Garden lore

” There are some botanical names that are teasers. Where the Polish discoverers or Russian explorers come upon the scene the result is apt to be an appalling jungle of horrors. Michaux, Stribnry, Przewalsky, Tchihatchew are responsible for some real jawbreakers; and when it comes to Michauxia tchihatchewi, exhausted humanity gives up in despair.”

My Rock Garden by Reginald Farrer (1907)

Just a few of my aged concrete pots - far too heavy to use with ease

Just a few of my aged concrete pots – far too heavy to use with ease

Making your own plant containers

I was looking at step by step instructions for DIY concrete pots in a NZ publication and have one word of advice: don’t. I inherited concrete pots from my in-laws, made in the days before mass produced ceramic pots became so cheap and widely available. They look aged and anonymous but over the years, I have found I use them less and less because they are just too heavy to be convenient. If you want that aged look, go back to hypertufa which has been used since 1930 to recreate a weathered stone look. There is plenty of information on the internet but the general recipe for hypertufa is 1 part cement to 3 parts aggregate (often a mix of perlite, peat moss or river sand). It is no more bother than making pots completely out of concrete but much lighter to handle.

First published in the Waikato Times and reprinted here with their permission.