Saturday, August 11, 2007
The idea of "Tree Baskets" came from some dear gardening friends a few years ago. Their back yard was void of nice trees with low limbs as mine is. They had created a tree basket the circled around a huge pine tree. God gave Earl and Joyce many creative ideas to enjoy the out doors. Earl had lost his legs in an accident while young. One would never know by visiting their beautiful home and grounds. Earl has gone to be with the Lord now. So many, many friends miss him; he inspired us all with kindness, determination and his sweet spirit.
My yard is not void of trees but there are no low limbs from which one can put an old fashioned board swing or hang beautiful baskets of color. I enjoy large splashes of color among all the green so I set to building a few tree baskets myself. You might enjoy doing the same.
You will need a few feet of chicken wire that is 24" wide. (available at the hardware store) Find a pair of gloves before working with this wire. It's nice to have a helper but you can do it by yourself. First fold the wire in half length wise. Choose the height that you want your basket; mine are about shoulder high. Use small staples (large staples or nails may harm the tree) and first attach the center of the edge away from you to the tree. The front edge is not attached.
Begin to staple the wire as you pleat it to fit around the tree. Fold together the ends of the wire, turn under and attach the ends too. Now you have a pouch of wire that reaches about half way around your tree.
Line the wire pouch with damp spaghnum moss and fill with a good quality potting soil mixed with water-saving pellets. Try to have at least a 6"x6" fill of soil going around the tree. Plant with sun or shade plants and water gently but thoroughly. You can pack more moss around your plants to help keep the soil in place.
The first year I was very successful with Impatiens in three baskets on three trees located about 20' apart. They needed watering about every other day. The effect was pleasing and beautiful
I was expecting a drought again this year so last spring out came the succulents...surprise, we've had around 50" of rain. The succulents have done well in spite of the moisture.
You may like to try Petunias, Geraniums, Ferns, or Ivy. Have fun! They are easier to construct than you would think.