Here are the photos of the planter boxes/raised beds that I wrote about in my last post. This first one is the side view of the unfinished box on its stand.
This is the view of the inside of the unfinished planter.
This is one of the handles on the end of the unfinished planter.
Here is the other box with one coat of 'Boston Fern' on it. I am going to paint the handles as well but since I need them to lift and turn the box while I'm doing the rest of the painting, the handles will be done very last.
Last night I was hoping to get to get a second coat of paint on the box I started painting on Monday and start painting the other box as well, but my visiting teachers stopped by at 7 and stayed until almost 9, so I didn't get anything accomplished last night. I am hoping it rains during the day and dries out by evening tonight so I can paint, if not I'll have to wait for Saturday.
Once I'm done painting I will staple black weed barrier on all the inside surfaces of the boxes. Then I will fill it with a mix of potting soil, garden soil, and coffee grounds (generously donated by Caffe Ibis*, THANKS RACHEL!). As soon as the good dirt is in I can plant.
My offer for a massage in trade for some decorative painting on the boxes still stands. Of course my far away artistic friends all volunteered but I'm afraid I can't afford to fly them out to do it. So if any of you Cache Valley people feel up to the task I would love to hear from you.
*Coffee grounds make a great fertilizer/soil amendment. They are especially great for acid loving plants like my Hydrangeas** and my new blueberry starts. I don't drink coffee but I can still get grounds from Caffe Ibis. For those of you who don't know, the Ibis is located in downtown Logan at the intersection of Church Street and Federal Avenue. If you would like some free coffee grounds they are more than happy to help out. Just bring in your own container with your first name and phone number on it (I suggest a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid) and give it to the barrista at the counter and let her know you just want it filled with grounds. They will give you a call when it is full, which usually takes a day or two. My fabulous cousin Rachel works there most afternoons and she is always happy to help. While you are there I suggest you try a mexican hot chocolate (if it is brisk outside) or a mandarin/passionfruit italian soda (it is is warm out).
**Coffee grounds are also a very natural and safe way to cange the color of your hydrangeas from pink to blue, if you have alkaline soil (which we do) which promotes pink, green or white hydrangeas. Not all varieties of hydrangeas will change color but if you start with one like June Bride, Nikko Blue, or Endless Summer (it really does bloom all summer long!) You can use Aluminum Sulfate to achieve the same effect but it is very harsh and can burn or even kill plants if you aren't careful. To get the best color change results I suggest keeping your acid loving plants in a container, not the ground, and continuously add coffee grounds during the growing season.