Sunday, July 24, 2016


Let's face it, it is too hot to be out in the garden, in Texas, any time after noon. Sometimes even before that. But, there are plenty of garden projects to be getting on with. Some time ago I learned about making a garden trough out of a polystyrene box from the Hypertufa Gardener. I made one-a large one- which was a great success over the winter. It held petunias and then in late winter, potatoes. It now lies empty awaiting a fall planting, but it fared well through the winter outdoors and even in our 100º temperatures is holding up well. Time for another one. This time a much smaller box, seen below.

I'll spare you the details of how to do this project other than to say I found myself a shady spot outdoors for the roughing up of the surface and sealing with the barbecue lighter but then ventured inside for the painting.

For the complete method visit the Hypertufa Gardener link above or view my prior project here.  

This time I used only two craft paint colors, Dark Grey (Craftsmart) and Raw Umber (Americana). I think I prefer the darker color. I painted the whole box with the dark grey and then went back over using a stippling technique and blending the colors, sometimes completely and sometimes roughly. I am pleased with the effect it gives.

The whole project took only 2hrs from start to finish. The most difficult part is getting the color right followed by deciding what to plant. I wish I could plant alpines but that isn't going to work in Texas. Plus, in mid July I wasn't willing to risk buying any new plants so I had to go shopping in my own garden.

Echeveria, topsy turvy, Kalanchoe, flapjack plant, Aloe variegata, partridge breast.
 Even this needs to be kept in a place where it receives afternoon shade, so cannot be on display where I would like it to be. All my cactus and succulents in pots are on their summer holiday under the shade of the patio. No sun after 12 noon. Unlike the troughs we saw at Holehird Gardens, in England. Hewn from solid rock by patient hands and weathered by time the mild climate allows them to be placed in exposed places.

Troughs at Holehird garden, Lake District, England
Maybe when this infernal heat moderates I will be able to put my troughs in my English Garden.


  1. Very nice. Looks very much like stone.
    Where are you getting the energy for this? LOL

  2. You did a great job, Jenny! The hypertufa containers are well-suited to succulents. They're relatively light too, aren't they?

  3. Good project for summertime--can be done in the shade. :)