Barrels of fun

It’s a little ironic, given that I can’t actually drink wine at the moment, that I spent most of this weekend eyeing up wine barrels. Painting them, planting them, tying ribbons on the jolly things… they’re my new favourite garden accessory.

In my city garden, I had four big box balls in red painted wine barrels, with a fringe of mondo grass, parked just inside the front gate. Now those clipped buxus balls have had a green and white makeover. They’re in dark green wine barrels, underplanted with white annual petunias and white scaevolas with pale pink ‘Bubblegum Blush’ petunias around them. I plonked them along the edge of the wildflowers, where one day (but not this week) we’ll have a rock wall. (The rocks are all in a big pile in the paddock, waiting for the Hunk to get his leg out of plaster and his Achilles tendon back in action. A job for 2012, perhaps.)

I like the effect of big chunky wine barrels dotted about the garden, so I went a little silly and bought another eight whole barrels and five half barrels off Trade Me. The eight whole barrels are the perfect height to double as outdoor bar leaners with a big sun umbrella from Briscoes in each. They look pretty swanky, even if I do say so myself. Mind you, it took me about an hour to sew the strip of bunting around the base of the plain green canvas umbrella. (That was half an hour to sew most of it on, then another half an hour on the phone to Mum so she could explain how to rethread the bobbin in her sewing machine when the cotton ran out. Mental note to self: I must learn to sew. I haven’t sat at a sewing machine since high school home economics classes!)

In the half wine barrels, I’ve planted trailing annual petunias and small-flowered perennial petunias (also known as calibrachoas), ‘Polly’ daisies and impatiens. And, for the entrance to the marquee (and to stop the kids tripping over the guy ropes – small feet are somehow magnetically attracted to guy ropes), I’ve got a pair of half wine barrels with green painted metal obelisks clothed in climbing subtropical Mandevilla ‘White Fantasy’ flanked with the heavenly scented Gardenia ‘Fragrant Star’. That’s if they’re still flowering. My six potted Murraya paniculata – you ain’t smelled nothing until you’ve sniffed this shrub’s gorgeous citrusy scent – finished flowering this week. Ah well, you can’t win ’em all.

19 thoughts on “Barrels of fun

  1. Just beautiful Lynda! I don’t know how you’ve found the time to do all these wonderful things in your garden. Wedding planning is manic without throwing in a DIY garden. What you’ve achieved is amazing and you should be so proud of yourselves. Wishing you all the very best for your special day!

  2. What a stunning garden all ready for your wedding Lynda! I love the barrels, they are amazing, and the cosmos is stunning. Wishing you and the hunk all the very best for the big day. All my fingers and toes crossed for stunning weather, and all the projects completed!

    • I still have a few projects on the “to do” list; namely baking. We’re making meringues and apple shortcake and lime green lamingtons. Though we had a bit of a mishap yesterday and smashed 24 eggs on the kitchen floor (oops) so I’ve had a chat to the chickens and told them to crank up production this week… or else!

  3. It is looking gorgeous Lynda, you should be very proud. It’s inspiring me to just get out there and do some more in the garden too, despite this heat! Best wishes for your day.

  4. Stunning Lynda – just stunning. Wish I had your bank balance to gaily buy all the plants you have – oh well, back to my local garden club where I trawl the sales tables looking for tiny little offerings more suited to my wallet… hope the sun shines, all the flowers come out at the right time and that the hunk doesn’t trip over a guy rope and do the other leg in!!! can’t wait to see all the photos of the big day… as a left handed failed form three compulsory sewing class where I was allowed to “sew” blotting paper for the period from hell, I empathise.. leave the sewing to the experts is what I say!! You are a true gardener and painter of words and pictures and IDEAS , be happy with that!!

    • Hi Lynne, You know what? The plants that have done the best and created the greatest impact were actually the cheapest. We sowed four packets of sunflowers (all looking gorgeous), 10 packets of white cosmos, two of pink ‘Candy Stripe’ cosmos and two of ‘Giant Lime’ zinnias (all from Kings Seeds). They’re all beautiful right now. And then, of all the potted colour, I’m most impressed with the impatiens. I used to think they were a bit common but they are such great doers in shade. I really didn’t need to bother with the hydrangeas at all. And the perennial petunias, though they cost $17 each at Mitre 10, haven’t stopped flowering in eight weeks! (Plus I pulled a few insider contacts and bought a bunch of stuff wholesale).
      And as for sewing – ha – the last thing I made was a nightie in 3rd form. And when I went to put it on, it didn’t fit over my head so I had to cut a square neckline into it…

  5. Your garden is going to be amazing. I have so enjoyed reading and seeing pictures of your events leading up to the big day. Congratulations to you and the Hunk looking forward to seeing wedding photos.
    Have a great day and may the sun shine down on you both not only for your wedding but forever more.
    Carolyn x

  6. Hope you have a great day, Lynda and Hunk! All the best. Am astounded by what you’ve managed to achieve. I didn’t have a DIY garden for my wedding but I did have a DIY dress — don’t have the same problems as you and Lynne in that area! It will be well worth all the hours and sweat you’ve poured into your day.

    • I tried the dress on yesterday and I appear to have swelled up by two inches in two weeks. If the wedding wasn’t this weekend I’d be doing some DIY sewing techniques on it! Thanks for your kind wishes (and I’d be lying if I said I’d achieved it all alone. I’ve been working the bridesmaids and the future in-laws as well as my poor parents…)

  7. Lynda, outwardly you appear sane but I think there’s a little bit of crazy in your DNA. On the upside, the [possibly] sleepless nights and exhausting days you have been experiencing make the ideal training ground for motherhood.

    I’m sorry I wasn’t closer to be able to help as well – the Cook Strait and a toddler wrapped around my ankles are holding me back. Good luck for the big day and all the other days to follow.

  8. I think your wedding is going to be stunning Lynda! Have loved seeing the progress from the beginning when it was bare paddock, what a transformation.

    I hope you guys have a wonderful day tomorrow 🙂 Best wishes for then & all the fab days to follow. I have my fingers & toes crossed for the sun to shine!

  9. Best of luck Lynda,look forward to seeing the photos of your big day.Your garden is amazing I’m quite inspired now to attack my jungle.The get growing emails are so helpful. Cheers ,enjoy your day. Carol.

  10. Hi Lynda
    Best wishes to you and the hunk for tomorrow, hope the sunshines.
    Your garden looks stunning. My son got married in mine so I know how much work goes into it,with out the added extra of a baby bump. Good luck & all the best for the future.

  11. wow, i have soooo enjoyed watching your progress – sorry i am such a blog-stalker!! Everything looks amazing, and wow, what fab weather we are going to have tomorrow…so all the best and have a fantastic day 🙂

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