You're driving through the winding back roads of Tuscany and suddenly you find you're at the top of a hill looking out to an amazing vista. There is one solitary tree with a rusting, forgotten bicycle leaning against it. Nature has taken over, covering it with vines and wildflowers. Birds are using it as a temporary perch as they look for their next meal buzzing by...
If you have an old, wreck of a bicycle, you can bring some of this romantic feeling into your garden, creating a two-wheeled, flower planter.
During normal times, when there are no stay-at-home orders and no corona virus to contend with, you could look for a rusty old cycle at garage sales and flea markets. But if you take occasional "lost drives" (as my son and I do just to get out of the house for a hour or so), you just might see an appropriate bicycle tossed away for trash at the curbside, as I did during the last week during one of our short excursions. We saw two such throwaway bikes. What else do people have to do nowadays but clean out their garages and sheds?
Spray paint it red, yellow or a striking blue--tires too! If it's rusty enough, just leave it as is. Use old baskets, bins, wooden boxes or even paint cans attached to the front and rear wheel racks, line them with plastic trash bags with holes punched in for drainage. For an authentic, Italian look, use old wooden fruit boxes and paint Italian words like "fiore", "il giardino" or "bicicletta" or "Villa (your surname)" on the sides.
Fill with planting soil and a teaspoon of Soil Moist with lots of trailing plants, like sweet potato vine, and flowers, such as begonias, geranium, zinnia or marigold in a variety of colors. The Soil Moist will retain water as its crystals swell up like little gelatin water sacs, allowing you to water less often. Don't forget to feed with a fertilizer high in potassium (for flower production).
Lean your cycle-garden against your mailbox or lamppost, against a stone wall or tree, or hang it on the wall of your she-shed or on a rustic fence. Keep in mind that Italian gardeners are opportunistic, turning all sorts of things into planters (in one case I know, an old cement mixer) and planting every inch of their often small spaces. If you take this same attitude, you can add some Italian flavor to your own Giardino di Villa...
#wewillgetthroughthis #forzaitalia #italianstyle #gardening #italiangardens