Cattle Water Trough Planter for Bees

Confession: I have been recommending these cattle water trough planters to my clients like crazy, but only after I tried one out in my own garden. I took an odd unused space in my alley and added a fun little color spot dedicated to bees.

This water trough in the picture is galvanized and won’t rust any time soon. This one is about five feet long, two feet wide, and two feet tall. I picked it up for $150 from McLendon Hardware.

First step: (after putting on gloves and safety glasses) is to turn over the trough and drill plenty of holes for drainage. It’s not the easiest task, since the galvanized metal is slippery and tough to drill through. I used a ½-inch bit. Be cautious of the sharp metal shavings caused from the drilling. They could cut up bare feet on you, the kiddos, or the pets. I drilled in the driveway where I could easily sweep-up the sharp metal bits. I drilled a total of 24 holes and removed the water drain plug that comes with the trough.

Next: Place your trough in the garden and level it out. I placed a few bricks under, being careful not to block any of the drainage holes.

Soil: Fill with good quality potting soil. My trough took 1-yard to fill and I love the North Country Potting Soil from Carpinito Brothers in Kent. It’s cheaper than by-the-bag and it’s excellent quality. Fill all the way with soil. Don’t even @me about styrofoam peanuts or empty water bottles, those take away valuable root space and cause water to drain too quickly away from your good soil. So, don’t do it!

Plant away: I jam packed my planter with easy to find easy care perennials that bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds love.

6 1-gallon Salvia Sylvestris

6 1-gallon Daylily ‘Stella de Oro’

5 4-inch Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’

5 1-gallon Black-Eyed-Susan (blooms later than pictured giving us blooms into fall)

6 1-gallon Agapanthus ‘Midnight Blue’ (my one splurge and they’re just about to open)

4 1-gallon Hosta ‘Royal Standard’ (probably too much sun, but they were left-overs from a project and I wanted something leafy)

Easy plants to take care of and drought tolerant thanks to plenty of potting soil. I water 2-3 times a week during the hot summer days. I’ve noticed several varieties of bumble bees, honey bees, leaf-cutter bees, wasps, hornets, hoverflies, butterflies, and hummingbirds visiting this little garden.

Have you been growing flowers and/or vegetables in cattle troughs? Comment below.


New Favorite Little Free Library

We’re so lucky to be in an area that embraces the Little Free Libraries. This sweet example comes from Dan and Trina Wiswell in Tacoma, Washington. Dan is crafty and creative with his building skills and he built this Library to reflect Trina’s love for Micky Mouse. Check out some of these details:

Little Free Library, Tacoma, WA

The fairy door on the planter inspired the shape of the library door.

Can you find Micky?

This Little Free Library is so sweet. The colors are inspired by the owner’s love for Micky Mouse.

Tacoma, Free Library Visitors

Tacoma, Free Library. Visitors from around the world.

Books for all ages.

Packed with books for all ages. This Little Free Library is located in Tacoma. #43296

Fairy Door

The hidden Fairy door that inspired the design.

Thanks again to my friends Dan and Trina. They crafted this Free Library and placed it in-front of their house after a neighbor kid was hit by a car accessing the Free Library just down the block. These are great folks and I hope you get a chance to check out their beautiful creation. The Library’s number is #43296.

Put Those Tomato Cages to Work!

Just a quick and silly little post. These Christmas trees are made from tomato cages turned upside down. Use tent stakes to keep the base in-place and then a zip tie works to tie the “tree top” together.

Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

Tomato Cage Christmas Trees

Wrap the cages in tinsel garland for a daytime look and add LED lights for the night. I added cedar garland to fill out the base of the “trees” and decorate the pot. So easy.

Oh, and we’re in Seahawks country, so this IS Christmas colors. Woo! Go Hawks.

Garden Gift Giving

As Christmas sneaks it’s way up on us, don’t forget. We have a charming little brick and mortar store overflowing with gifts for garden and nature lovers. Here’s a peak:

Crabapple and Quince. Yummy preserves hand made from Orcas Island.

Crabapple and Quince. Yummy preserves hand made from Orcas Island.

Early bird tickets to The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. The gift of anticipation.

Early bird tickets to The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. The gift of anticipation.

Imported from England, these Hoe Hoe Hoe Gardener's Christmas stockings will be cherished year-to-year.

Imported from England, these Hoe Hoe Hoe Gardener’s Christmas stockings will be cherished year-to-year.