Help with milk can. What can I plant in it?

Discussion in 'Garden Design' started by marlingardener, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    I know this isn't exactly garden design, but I sure need help! A friend gave me an old milk can--tin, about 3 feet tall, with the bottom rounded out so it won't stand upright. His idea was for me to tilt it and plant something in it. His idea, right . . . .
    What can I plant in it that can:
    1) Stand the heat on the roots from the sun hitting the tin (our flower beds are in the sun most of the day)
    2)Be showy enough to be seen since I don't want it to look like I dumped a milk can in the garden
    3)Preferably bloom quite a bit (might as well enjoy the flowers!).

    My friend's idea was white petunias. Two things wrong with that. I hate petunias and they would cook in our Texas sun.
    No prizes for the winning answer, just eternal gratitude!

    moderator's note: added a more descriptive title to topic
     



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  2. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Oooh, ooh, I know!!

    How about white trailing rose and white Allysum? If the can has to lay on it's side, they will make it look like milk spilling out.

    Or a pink trailing rose or Calibrachoa with white Allysum and it will look like strawberry flavored milk.

    Or a Chocolate vine with or without the white Allysum for a chocolate milk look and fragrance.

    The Allysum will provide a really wonderful honey scent and bloom from spring thru late summer giving color when the othr plants are between blooms.
     
  3. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Toni,
    Your knowledge of plants amazes me! I had to look up calibrachoa--I may use it as an annual in containers in the back yard garden. I think it is too tender to be even a short-lived perennial here in zone 8b, but I'll enjoy it in containers near the patio.
    I love the idea of the trailing rose and the alyssum--that's the way I'm going to plant the milk can. Thank you for solving a design problem for me!
     
  4. Evil Roy

    Evil Roy Seedling

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    If you plant Baby's Breath around the white trailing rose and white Allysum it'll even smell like spilled (and spoiled) milk.
     
  5. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    I was hoping someone would come up with a great idea for this. My sis-in-law has an old milk can just sitting there. I'll have to pass along Toni's wonderful suggestions for it!
     
  6. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Marlingardener, working on the GardenStew Plant Pages has been a great education for me, I have picked up more plant information there than anywhere else.
    When I was making quilts I mainly did theme quilts, not just copy patterns and the theme idea is slowly being carried over to some of my gardening too.
    I have the old kitchen sink we removed last summer that will become a planter in the veggie garden next year, one side will grow Leeks and the other possibly Soapwort if I can find seeds.
    And a pot of Dragon Wing Begonias on a bridge that spans a glassy lake where Petrov the floating Dragon hangs out.
     
  7. cherylad

    cherylad Countess of Cute-ification Plants Contributor

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    The themes are such a wonderful idea. So simple... but absolutely brilliant at the same time.
    Love your's about the Dragon!
     
  8. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Roy (because I can't believe anyone here on the Stew is evil!) I love the baby's breath idea. I'll try it since BB ought to like our alkaline soil. It's a great plant for flower arrangements, too, and a lady down the road does arrangements for the church. If the BB succeeds, I'll be in her good graces!
     
  9. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Evil Roy is Randy, my hubby. Have you seen the movie Evil Roy Slade? It's one of his favorites so when he became a member of SASS (Single Action Shooting Society) and needed an old west type of alias, it was the logical one for him. ;)
     
  10. PJK56

    PJK56 New Seed

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    A milk can in your flower bed will look adorable, even though you can't make it stand straight upright. Anything cascading will be beautiful, and yes the petunia's will fry in our heat in S.E. Texas. Toni gave you really good advice.
     
  11. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    PJK, welcome to the forum, and you are right--Toni does give good advice. She is known here as an "enabler" in that she gets us all hooked on great plants. I will be planting my milkcan in the spring. If it all works out as we hope, it should be a traffic-stopper!
     
  12. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Ummmmm, thanks? or should I be hiding in the 'north 40' from the crowd bearing torches? : ;)
     
  13. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    Apologies in advance (in case this has been discussed on this forum before). But I think the perfect thing to do with a can like that - Is to hang it somewhere, and then grow something that can hang out from it.

    Or, an even more revolutionary idea is to grow tomatoes upside-down!!! Just see this link, as it really has to be seen in order to be believed! :)

    http://oldfashionedliving.com/tomato2.html
     
  14. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    S-H, the milk can is about 3' tall, so hanging it would be a head-bonker! I do like the idea of hanging unusual containers with vining type plants--I'll keep my eye open for good ones at auctions and garage sales. One of our friends tried the upside-down tomato thing, and it was a complete disaster as well as a mess on their patio. I think Mother Nature meant for tomatoes to reach for the sky, not Hades.

    Toni, don't worry about us storming your ramparts--if we had any plant resistance at all we'd be able to resist your great ideas and suggestions. Anyway, "Toni said to do it" is such a great excuse!
     
  15. S-H

    S-H Young Pine

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    OK, I've got another idea - Why not just use the can as a vessel to hold water, and then hook it up to a drip irrigation system!

    I think it already is the perfect size and shape to do that job. So aside from being put to good use, it will also take a load of anyone's mind when you are away for a day or two (as you won't be worried about any plant drying up). :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drip_irrigation