Does someone in your family love to mow the lawn? I have someone in my family who has graciously taken over all mowing responsibilities, but little did I know that he has a Golf Course Gene. I think he inherited it from his father.  He expects our yard to look like a freshly mown golf course. All the time. This means, of course, that he is driven to cut the grass more than the reasonable one time per week that I suggested. (And we won’t discuss how, in his yard maintenance fervor, he weed-whipped the tops of a whole line of Siberian irises that were about to bloom.)

What this means for me is that although I don’t have to suffer through the noise and allergic reaction I would get if it was ME out there cutting the grass, my flower planters are constantly being moved. And not being put back. I don’t like how they look all mushed together on my front porch, so I end up being the one to move them back to their rightful positions. But planters can be HEAVY so I’ve pieced together ideas from a lot of other places, some of my own, and come up with a pretty good formula for lightweight, beautiful planters.

The key is foam.

Not froth, foam. (Note that in this link they are selling a package of foam blocks, not each one individually.)

You can use styrofoam packing peanuts, you can use the foam that protects appliances in their shipping boxes, if you’re desperate enough you could even try a bunch of styrofoam coffee cups. It is important to note that I don’t mean florist foam that absorbs water — this thing is still going to be heavy enough without an additional brick of water in the base. What I ended up using was a big block of it. It looks like this:

Here's my flower planter project

Planters, foam, a diaper, landscape paper, and scissors. What more could you need — besides dirt and flowers?

In the past I have not covered the foam with landscape paper, but I wanted to add some gravel to the bottom of the planter this year, so I went ahead and covered all of that with a sheet of landscape paper, just to keep it all separate from the dirt.

Why the diaper? After numerous experiments I’ve decided that the cheapest most effective way of keeping my hanging baskets from drying out is to use part of a diaper in the bottom of each. But that, Dear Reader, is for another post. But you just read the punchline, so maybe I don’t need to do the post?

Maybe you still have a pot in your garage that was just too big to move around once you potted it up. I think you’ll find that if you use foam in the bottom of it, you’ll have a much easier time scooting it out of the way of a lawn mower, or to a better spot for more sunlight.

Do you have any tips for producing pretty planters? I’m always on the lookout for things that work in the garden so I’d love to hear from you!