Last summer I made my first tire planter. This spring I decided to elaborate on the idea a little further.
Painted and elevated off the ground on a cinder block/concrete paver plinth this redneck garden staple is given the appearance of high garden style, especially when doubled and placed on either side of our entry (below pic taken from our front porch).
I started by gathering some used tires still on the rim. We live right by a tire shop so they were kind enough to give me one or two from there, I found one on the curb and then my MIL found me a curbside one as well. They were all different sizes but I decided to work with the two of most similar size, and it's hard to tell a huge difference between them after it's all said and done.
The turning the tires inside out is always hard work but there is a definite technique to it so it gets easier the more you practice. I always follow a super tutorial from here. And I also omit the flower petal style that they have on their site, I prefer to just make a straight cut to make a more classic, urn-like planter.
Next I picked up two sets of 12 standard cinder blocks as well as two extra large stepping stones, these measure 24x24 inches (found them at Lowe's).
If you're doing things right, here is where you should probably make a little foundation for your plinths by digging out a hole and putting down gravel and sand to make a perfectly level surface. However, I like to live dangerously so I cut some corners here and just plopped the cinder blocks on top of the old grass.
Four cinder blocks per "tier", make sure to alternate directions to make it sturdier. I'm sure you could glue them together too, mine are just loosely stacked on top of each other. And then the stepping stone on top.
And then I simply attached them to the planters by drilling through the handles and walls of the planter, inserting screws and securing with nuts on the inside of the planter.
First I diluted the paint a little bit and did a wash on the cinder block part of the plinth to cover up that concrete gray. And then I used full strength paint on the planters, two coats, making sure to paint the top inch or so on the inside of the planter as well.
These are trailing ice plants which I hope will thrive in our hot and dry summers as well as survive winter. As they grow the idea is that they will be spilling over the edges and mostly cover up the planters. I know the planters look pretty plastic-y right now and I considered going over them with a sander for a more aged appearance but ultimately decided against. I imagine they'll get chipped on their own pretty soon, and if the plants fill in as fast as I'm hoping it won't really matter for long anyway.
Trailing ice plant (delosperma cooperi) is supposed to be really easy to propagate so I skimped and only bought four plants. I have already started new little plants by sticking cuttings into the dirt, it seems to be working :) And they should stay covered in those lovely magenta flowers all summer long! Their only drawback is that they're not fragrant, but I guess you can't have it all.
Here's the run down of the costs.
Used tires on the rim = free
24 cinder blocks = about $40
2 XL stepping stones = $20
paint = $10
screws + nuts = free, on hand
Obviously you can cut the costs considerably if you already have cinder blocks and stepping stones on hand. However, a planter as huge as this and with that urn shape would probably cost you at least $60 if you bought it at a store. And I got two of them along with plinths for a total of $70! All in all not a bad deal :)
I like how they add some much needed symmetry to our front entry as well as a nod to much grander homes. Combined with the vines I'll have climbing the house, the wildflower bed in the foreground (starting to emerge now!) and the split rail fence I'm still hoping to have one day the overall feel of the front yard will not be formal at all, but most decidedly colorful cottage eclectic :)
Funny story. All the while I was working on these planters (over the course of a weekend) one of our neighbors was hanging out on his front porch, kinda keeping an eye on things. The look on his face while I was documenting it all with the camera was absolutely priceless! :)
Even from a distance it was clear that he was racking his brain trying to figure out why I would finish a detail, put everything down only to come out and snap pictures like a maniac, then go put the camera back, come back out and keep working. I don't mind if they think I'm eccentric and very well documented, maybe that'll deter them from taking off with my new planters :) "Mr. Policeman, Sir. This is exactly what the planters looked like".
Oh, the things we do for blogging's sake! :)
Ps. Linking up with
Funky Junk Interiors
Blue Cricket Design
The Thrifty Home
Homemaker on a Dime