So, some of you may have seen THIS lovely picture on the internet:
Well, I loved the idea from the moment I laid eyes upon it. In the back of my mind, I began to build up a desire to have one of my very own. For this, I have four good reasons:
1) I have a love of nifty gardening things
2) My husband loves strawberries. I love strawberries. And the very best strawberries are the kind that go straight from plant to mouth.
3) In our apartment, we have very little garden space. Hence, the appeal of using some vertical window space.
4) Just look at it! It’s a living decoration that gives you berries. Bonus.
But how to replicate this? I would need some specialized stuff. Namely:
- An outer layer that would both allow for drainage and hold in enough soil to support some plants, plus growing room.
- Soil and plants (…in case you were wondering about that.)
- Some circular frame, preferably stiff plastic or lacquered metal, sturdy enough to support the weight of your living wreath. (This ain’t no sissy wreath, people. It’s got some weight to it.)
- Something to attach the wreath to your frame securely. (Bonus points for looking nice and not being susceptible to looking too nice to get dirty or wet. It should also allow for drainage and breathe-ability.) I chose a thin roll of burlap tape I got at the craft store.
- A watering system to keep your plants alive (I learned this the hard way!) This doesn’t need to be fancy, it can just be a perforated milk jug handle. Mine is. You can also use a ring of perforated tubing. Make sure none of your plants will miss out.
Now, the method:
- Take your coconut husk thingies. Cut an x in the direct center of the bottoms, about 1/3 of the liner’s diameter. This will make the hole in the middle.
- Pull the cut edges of the x, until the outer and the inner surfaces of the cup-shaped liner separate.
3. Do this to both liners you have (if you’re using two) and then nest one inside the other, to make it just as thick as it was originally.
4. Put the hole of the future wreath over an upside-down pot or similar shaped thing. Put down a newspaper underneath, and shovel soil into the circular space in between the layers.
5. Once your wreath is as full of soil as you can manage, carefully wrap the bottom layer over the soil, and the top layer over the bottom. If you like, use a needle and thread to sew it closed on the backside.
6. Cut holes in your wreath’s outer casing for the plants to go through, as well as for the watering system, making sure it reaches all the plants you have in your wreath. Make sure you don’t crowd them, either.
7. Take your plant from its previous dwelling place, and plant it in the designated hole. Be gentle with the roots, and try to spread them out as naturally as possible. Cover the roots with soil.
8. Pull the liner back over the planted strawberries, place the frame under your wreath, and attach the wreath to the frame. I did this by wrapping the burlap tape around the frame, and then around the wreath over and over until I had come full circle.
Leave the wreath horizontal for at least a week, to let the roots establish in their new home.