Monday, May 28, 2012

DIY - Pipe Dream Planter

I’ve said before that I don’t have a creative bone in my body. My mom most certainly does and she continues to hog it all and not share that with her only offspring. It’s not that she hasn’t shown me by example, it’s just that my brain doesn’t naturally work that way when it comes to assembling parts in a new and amazing combination. Bravo, Mom. Boo, me.

So when Lowe’s contacted me about being part of the Creative Ideas Garden Club Team, I’m not sure what I was thinking when I said yes. They made it sound fun and I do love a challenge. I’ve had to stretch my writing wings a few times and that worked out okay, so maybe this Lowe’s thing could too. Besides, I love Lowe’s and I say it’s a darn good thing I don’t live closer to one, because I’d have to get a job there to pay for all the things I’d end up buying. I can’t hardly go by the store without stopping.

Anyway, as part of the team, I’m supposed to create fun new somethings that garden peeps might want to duplicate, or that will inspire them to come up with creations of their own. In full disclosure, Lowe’s is giving me a gift card each month so that I can go to their store and get whatever I need to put my creation together, based on each month’s unique theme.

For May, it’s “Pots and Plants.” No buying a pot designed for the garden. That’s my job – to use non-gardening things in a garden-y way. So this past weekend, I headed to Ft. Wayne to my nearest Lowe’s, hoping I could walk the aisles and be inspired. Truly creative people probably have an idea in their head before they go to the store, and they know exactly what they’re going to get. They've probably even made a list. I just don’t roll that way. It’s not that I’m opposed to it; it’s that I have a hard time visualizing things ahead of time.

I walked into the store and headed straight for the plumbing department. My husband has done enough plumbing around this house and sent me off to buy stuff enough times that I knew there were all kinds of wild and wonderful utilitarian things to work with in that department. It didn’t take me long before a vision came to me:

Pipe Dream Planter


  • 1 - 4" PVC Double-Y fitting  ($25.59)
  • 1 - 4" x 5' PVC pipe  ($7.84)
  • 1 - 12 oz. can Rust-Oleum® Universal Spray Paint ($7.97)
  • Plants ($28.86)
  • Old plastic plant container, approximately 4" in diameter
  • Potting soil

Step One: I used the Rust-Oleum® Hammered Metal paint in Brown to spray paint my PVC pipe. You could use any color you want, just as long as it's paint made for use on plastic. This is primer and paint all-in-one so it's easy peasy.

I hosed off the PVC pieces and dried them so that I made sure all the surfaces were clean before spraying.

Step Two: You need something to keep the potting soil from falling all the way through to the bottom of the long pipe, so I used an old plastic plant container that fit tightly in the bottom of the Double-Y fitting. Make sure whatever you use has drainage holes.

Step Three:  Time to pot up the plants. I put potting soil in, starting with the more upright middle hole, then filled in the two angled side ones. Before I added the plants, I watered the soil thoroughly.

I wanted the plants to have an "overflowing" look to it so I used purple fountain grass in the middle hole, along with an annual dianthus in magenta for bright color. In each of the side holes, I planted sweet potato vine and Proven Winners Supertunia® Raspberry Blast, the latter echoing and blending with the magenta dianthus.

Once everything was planted, I watered it all from the middle hole. The soil in the two side holes got moist as well, so I didn't have to water those directly. This way, I didn't take a chance of washing any potting soil out of the side holes.

Step Four:  I dug a hole about 18 inches deep (Okay... Romie dug the hole) and put the 5' PVC pipe down into it, making sure it stayed level as I packed the soil in around it.


I then put the planted Double-Y on the vertical pipe and voila!


In time, these will get fuller and give the planter a more lush look. If they get too large, they can be trimmed back to a more appropriate size.

Lowe's has plenty of other fittings in other combinations than this Double Y, so you could make this with a different look, depending on the fitting you choose. You also could shorten the long pipe to have the planter at a lower level to the ground. Just have fun with it!

P.S.  For more creative ideas for your garden, visit Lowe's Creative Ideas website


Shawna Lee Coronado said...

So, so, so, so CUTE!! Love it!!!


Dave@TheHomeGarden said...

Looks great Kylee! A very cool use of those pipes!

Jim (Wasco) said...

You could connect several Y's with short sections of pipe, perhaps rotating each one 45 or 60 degrees from the one below it, to make something of a spiral "tree".

Kylee Baumle said...

Shawna ~ Thanks! I could see this in YOUR garden!

Dave ~ Thanks, Dave!

Jim ~ Now that's an interesting thought! I did consider several different configurations before deciding to use this one. :-)

Daricia said...

great idea! and one that can be customized by anyone who does it to suit their own garden. incidentally, i've never known a very creative person to make a list or plan something out all the way before they go to the store. does your mom do that? seems like most of the "creatives" i know wing it brilliantly, just like you did!

Kerrie said...

Nifty idea! I think your Creative with a capital "C".

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