Campfire Flower Project

Create a "campfire" with flowers

Recently on Pinterest, I came across a photo of some marigolds that were planted to look like they were the "fire" of a campfire pit. I thought it was a cute idea and set out to make something similar. (You can view the original photo here).

While trying to figure out where to put this new flower feature in my yard, I decided that the driveway needed some color since I had moved my red metal rack to the front of the house. Once the location was decided, then I had the task of figuring out how to contain the soil needed for the plants. I had recently acquired a large 22" wide galvanized tub that was already starting to rust out in the bottom, so it was perfect for planting.

Once the tub was in place, I placed three 6" terra cotta pots upside down in the tub. The pots were evenly spaced as if they were the points of a triangle. This was so I wouldn't have to use so much potting soil inside the tub. I filled the tub halfway with potting soil and added an appropriate amount of slow release fertilizer made for flowering plants, as the potting soil I use does not contain fertilizer. I also made sure that the terra cotta pots had about an inch of soil on top of each one.

I decided to get three 10" hanging baskets full of million bells to create the "fire" I needed in the tub. At the farmer's market these baskets were only $9.00 each, so I thought that was a pretty good deal. What was even cooler, was that the variety of million bells that I found is called 'Crackling Embers'. I removed the hangers from the pots to make it easier to get the plants out of the pots.

I placed each million bell plant on top of one of the terra cotta pots that I had placed inside the tub and then added soil around everything to make sure the roots were completely covered. I watered well and then added more soil as needed. I generally like to put a little mulch on top of the potting soil to help retain moisture, but since these plants are so large and full they sort of act as their own mulch. That is an advantage to purchasing larger plants; they give you instant satisfaction and look like they have been growing all season even after you just planted them.

Once that was done, I placed a tripod plant hanger over the tub and hung an old metal tea kettle from the center and placed a small potted hosta inside the tea kettle. At the end of the season, I can just remove the pot from the tea kettle and plant the hosta directly in the ground for the winter.

This tripod planter was given to me by my mother. I'm not sure where it originally came from, as I have never seen another one like it over the years. If you don't have anything like this, you can create your own tripod hanger by taking three 4 or 5 foot lengths of re-rod (rebar) and tying the ends together with wire or rope like you would if you were making a tee-pee. If you clicked on my inspiration photo above, you would see that their hanger is totally different and you would probably be able to find a hanger like that in the camping section of your local outdoor store.

Last year I up-cycled some solar lights and thought that one of those would be perfect in the center of this planter it give it a glow at night. I might place some logs around the base to make it look more like a campfire, but right now, I really like the look of the plain galvanized tub.

Cost of Project

  • 22" Galvanized Tub - $6.00
  • 1-2 C.F. bag of potting Soil - $8.00
  • 3-10" hanging baskets of plants - $27.00
  • Old Metal Tea Kettle - $2.00
  • Hosta - Free
  • Solar Light - $4.00
  • Wrought Iron Plant Hanger - $2.00

Total Cost: $49.00

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