I started research on what to do for our community container garden just looking at pallet constructions. There are some beautiful DIY designs, this one from Caravanserai, who were amazing enough to help us build the benches for the cafe and who are coming on Saturday to lend a hand:
A vertical pallet herb garden…I’m pretty excited about that…
These are perhaps more classy…more work too. But so beautiful from palletsdesigns.com:
Put all together they are lovely, as you can see in a post from 99pallets.com (I clearly am far from alone in loving pallet construction):
There are some more complex designs that require a little more than a hand saw, though I suppose you could manage with just that:
all the way to more professional loveliness that still seems within reach
These varnished and waxed vertical systems for succulent seem just as fancy — also doable:
And what to do with that sunny but vertical slope?
You think it can’t get better and then you look at this amazing project from Johannesburg: you start with something so simple, that becomes more complex:
There is a write-up of the project ‘Brothers in Benches’ here — what better way to allow people to creatively interact with and shape social space?
That’s enough about pallets, because while looking into them I heard from a wonderful friend about African Sack gardening, as they had planted them in the school where she worked with their students. Who loved them unconditionally.
Looking more at them, I began to find my way into the wider wonderful world of container growing in the Phillipines. There is Peñalosa Farms, Negros Occidental. I mean, my god:
You can stay there too.
I was amazed by how people have recycled plastic, inspired, and then momentarily cast down after stumbling across an article that suggested they might well be unsafe. Then I recalled all those posts about why you shouldn’t drink bottled water and the carcinogens leaching out of the plastic and etc. So a little more research… Some plastic is unsafe, but some is (probably) safe. For a long discussion of that try this article on the fresh organic gardening website. These are the ‘safe’ plastics
PETE or PET bottles. You see the triangle symbol with the #1 inside at the bottom of the container. This type of plastic is used for most clear beverage bottles.
HDPE (high density polyethylene). You see the triangle symbol with the #2 inside at the bottom of the container. This type of plastic is used for “cloudy” milk and water jugs, opaque food bottles.
LDPE (low density polyethylene). You see the triangle symbol with the #4 inside at the bottom of the container. This plastic is used in food storage bags and squeeze bottles.
PP (polypropylene). You see the triangle symbol with the #5 inside at the bottom of the container. This is used in rigid containers, including some baby bottles, and some cups and bowls. Examples are the wide-necked milky white containers usually used for yogurt.
This is an issue with some reclaimed wood as well, we’ll be lining our beds so there’s no possibility of toxins leaching from creasote-treated or painted wood. I’m glad some bottles are probably safe, because there is recycled bottle tower growing — I am so looking forward to trying this:
You can find a wonderful how-to post from Dr Van Cotthem here, which is a site where my vertical and container gardening learning has advanced in leaps and bounds. More from the Phillipines:
From Rancho Delicioso in Costa Rica:
But those bottles don’t have to stay vertical, they can be laid out horizontally like so:
Hung from on high
Put into pyramids even
More vertical gardening ideas use gutters — all the lettuce you could use for your salads:
Amazing what we can do, how much we can grow even in small spaces.
Now, to grow it.