If you can’t wait for spring planting, try this easy project that incorporates some of the season’s earliest blooming plants and a few houseplants in a basket-like container made from salvaged materials. Hang it on the front door or a prominent place nearby. The display will bloom and thrive throughout spring—far longer than cut flowers—and the plants shown can live on in the garden or other containers.
Gather materials to make the door planter. Set aside a few thin, 2-foot-long branches from late-winter or early-spring pruning and upcycle them into a handle for the naturalistic design. We used a 4 1/2 × 5 1/2-inch paper popcorn cup from a movie theater as the inner vessel for the plants. The sheet of birch bark used to wrap the cup was purchased from a crafts supplier. Never cut or tear bark from a living tree; removing bark makes the plant more vulnerable.
Choose tiny houseplants, flowering bulbs, and wee perennials or annuals for your display. Hang the finished planter outdoors on a shaded door, wall, or gate where it will draw attention. Bring the planter indoors overnight until the threat of frost is over. When warmer days arrive in late spring or early summer, transfer the plants to larger pots or appropriate places in the garden.
Entwine or braid a thin branch or two with a moss-covered branch. Secure the branches by wrapping them with a length of hemp-covered wire, leaving 3–4 inches of wire free at both ends of the branches. Bend the branches in an arch to make a handle.
Cut a 1-inch-thick circle of floral foam to fit into the bottom of the disposable cup. Press the floral foam circle into the cup, where it will catch and hold moisture. Cut a sheet of birch bark to wrap around the cup.
Hold the bark in place while wrapping it with a length of hemp-covered wire. Twist the wire ends together at the back of the planter and bend to secure them. Attach the handle to the cup by pushing the branch ends down under the wire at the left and right sides of the cup.
Use the remaining wire to secure the branches to the wire that is wrapping the bark to the cup. Trim off any excess wire you don't need.
Arrange plants in the cup, removing any excess soil from the root balls. Allow ivy to trail freely or twine the stems into the branch handles. Tuck in bits of moss to enhance the planter’s natural look. Water plants lightly as needed.
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