Saturday, May 12, 2012

have a seat.....

my boss and awesome friend Sarah gave me a rocking chair that she had found many years ago, intending to fix the broken spindle in the back.  she never did. during a recent cleaning bout, she texted me asking if i'd like the chair! sure! i said,  why not! i'll think of SOME way to use it....then i saw a pic in a magazine of people planting containers and setting them in old chairs. but why use a container when you can just suspend it in the air?

so last weekend, my parents and my friend jyk came down to attack my yard. when they left, i was exhausted, but i still wanted to plant my chair!

and this is what i did.

1. remove the seat pad and upholstery, and any loose nails or staples. my chair had some pressboard and some plywood on the bottom. i removed the pressboard, but left the plywood because i was lazy.

2. staple fabric on the bottom of the chair using a hand stapler. if you don't have one of these, you can hammer 1/4" tacks every few inches as well. just make sure the cloth is pretty tight to the bottom of the chair and there aren't big gaps between your staples. i used weed blocking cloth, which lets water escape but keeps the dirt 'in'. you could probably also use something like denim or two layers of cotton fabric.

3. flip the chair back over, and check to make sure there aren't big gaps by pressing gently with your hands around the perimeter of the seat. I discovered a few spots that needed more staples. the weight of wet soil and plants will add up quick-do this step to make sure you've attached the cloth well. You can see the pressboard over the plywood that i didn't remove. i just stapled to the plywood on the back.

4.OVER fill the seat with succulent mix soil, or whatever you have layin' around that drains well. get it wet and make sure only dirty water comes through, NOT mud.  succulents don't like to sit in water-so make sure you have good drainage on this soil! let it drain so that you don't see standing water in the soil, and then plant your succulents! i used hen-n-chicks and two different kind of stonecrops, and added some creeping thyme which will have gorgeous little purple flowers in a bit. use your hands to pull back the soil and plant the roots of the plants horizontal rather than vertical. these guys have shallow roots anyway so you aren't hurting them by doing this. remember that plants look great in odd numbered groupings.

5. set your succulent chair in a sunny spot and admire the view! make sure no one tries to sit on it (ugh!) and remove leaves or berries from the neighbor's trees that happen to drift in. give it a water about twice a week or so (unless it's been raining a lot) and re-bury any roots or stems that work their way up until they've had a chance to root. i'm going to bring this into the garage for the winter so it doesn't freeze....and hopefully next summer it'll look even better!

like i said, this idea's been around for a while, i can't take 100% of the credit, but i would love to see what other people do with this idea! if you plant in a strange (or interesting) container, post a link!