How to repair and replace your planter liners.
Thanks to stay-at-home orders and pandemic regulations, we have tried really hard to fix problems around the house without leaving the house.
We had a gorgeous planter we used to use in the front of our shop for years until we did some renovations and changed the style of it… and the planter laid in the dingweeds in the yard for years until we could find the time and place for it.
As we looked around for projects to tackle and finish, the planter hit the list. It was right there, it was easy to finish and it just plain old needed to get done. The only trouble was, taking the basket to the nursery was not an option because of quarantine, and I had always asked them to patch the coconut liner for me every couple years it started shredding. I was going to have to learn how to do it myself. I ordered the coconut liner and hoped for the best.
One beautiful Saturday the liner just so happened to get delivered to our front porch, so we rounded up some simple tools and got to work. Drilling in to concrete is harder than it looks, so it took some serious muscle to get the holes into the wall. (Hint: get shorter screws than we did if drilling in to structural concrete.)
Fortunately, we also had a big helper willing to lend some muscle to the cause.
Once we got the basket securely into the wall, we were able to play with the liner to figure out how to do it. Our planter had been left on the ground for so long, there was virtually nothing left of the last liner, so we were starting from scratch.
The best way that worked for us was to lay it out flat to see how much surface area it would cover. I had measured the planter before ordering but was also trying to cut costs, so I only ordered one, and that’s all I had to work with. Well, I also had a great helper who even suggested a rolling pin to even out the creases in the liner.
When the rolling pin didn’t exactly work as well as we would have liked, we decided to cut the liner and piece it together where we wanted it.
I got lucky because my planter was deep enough that I didn’t need the entire thing recovered in liner, and those couple inches I shorted myself along the top we’re my saving grace to be able to finish the project that day. In hindsight, I would have ordered two rolls of liner just to fill it all. But I worked with what I had, and it really turned out nicely. We overlapped the liner enough that the dirt wouldn’t go through, and started filling it with dirt and smoothed out some more wrinkles as we went. It was really very easy. We even had enough inspiration left over for a seven-year-old photo shoot of the knock out roses on my phone.
The project was so fun and quick it was contagious, and soon we were scraping mud off the deck from a gutter overflow, sending the teenage son on to the roof to fix the problem, and letting the girls collect roses to experiment drying after they hacked down the bushes and pruned them.
It was the perfect Saturday project that really did get completed before we fell apart. Only one tiny detail was left, the most important one, mocking me silently in its emptiness: the flower basket was empty.
In case no one else noticed, Lowe’s had become the new local hangout in the pandemic. The parking lot was constantly full, and every neighbor you hadn’t seen in years would pass you by, maybe or maybe not with a mask. Our friend in management told us that they had exceeded their projections by over a million dollars in one month. We decided to try to limit our Lowes trips, grateful for the economic boost and the eventual gorgeous landscaping popping up around the county.
But how could I justify a Lowes trip for FLOWERS in a pandemic???????
I stewed about it all through lunch and in to my afternoon tea on the porch, trying to enjoy everything we had accomplished. I tried to pacify myself and remind myself that at least we had gotten that much done, and I should just be thankful for what was finished and save the rest until after #quarantine.
I tried my best, I really did.
But then I remembered the hosta planted near the porch of my office across the road, and it was curtains.
Jumping on the golf cart with a tote and shovel, I used my flip flop feet in the heat of the day to dig that poor plant out of its home.
I had gotten as a gift from my mother-in-law about 13 years before when we actually lived in that house and we moved out while we were still finishing construction on our new house, so I never had the chance to replant it. There it sat all those years, never separated, never divided, just continuing to grow and multiply all that time.
When we took the property back over, I was so happy to have another chance at taking my hosta back. Every day I went to my office, I passed by that beautiful plant and thought of the memories that came with it. I would promise myself that “someday” I would at least divide, if not completely replant it at home.
Today was the day for taking it back.
It had grown so large over the years that I only took a fraction of it and it still filled the garden bed. I guessed at how much I would need, plunked it in the tote and drove back to the house.
It fit perfectly in three sections, and I couldn’t have been more satisfied.
Except for the empty spaces in between the hostas staring out at me and mocking me.
I reminded myself once again to be thankful for what I had, and I walked away from the planter so the mocking couldn’t torment me anymore.
As I walked on to the front porch, I passed a pot full of flowers that Tim had given me for my stay-at-home birthday a couple weeks before.
I ran back to the mocking basket and split that plant as fast as I could.
In minutes, the entire basket was finished and soaked. It was perfect.
So if you have planters and pots and all the things in your yard or in your porch that need some DIY attention, don’t worry: you can do it, too!
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