The two whiskey half-barrels that I picked up in February are already sprouting with their first round of plantings, so it’s high time to share the plans I dreamed up for them. As I re-read The Bountiful Container, I took the advice about planning for visual appeal and seasonal changes to heart, and created spring and summer versions of each planter.
Barrel One: The spring arrangement for this planter features Delaway Kale (it came with my Seed Savers membership this year). Around it, I’ve planted a row of Bull’s Blood beets, and they are surrounded by the Seed Saver’s Lettuce Mix. The outermost ring is cherry bell radishes.
For summer, the centerpiece of barrel one is a Principe Borghese tomato plant (a favorite variety, and determinate, so it should do OK in the container). It will be surrounded by bush beans of various colors, and the whole container will be ringed with Globe Basil. Barrel Two: To the back of this barrel, I attached about three feet of fencing to provide a trellis. For spring, Green Arrow snap peas will send up tendrils. In front of them, I’ve planted Albino beets, spinach, and a mix of radishes and Paris Market carrots.
For summer, the peas will be replaced by Minnesota Midget melons, which are supposed to have well-behaved 3-foot vines. In front of them, I’ll transplant miniature yellow bell peppers. The carrots from spring will hang out through the season, and the front of the container will feature Tip Top Nasturtium to add to the yellow and orange color scheme.
Time will tell if the real-life barrels bear any resemblance to these sketches – or if my seasonal timing will even work! I’ll keep you posted.