Gardening and More: Make a leaning tower of pots with a secret method
It’s easy to make this leaning tower of pots, and there’s no gluing involved.
The basic idea is to stick a pole in the ground and thread the pots onto the pole through the drainage holes.
You could use rebar or copper tubing. I used a wooden dowel and I think it should last for at least one season.
You can use any size pots you want, but remember that if you use small pots, they will dry out more quickly than larger pots, so you will have to water them more often.
There must be a hole in the bottom of each pot that is large enough for the pole to fit through. Few plastic pots have a drainage hole that large, so if you want to use plastic pots, you will have to drill a hole. You can use ceramic pots or weathered terra-cotta pots or you can paint and decorate the pots yourself.
You will need a dowel that will fit through the drainage hole in the pots. I used a half-inch diameter dowel. The pots were ones I already had on hand, ranging in size from 6 inches to about 4 inches in diameter. The holes in the smaller pots just fit on the dowel.
Buy a dowel that will be about the same height as your stacked pots, plus at least one or two feet longer. I used a 36-inch dowel.
Hammer the dowel a foot or two into the ground.
Thread the first pot on the dowel. Fill the pot with soil and plant it. It can be a bit awkward to plant the pot while it is on the dowel, but if you plant the pot first and then try to thread it on the dowel, everything in the pot will get disrupted.
Thread the next pot on and position it any way you want. Plant the pot. Continue until all your pots are on the dowel. If your dowel sticks out, hammer it into the ground a little bit farther.
The first time I did this, the pots nestled inside one another, rather than sticking out at those great angles, so I did a couple of things that helped.
First, I wedged a rock under the bottom pot. That put the first pot on a slant and got the whole arrangement off to a good start.
Second, it seems that using pots that are nearly the same size will give you better angles than if you use a variety of small and large pots.
Set up your leaning tower of pots on a firm spot. I assembled mine on a soft spot that had been recently dug up. A few days later, it rained and the bottom pot began to sink. Just tamping down the earth a bit when you begin should solve that problem.
I created my leaning tower of pots several weeks ago and just used plants that were growing in the wrong spots in my garden: chives, parsley, violets, forget-me-nots and sedum. If you’re going to have your tower in the sun over the summer, select plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions so you won’t have to water as often. Portulaca or sedum are just a couple of choices. You could also plant a leaning tower using coleus to add color to a shady spot.
Add some whimsy to your garden with a leaning tower of pots.
Connie Oswald Stofko is publisher of Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. Email Connie@BuffaloNiagaraGardening.com.