time to add my little plants!

If you want to make the planters last longer, you can line them with heavy black plastic! Just make sure you punch holes in the bottom of the plastic so it will drain!

Or you can seal it with an exterior deck sealer!

I didn't do either. I know me well enough to know I will get a bug to change it before it has time to rot...lol!

I even made one for the little metal planter on my front porch...

I have had several ask me "What's up with the brick?"

Brian and I go to Colorado in the fall and every year I haul home driftwood and rocks from the river beds were we fish. Last year we stopped at an old homestead that was abandoned and nothing but a shell.

When I found the brick laying in the "yard" I couldn't figure out where it came from...because obviously there is no brick on this house...nor where there any on the outbuildings. As we were backing up, I looked up and figured out where it came from...the chimney! 

So yes, I have a brick sitting on my front porch! I have no idea how old it is, but from the look of this house...it is OLD!

Keeping Flowers Fresh!

Katie was the star of the spring musical last week. Yes, I know I am bias. But she did have one of the leads...Princess Fiona in Shrek the Musical! And that chick rocked!

I went to both performances and I took her flowers each night. This is one of the bouquets after an entire week!

It is easy to keep cut flowers fresh for WEEKS if you give them a little care and attention every 1-2 days. First, always make sure you cut away all leaves from the stems that will be submerged in the water. Every day, change the water and cut about 1/4-1/2" from the bottom of the stems with a sharp pair of scissors while holding them under running cold water. Then immediately place them back into the vase with clean water. I do use the little packets of "preservative" that come with the bouquet but that usually runs out after the first few days, and they don't seem any worse for the wear without it...so no biggy! Just plain ole' cold, clean water.