This past week has seen quite a bit of rain, which makes working on an outside project a little tricky. But before that happened… I assembled my sting light stands/pots! This project included working with a fast drying cement, which was a first for me.
For this project, I gathered:
- Two oversized identical pots
- two 8′ garden stakes
- black or ORB spray paint
- two1/2″ screw hook eyes
- a drill
- Quick Dry Concrete
- small/cheap buckets small enough to fit inside the larger pots
- props to hold the stakes in place (logs)
First of all, you can totally put the concrete directly in the pot. I did worry about drainage, but that wasn’t the main reason I used the ‘double planter method’. I wanted to be able to use these pots again, *without* the stakes in them. Of course, that added a step or two, but I’m glad I did it! (Those giant planters can get pricey.)
I had to spray paint my stakes because they came green. They were also less than $7 a piece, so I was ok with a little extra work. The ones I got from Lowe’s had a hard plastic cap on the top. I drilled through it them and inserted a screw hook eye, which I will eventually use for stringing the lights. (most likely with small black zip ties) I sprayed the hook eye too.
Once they were done, I combined the water and concrete mix. This was very much not a professional job, but it did the trick. I started by adding a cup of water first, and then concrete, blended with a throw-away whisk until thick, and then repeated until the bucket was 7-8″ full of concrete. I also recommend using a mask, because concrete dust probably shouldn’t be inhaled. My buckets were about 9″ across. They were large ‘plant starter’ buckets. They had drain holes, but I covered them with duct tape.
Speaking of drain holes. I drilled some into the bottom of my large planters, outside the area where the cement pot would be sitting.
I did one bucket at a time. This was quick dry concrete. And I had no idea what I was doing. This ended up being a good idea, since I had to level it (I eyeballed it, but a level would have been nice). once I knew it was straight, I stacked logs around the edge of the planter to hold the stake in place. I let it dry about a half hour.
I added the stake-pots into the large planters, and filled it all up with potting soil. Just put all the soil in there, around and on top of the stake pot. Then I stood on a ladder and pulled the obelisk trellis down over the stake. I centered the stake somewhere around the middle of the top… the goal is to have it all covered at some point so it won’t matter that it isn’t perfectly square.
Then I added the ivy that I had purchased as well as some that I have pried off my back fence. And some plant food — I want this stuff to take off! So far, so good. The vines are beginning to hold onto the trellis. Soon I will add some annuals for color and something to spill over the edges, but I am celebrating that the hard part is done!
I have also added some training wires for some climbers that I have potted near the house…
And have decided to keep the moss for now…
And that’s it. I’m coming to terms with the reality that employing someone else to excavate and install a pea gravel patio in the next three weeks is truly the thing of dreams. I have NOT given up hope, though. I have a great contractor; we just have to get Mother Nature to play nice.
Oh! The other thing you can do when it’s raining is shop. Yep, I checked. You can shop all you want and not get wet. It’s lovely!