Saturday, February 18, 2012

Master Gardener Terrarium Workshop

Master Gardener Terrarium Workshop was great fun this morning at De Bloemen Hof.  Thanx! to my good friend & fellow Master Gardener, Mary Dee Dykstra for doing this with me.  And thanx! to the gals that showed up for the fun and laughter.  You ladies are the best!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012


What are “Bucket Bowls”???

“Bucket Bowls” are trough gardens, dish gardens, planting bowls, and containers created out of Papercrete from Marlys' Garden, Pella, IA. 

Why are they called "Bucket Bowls"???  

Papercrete is made in 5 gallon plastic buckets at Marlys’ Garden.

What is Papercrete??? 

Papercrete is a mixture of shredded newspapers, Portland concrete, & perlite.  The paper is soaked in water for 48 hours and then turned into paper pulp by stirring with a paint mixer blade using a powerful drill, or another appropriate mixing blade.  Perlite filler is added, and then Portland concrete is mixed in.

The mixture is then molded into planting bowls, dish gardens, planter troughs, or other forms of garden art.  Only the artist’s imagination limits possibilities. The mixture dries slowly taking up to 10 days to cure.  The end product is light weight and durable.  Experts say Papercrete containers hold up for an average of 10 years if properly used and stored in freezing winter weather. 

Good drainage is a must when growing plants in containers thus large drainage holes are made either when wet with a finger or later with a drill.  When filling with soil simply place a flat stone or piece of a broken terracotta or glass flower pot over the drainage holes.  Water will find its way out but soil will stay in. 

Dish gardens & troughs are particularly well suited for growing cactus & succulent plants that require arid growing conditions.  Any type of plant may be grown in these containers however they may require more frequent watering than if the plants were grown in a glazed or plastic pot.  Miniature Gardens and Fairy Gardens are also very well suited to Papercrete trough gardens.

To learn all about Papercrete see: 
This is the web-site of my mentor, Lee Coates of Peggy’s Flowers in Highlandville, Missouri.  Or see:  “Marlys’ Garden”