It's a great time for gardening! Lots of plants are in bloom, and can brighten up your yard or patio.
But don't just plant your flowers down, in the ground. Go up and defy gravity with a flower tower!
Tracy Alward is the Head of the Garden Department at the Home Depot in Southaven.
BUILD A FLOWER TOWER
- To begin your flower tower project, select a planter. Choose a planter that goes well with your outdoor décor. We recommend that you select a round pot that measures 12" to 13 1/2" in diameter. Of course, the color, design, and type of planter is totally up to you. Be creative and enjoy selecting your planter!
Consider these factors when you select a planter:
• Can the planter material withstand winter weather conditions?
• Is the planter material porous and does it tend to dry out quickly?
• Does the price of the planter fit your budget?
• Do you prefer the look of terra cotta, ceramic, wood, or plastic containers?
• Will the planter be moved, or will it remain stationary?
• Will the planter be left outside during the winter?
- When completed, the flower tower should be no higher than 1.5 times the height of the pot. For example, the total height of the flower tower for an 18” high pot should be 45". It is important to follow these guidelines to ensure that the weight of the flower tower is not compromised by wind or accidental knocks which could cause it to fall over.
- After you select a planter, your next decision is to determine which flowers to buy. Once again, you can use your imagination and select the color that works best for your outdoor space.
- Every garden can benefit from at least one variety of trailing flowers. Trailing flowers add a burst of color and additional shape to a garden. They are suitable selections for elevated planters. As the plants mature, the long sections of foliage and blossoms hang down from the container.
- A good flower tower consists of a trailing type plant (such as trailing lantana, verbena, vinca, and calibrachoa). The Wave petunias (or a similar trailing type flower) sold at The Home Depot come in a variety of colors. You will have fun making your selection. Enjoy!
- It is important that your potting soil provides the appropriate amount of drainage and extra nutrients to help plants thrive. Before you purchase potting soil, consider the following questions.
• How do I ensure I am buying high-quality potting soil?
• Would I prefer a potting soil with fertilizer?
• Do I prefer premixed potting soil or mixing my own?
- We recommend that you use Yard Guard 3’ x 50’ Garden Fence to create the flower tower. Using a roll of 3’ high garden fence results in the creation of a 2.5’ flower tower. Our associates can help you if you have questions about the fencing that you need to purchase.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN
- Prepare your work surface by covering the work surface with extra landscape fabric (or similar material). This helps to catch spills of soil or water.
BUILD A FLOWER TOWER
- Use the outside of a slightly smaller container (than the selected planter for the flower tower) as a guide to help create a round cylinder with garden fencing.
- NOTE: The wire fencing will need to fit inside the planter; therefore the cylinder must not be larger in width than the planter.
- Overlap the garden fencing and use a zip tie to connect the two sides of the cylinder together. Continue tying the remainder of the tower together across the joints of the wire fencing. Be sure to use enough ties to keep the wire rigid and stable when it is filled with dirt.
- Cut the excess ends of the zip ties to about 1/4". Make sure that the wire tower frame fits inside the selected planter 1/2 to 3/4 of the depth of the planter. The wire tower must fit snuggly inside the planter to increase stability when it is filled with potting soil.
- Determine the height of your flower tower. To avoid the flower tower tipping over, it is strongly recommended that the wire tower be no more than 1.5 times the height of the planter. Use snips if you need to cut down the height. Wrap landscape fabric around the outside of the wire tower and use scissors to cut the fabric to size. Insert the landscape fabric inside the cylinder wire tower.
- NOTE: Allow the fabric to overlap 2" so that soil cannot spill out through the seam. For best results, consider doubling the fabric when you line the inside of the wire tower. Leave 2" of fabric at the top to drape over the wire cylinder.
- To secure the landscape fabric to the wire frame, fold the extra 2" of fabric over the top. Use a utility knife to cut small slits in the fabric just under the metal rim of the wire tower. Cut slits through both layers of the fabric, and then insert zip ties through the slits to secure the top of the fabric to the top of the wire frame.
- NOTE: Cut one slit in every third rectangle of the fencing to ensure stability
- After the fabric is secured to the wire frame with zip ties, use scissors to cut the long ends to 1/4". Before you fill the planter with potting soil, use a small piece of landscape fabric to cover the drainage hole at the bottom of the planter.With the help of a partner, fill the tower to about 1/3 of the height with soil, and then add a small amount of water to settle the soil. Continue to fill with soil to about 1" from the top of the tower and add another small amount of water.
- NOTE: To prevent sinking of the soil, lightly press the soil into the tower after it is full.
- For additional stability, use potting soil to fill in the gap between the planter and the wire tower.
- Using a utility knife, start at the top of the wire tower, cut vertically and horizontally to cut a “+” shaped slit into the landscape fabric. Work your way around (up and down) the wire tower and cut a “+” shaped slit in every other rectangle. Be sure to stagger the slits because these are where the flowers will be planted. For plants to cascade over the edge of the planter, avoid cutting slits in the bottom row above the soil line.
- NOTE: Insert plants in the slits in every other rectangle to avoid over-crowding the plants.
- To add flowers to the wire tower, gently press a plant or seedling into each previously cut opening. Ensure that the plant fits snugly and close the flaps of the fabric around the stem of the flower. Repeat this for each opening you cut in the tower.
- NOTE: Use a garden spade and gently remove some of the dirt around the slit in the landscape fabric before you insert the flower pod. It also helps to use flower pods that are not recently watered or soaked with water.
- Plant the top of the tower to finish the project.