Friday, May 25, 2012

DIY Screen Feeder - Flower Box

 Since I had a couple of questions, I thought I'd clarify some information regarding yesterday's post, where I showed how I use our bird seed screenfeeder as a 'window box' in the summertime. I purchased our screen feeder on-line (I don't remember where, but if you do a Google Shopping search for "screen feeder tray," you are bound to find some! I'm sure a local bird store would carry them, and perhaps even larger nursery or garden centers.)

As I mentioned, I just plunk the flowers down in their original (lightweight) containers, right on the screen feeder, as I don't think the screen feeder would stand up to the weight of flowers that have been transplanted into pots (due to the weight of the pots and all the extra soil).

I decided to experiment with lavender this year because I love the scent.

I'm not sure how the lavender will do because a) this window is not an extremely sunny spot, and b) I've never used these biodegradable pots before, just sitting out on their own without being planted in the ground or a bigger container. They may end up needing more watering than the plastic 6-pack pots I've used in the past. I"ll keep you posted.

I may not be sure how the lavender will perform, but I do know from years past that impatiens lend themselves to this method so I used them around the lavender pots. I was able to use complete 6-packs in front of the lavender...

...but there wasn't enough room for a complete 6-pack on each side of the lavender so I just used my scissors to cut one of the plastic 6-pack pots in half so they'd fit on each side.

Here's a sample of last year's 6 packs at the beginning of June, shortly after I'd plunked them down on the screen feeder. I also stuck a vinca vine pot into the front corners. As you can see, the vinca vine isn't very long and the black plastic 6-pack pots are still visible.

But just 5 weeks later, by July 5th when this picture was taken, the Vinca Vine was almost down to the ground and the flowers had cascaded over the sides of their little black 6-pack pots.

I use the same "planting method" with these old vintage planters that I have on our Swingset Deck. I just plop 6-packs of impatiens down in the planters and rearrange them until I like the color arrangement...

... and voila! This photo was taken on July 8th, 5 weeks after they were first plopped down. They absolutely thrive in just their original little 6-pack pots!

The most important thing is to make sure they're watered every single day. I sometimes even water twice during our horrendous heatwaves here in New England. I've toyed with the idea of using Spanish moss or Sphagnum moss underneath the 6 packs on both the screen feeder and in these planters, but I've never gotten around to actually trying it. That might keep the bottoms more moist, but that's just a guess on my part.

So good luck to anyone who tries this! I'd love to know what other types of flowers work well with this method. I know I can vouch for impatiens!

(Sammy Squirrel giving thanks for the bounty he is about to receive. Amen.)

And I know I am going to get out and enjoy our little backyard this summer because all too soon the screen feeder will be filled with seed, cracked corn, and suet rather than flowers (brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!)

Happy gardening!!


Susan said...

Donna, that squirrel photo is a real winner. Oh, your window boxes look so DARLING! Love them. Great job. Your yard looks lovely. Susan

Bev said...

Hello! I love this! Where would one get a screen feeder? I am probably being a real dork but if there is a place I can go buy one, that would be awesome. I'll look for your answer. Love your blog by the way. I feed the squirrels too. I put up one of those bird seed bells on a hanger and looked out and saw my squirrel taking it down and dragging it off! He even hauled it up a tree. So thanks and cheery wave from Bev

Sharon said...

Love this idea! Your yard is so inviting!

Elaine said...

Pretty, pretty flowers. I see Baby is enjoying the view.

We are adding some flowers to our little garden at the condo. Hopefully they will do well.

Sammy is cute as ever!