MilkWeed: Spring Greens

Each year about this time I get the bug. I wander on Saturdays through all nurseries near my house, from Home Depot to the neighborhood mom and pop store. I get the urge to fight my otherwise air-plant-only-loving black thumb and give dirt a try. Each year I was usually only moderate successful at growing some unsuspecting harmless seeds to full plant-hood, but I’ve found the key to my success of growing spring greens.

In my rookies years I’d buy all the supplies I thought were necessary every year — growing trays, expanding seed kits, even just-add-water pots. I mistakenly thought I just needed some new gadget to grow a successful garden. It’s not until recently that I realized I had the general supplies I needed all along, but a good-looking planter was the golden ticket to my success.

I realized the more I like the planter, the more I literally LOOK at it and — here’s the genius — remember to tend! So it’s worthwhile investing small or large into greens and containers that will look good in your home or garden. The solutions don’t have to be expensive — modern, attractive planters may be right under your nose. The planter above is made from precast pavers from your local hardware store.

Fight the urge to buy new pots for your garden, buy some paints instead and recycle, hang and plant. Watering is a breeze if your back wall can take a spray or two each week.

Recycled to reused, use your imagination. A brightly painted file box (above) or even a piece of PVC pipe (below) may be all you need to make an attractive planter box.

Gardens, like humans, need essentially the same thing. Light, food, water — and, of course, a good home. In the case of the seeds, it’s just dirt (the more nutrient-rich, the better). What I’ve discovered is once you have all those ingredients, a seed can sprout in so many forms. Many no-cost or low-cost solutions may be around the house for you to plant in. And all of these look better in my modern home than those little throwaway plastic pots. Go ahead, find a home you love and plant your spring greens.

All image sources and more DIY ideas can be found at kara_b_’s Pinterest board, Plant Love.

Kara Bartelt is a design strategist in practice at kara b. studio. Kara enjoys the design process on all scales via her architectural practice, Lettuce Office, or by creating botanical art with air plants, via toHOLD. She wishes at 11:11 each day at Kara writes the Design Milk column, MilkWeed.