Many of us will use plastic bottles of some description at some point, the most common being fizzy drinks bottles. There are lots of different ways to ‘upcycle’ bottles in the wildlife garden and one of my favourites is my ‘Wild Flower Tower’ creation.
It’s very simple to make and when its in full bloom it will look amazing! Oh, and filling it full of wild flowers will make it irresistible to bees and other insects too!
Time Needed: 30 mins
Why Do It?: Planting wild flowers in your garden is a great way to attract bees and other beneficial insects to your patch. It looks great too!
What You Need: (x1) 8ft long round post (3in Dia), (x12) 2ltr fizzy drinks bottles, a length of 50mm x 20mm wooden baton and some postcrete/concrete
Tools Required: Saw, Drill, Spade, Spirit Level, Trowel
1. Start by collecting your round post.
Set up a flat level work surface, a pair of trestles are ideal, and place your round post on top.
2. Collect your (x12) 2ltr fizzy drinks bottles together.
Rinse them out to remove any fizzy drink residue then neatly cut off the top of the bottle just at the point that the top of the bottle meets the straight sides. Do this as neatly as you can. Don’t throw away the tops of the bottles as they can be used in numerous other projects (e.g. they make perfect funnels to help you fill your bird feeders!)
3. Prepare (x12) fixing batons.
Cut (x12) pieces of baton 200mm long. Drill (x1) 4mm dia. hole 50mm from one end as in the photo above.
4. Attach the fizzy drinks bottles to the post.
Using the fixing batons attach each of the bottles to the post in a spiral pattern along its length. All of the bottles I used (and pretty much every fizzy drinks bottle I’ve seen) have a number of rings around them. I fixed the first bottle to the post aligning the top of the bottle to the top of the post. I then fixed the next bottle to the post aligning the top of that bottle to the lowest ring moulded into the previous bottle (see photo above). Make sure you drill at least (x3) 4mm dia drainage holes in the base of each bottle planter.
5. Dig a hole.
Dig a hole approx. 2ft deep.
6. Place the Wild Flower Tower in the hole.
Try and get the post as upright as possible. Pack a small amount of rubble in the hole to hold the post in position ready for the next stage.
7. Secure the post into position.
Secure the post into position using Postcrete or a concrete mix.
8. Check the post is perfectly upright.
Not essential for the plants but it will look a lot better to the eye when you’ve finished!
9. Fill the hole with any remaining soil.
You could sow some wild flower seeds around the base of the Wild Flower Tower or, alternatively, why not pile a few small logs around the base to create another great habitats for insects, amphibians and small mammals?!
10. Fill each of the bottle planters with soil.
Use soil from your garden. Do not use compost. As the flowers start to grow and bloom make sure you water them regularly. As the plants only have a small amount of soil and are quite exposed to the sun they can quickly dry out.
11. Sow your wild flowers and wait for them to bloom!
Don’t forget – You could plant additional wild flowers around the base of the tower. Alternatively, you could make a mini log pile around the base to create additional habitat perfect for insects, amphibians and small mammals!
As always, I would love to see your creations too! Please feel free to share your photos and stories with me via Twitter or my Facebook page. Have fun building!