How to Make a Bottle Garden

It’s not necessary to have a big back yard in order to have a lovely, colorful garden. In fact, you don’t need a yard at all Following are ideas to show you how to make several types of bottle gardens using items you already have around the house.

For the first type of bottle garden, start with an empty, clean, clear plastic two or three liter soda bottle. Remove the label from the bottle, soaking it in warm, soapy water if necessary.

If the bottle has a black base, remove it by filling the bottle with very hot water and then setting the bottle in a pan of hot water. After about two or three minutes, remove the bottle from the pan and pour the water out. The base should then pop off when pried with a butter knife. Puncture four or five holes in the clear bottom of the bottle to allow air in, as this will be the top of the garden. Cut off the neck so that it will fit over your garden. If the black base has holes in it, set a standard coffee filter inside of it, or cover the holes using black electrical tape on the inside of the base. Place about an inch of clean potting soil into the base. Plant some cuttings, seeds, or small plants in the soil and pour another one-half inch or so of potting soil around the plants. Sprinkle with water and place the clear bottle upside-down over your garden.

If the bottle does not have a black base, simply cut the bottle in two just below where the label was. The bottom will be your base. Leave the lid on the bottle, and puncture a few holes around the neck. Follow the directions listed above, only when you are ready to cover your garden you will not need to invert the bottle. With a little time, work, and patience you should be able to place the top into the base.

Another type of bottle garden is made using glass wide-mouth bottles or jars. Line the bottom of each bottle with gravel for drainage and then with potting soil. Place plants, seeds, or fresh cuttings in the soil and top with an inch of gravel or mulch to keep your garden from drying out. Water lightly.

The third type of bottle garden is made using glass bottles or jars and silk flowers. Glue green play dough (homemade is fine) inside each bottle or jar lid using a hot glue gun. Cut your silk flower and greenery stems short enough to fit inside each bottle. Stick stems into play dough on each lid. Let the flowers sit overnight for the dough to harden. Place each bottle onto its lid and screw on tightly.

For your living gardens be sure to check the soil on occasion to make certain it isn’t drying out. You can also embellish your gardens with small ceramic figures, ribbons, twigs, or moss. Place several bottle gardens on a windowsill for a vivid, lush effect. Or place one lush bottle garden on a tabletop for a streamlined but verdant look.

Be creative, use your imagination, and have fun. You are certain to enjoy your bottle gardens for years to come.

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