I’m beginning to perk up physically after my surgery seven weeks, and now I can see how much remains to be done around my house to re-establish my home after three years in retreat. What I should do is assemble furniture, unpack boxes and put away things, and dreary things like that. But, instead I am starting with flowers. I found dozens of my own dead or half dead potted plants everywhere in plastic pots. Plus empty plastic pots. The plastic pots were faded and trashy looking.
Funny, how when you pose a question in your mind the answers just appear. I went to Berkeley Horticultural Nursery—an urban paradise—just for the pleasure of looking around. As I drove around back I saw that a place had been established to drop off unwanted pots for recycling. Woo hoo! I don’t have to put the old black nursery pots in the landfill. So, yesterday I loaded up the back of the car with the ones I would never use again.
Now, what to do with the trashy faded adobe colored plastic pots? I just can’t lift full pottery pots anymore. These plastic ones are theoretically useful—but what an eyesore!
Then I stumbled upon some edition of “Ask This Old House” on PBS in the last week and—sure enough—they addressed this issue! They painted them with spray paints.
So, yesterday I:
1. Emptied all the usable pottery soil from the bottom of the old pots in a pile on a tarp, and mixed it with fresh pottery soil from a bag.
1. Put the old dead or unwanted plants in the compost.
2. Filled a big bucket of water up, and added a little earth friendly dishwashing liquid.
3. Using a car-washing mitt to wash all the pots.
4. Did my best to deal with the thousand of ants that quickly swarmed me, my pots, and my hose, with minimal casualties.
5. Let them dry. The show recommended wiping the surfaces down with denatured alcohol to get any grease off. I read the label of Klean-strip Green Denatured Alcohol and decided it looks pretty harmless unless I drink it – which would kill me. I wiped the pots down with it and it helped take off the remaining price tags and adhesive.
6. Since the background for these pots will eventually be my pastel colored house, I thought Easter egg colors would be cool and unusual, so I bought the spray paints ahead of time and had them at-the-ready.
7. While everything was drying I went back to the nursery, dropped off the pots, and bought some plants I thought might be appropriate for a hot October, and might possibly over winter.
8. Came back and spray-painted those pots until my finger went numb! (Not recommended, I read now that it may be some weeks before sensation comes back.]
Boy they look just too cute, don’t you think?