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Garden on the go


Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Create a mini kitchen garden and add a pop of colour with this fun project.

So you don’t have a handy kitchen garden with herbs and salad greens? Forget the bother and expense of making raised beds – simply pick up a secondhand metal wheelbarrow and get painting to create your own colourful and compact garden. Not only is this mini garden easy to make, the fact that you can easily move it about makes it ideal for small properties where space and sunny spots are at a premium.

A colourful wheelbarrow garden

A colourful mini kitchen garden

Add a few hardy and bee-friendly bright perennials such as alyssum to inject a little colour. A kitchen garden in a barrow is the easiest way to start a veggie garden if you don’t already have one. You don’t even need lawn space to dig up – just park your barrow on the patio or deck and wheel it out of the way as space dictates.

During the winter months you can position your garden into your sunniest and most sheltered spot – and simply wheel it out of the way when you want to sit there yourself. Make sure you start with a sturdy wheelbarrow with a decent weight-bearing tire.

You can choose to make the paint job as simple or fancy as you like – making it a brilliant project in which to involve the kids. It’s also a perfect way to use up any leftover enamel paint. Alternatively you might choose shades specifically to compliment your outdoor colour scheme. A brightly coloured barrow with a mix of edibles and flowers is a surefire way to add a splash of colour outdoors in the duller winter months.

You will need

Step-by-step instructions

 

Step 1
Step 1

Step 2
Step 2

Step 3
Step 3

Step 3b
Step 3b

Step 1  Find a sturdy secondhand metal wheelbarrow suitable for painting. Check the tire and rim is in good condition and that the handles aren’t rusty or loose. If necessary, clean with soapy water and a scrubbing brush.

Step 2  Give all surfaces you wish to paint a quick, rough sand. Wipe off any dust and coat all surfaces with a light covering of Resene Waterborne Smooth Surface Sealer. Allow to fully dry.

Step 3  Paint the barrow in colours of your choice. It’s best to use waterborne enamels for a hardwearing result. I chose the bright red of Resene Magenta for the rim and wheels with Resene Kakapo for a pop of green, with handles and legs in the darker shade of Resene Marshland.

Step 4
Step 4

Step 5
Step 5

Step 6
Step 6

Finished project
Finished project

Step 4  Use an electric drill to make drainage holes in the base. Take care not to drill too many holes, or too near the corners, as it can weaken the barrow.

Step 5  Line with hemp sacking and cover the base of the barrow with a layer of gravel.

Step 6  Fill with potting mix and plant out with edibles and flowers. Water well to fully soak the sack.

Tip:  Go crazy with colour! This project is perfect for using up any leftover enamel paint lurking about in your garage.

Tip:  Coffee sacks provide a biodegradable and non-toxic layer between the barrow and the soil. Pick up a few Fairtrade coffee sacks from your local cafe.

Words and styling Sarah Heeringa. Portrait Charlie Mckay. 2015

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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.