Upcycling an old wheelbarrow

Upcycling an old wheelbarrow

For over a  year now I’ve had a vision of a red wheelbarrow, overflowing with beautiful green herbs and other exciting plants.  I’m not particularly into ‘farmhouse kitch’ but this one, I couldn’t resist.

There were a couple of old wheelbarrows here when we moved in, and one doesn’t roll so well, so I started hatching a makeover plan for it.

When I was given some leftover red spray paint and a pot of gold paint, it’s fate was sealed.

One dry day last Autumn, I put down some old newspaper and started spraying.  I quickly realised I was being an idiot doing this without a proper respirator mask.  So I added the mask to my shopping list and leaned the half-painted wheelbarrow against a wall.

… And there it stayed for the better part of a year.  Life interfered with my plans for the makeover. However, I am pleased to say that last weekend, with dry but overcast weather, paints to hand and with a respirator and eye mask, I finished the painting.  The gold paint doesn’t actually cover – it just gives a golden sheen, but I’m OK with that.

Next, I tapped in some drainage holes with a hammer and a big masonry nail.  My first idea was to tap them around the edges – but, duh, that would have just made the bottom fall out.  So I put in some randomised holes – maybe around 10 or so. Well, I say I tapped them in – I tried but in the end enlisted some manly help as my hammering technique left something to be desired.  

Then, I filled the bottom of the barrow with some heavy clay soil from a hole that was being dug in the garden, and topped it off with some light store-bought compost (my own isn’t ready yet and as much as I resent buying the stuff, I really wanted to get onto planting).  

I ran out of time, so I only planted a leggy mint, and the rest can wait.  People always warn you about mint spreading, but I’m not too worried about it as  I’m happy to mojito my way through even a big batch of it!!

I have a vision of a luscious herb garden spilling out of my red wheelbarrow.  I moved it into the front garden, but I may move it round the back in mid-summer when it gets too hot.  I’m hoping it will present an unscalable obstacle for even the most determined slug, so I’m going to plant it with salads and rocket and all kinds of stuff slugs love but now can’t get at.  Mwahh hahh haa! Tanja 1 / Slugs 0.

(I will write a further blogpost once the plants are established)