Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Easy Windowsill Garden
One thing that always seems to come at a premium is space, so lots of people think they can't possibly have a garden to enjoy. This post will show you how you can use even the tiniest of spaces, like a windowsill, to plan and enjoy an easy garden of succulents and air plants. These plants are also great for those of us with limited ability to keep plants alive as they don't need the amount of attention and watering many standard house plants do.
First of all, you will need to select your plants. While many stores have a gardening section this time of year, I recommend finding a local plant nursery if you can. Even better, if you have shops that specialize in succulents or air plants (which are both becoming increasingly popular). You will get a lot more help and knowledge from the staff at a nursery then at Wal-Mart, trust me. Make sure to select plants that will fit comfortably in your space. I chose some 2" succulents and a tiny air plant. My grand total came to 8 dollars, shopping at the local specialty store was actually cheaper for me in this instance, so as I mentioned, search them out if you have them!
Next, you want to select your plants' new containers. Don't limit yourself to standard planters and pots, I happened upon these teacups (a vintage Pyrex and a Fire-King coffee cup) at my local Goodwill for 99 cents each. Pretty much every thrift store I've ever been in has a huge supply of old glassware at excellent prices. Why not try a candy dish, fondue pot or tea set? You can often find things of high quality that add extra visual interest to your garden.
The final step: re-potting and setting up your garden. This is where the information you can get from specialists is important. With succulents especially, you will want recommendations on the soil conditions. Plain old potting soil is probably not the route you should go to keep these babies alive. You may find you have to create your own mix of soil, sand and more. You'll also want information on how often to water your specific plants. The internet is a great source of info, but why take the extra time if you can get all you need to know in the same transaction?
As you can see, I placed my air plant in a green glass bud vase. Photosynthesis is actually inhibited by green light, so you may think that my plant might not bode so well. However, the tiny amount of light that comes in through the hole at the top seems to be doing a good job at keeping the plant healthy (all colors of light actually play SOME part in photosynthesis, but a plant could not be kept alive on green light alone). It is also important to point out that I don't really want my air plant to grow a whole lot, just stay alive. If it grows too much it will become way too big for my container, so I am only trying to maintain a balance in which it stays alive and about the same size. If you try out your own air plant, you may want to go with a clear glass container, though they require no container at all. You can simply set it on the windowsill by itself, or even wrap string around it and hang it up. I soak mine for about 20 minutes once every 2 weeks or so, and it's been doing great.
Finally, just sit back and enjoy your cute little garden! This is a great idea for Mother's Day or graduation. Who wouldn't want their own adorable little garden?