Monday, March 8, 2010

Gourd Tree and Hypertufa Display and Storage Shelf

From In the Garden
I was finally able to get into the garden-at long last. I've missed gardening this winter because I've been very busy inside the house and with college. But now that garden season is near things are stepping up outside. Here are two projects I recently completed in the garden.

The first one is a gourd 'tree'. The 'tree' is simply a 4 x 4 with some dowels threaded through (drill holes) the 4 x 4 to hold ornaments or gourds. Each year I pick a different theme for my gourds but last year I failed to get around to preparing the gourds from the year 2008. I FINALLY finished them. No theme this year except maybe a natural one. I stained the gourds with a golden oak Minwax stain. I love the natural look and the gourds are well protected from the outside elements. I thought the gourds looked so pretty I could not put them all on the gourd tree. Two are safely hanging in my house for me to enjoy there.

From In the Garden

The next project is a favorite and my mother will recognize how I built this storage shelf for my hypertufa and sedum collection. After making SO many pots for a craft fair back in December I had no place to store them since they didn't all sell. In addition to empty hypertufa pots I have a small collection of filled hypertufa for my own use. This is the southern side of my home and the sunniest area so it is also the best area for sedums. Just displaying them laying out on the driveway was not going to work so I had to come up with a large shelf that could hold heavy pots and withstand the weather elements. Enter cinder blocks and pressure treated 2x4s stained with an exterior stain. I stood the cinder blocks on end and threaded a 2x4 into the holes. I then added the pots and continued up as far as the top of the chain link fence. My sedums are on the top shelf and get full sun, the extra hypertufa pots and some leaf castings are on the other shelves and are in an easy to find and locate area that is convenient to me for storage. As a bonus the shelf provides a bit of interest and screen for the backyard. I love it! I got the idea from some bookshelves my mother had built when I was a preteen. She still uses the bookshelves to this day, though they are more refined than mine. What an easy way to build an outdoor shelf. Now if I could just find some more fence space....

in the garden....

How do you deal with outside storage of pots and garden displays?

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden


  1. That's a nice idea! I was thinking of making a copper stand somehow...

  2. I loved what u made for the garden..... It looks lovely & is always a masterpiece of pride for the owner, when our own hands make them..... Its lovely.... As always I am all 'J' about your garden....


  3. I can't believe you had pots left. I love those, especially for sedums.
    I have a small potting bench and stack the pots up on the bottom shelf. The really large pots are stacked in a corner by the back gate. Not pretty, but I'm out of room! :)

  4. I love the gourd tree. I have not seen many of them since I was a kid. They were once quite popular where I am from by people trying to attract purple martins and other mosquito eating birds.

  5. The natural gourds are beautiful and I have an especially lovely one on the sofa table~thank you! How clever your gourd tree is and I will say that the shelf for the hypertufa is very reminiscent of my first apartment in college~ gail

  6. Tina girl .. I would so love to have some of those gourds for our birds here .. I love the natural look of them and creating a tree from them is perfect .. hey .. if youhave any left over gours ?? LOL
    PS .. we are coming out of the freezer finally ? ;-)

  7. Love your hanging gourds and your shelf unit for your hytertufa planters is just right. You are one busy lady. I've never tried making hypertufa.

    I've got to work on my storage area of pots. It's in my potting area which is screened off by lattice, but it needs straightening up.


  8. Dawn, Thanks! Good luck with the copper.

    AshKuku, Thanks so much!

    Linda, I only got rid of one and that one was traded so yes, they are all still here:( Maybe I'll try later.

    Les, No martins in my yard as my area is too full of trees but I can see a gourd tree attracting them.

    Gail, You are welcomed! Glad you like it.

    Joy, So glad it is warming up for you! Spring is here-very warm-finally too!

  9. FlowerLady, Glad you like them both. Hypertufa is pretty easy but needs attention to detail. Once you get started you almost can't stop because creating the pretty and functional pots for next to nothing is awesome. If you try it let us know.

  10. Hello tina.

    The gourd tree looks so fantastic and cool!! I love it!! I was really surprised to know that the gourds were golden!! In our country, golden gourds are considered to be good luck charms which will bring you good luck and prosperity!!

  11. I really need to do more of the hypertufa stuff this year. I saw some interesting ideas for molds in a magazine at my mother's house this weekend which started me thinking. The shelf looks great! You could even paint the cinder blocks to match the shelves if you wanted to.

  12. Great idea,looks good & is functional also. Love the Gourd tree. Makes me think. Hmmmm
    I had a couple real small Gourds that stayed outside all winter. They didn't freeze, just dried out. Makes me wonder about the drying process.

  13. Great ideas Tina! Is the gourd tree also lit up at night? I see electric??? I bet that's a pretty display.
    Your wall/shelf is the perfect solution for all those beautiful hypertufa containers. It's hard to stay focused on it tho ~ I kept checking out all the containers instead!
    I hope your snowdrops show up soon. :-)

  14. Morning all. beautiful spring like weather for us and I am so happy about it. The Saint and I started a project this weekend but after 3 trips to Lowes, we are still not finished. That's typical for us...

    Tina, your gourds are so shiny and beautiful. I like your idea of a gourd tree! I see them here as the Purple Martin houses with look like gourd trees to me. I still have my small ones in the shed but must come up with a plan for them as they are in the way! I found Swan and Snake gourd seeds so will toss them in the yard and see what happens...

    Some garden centers use your cinder block method for displaying plants. I always thought that was a great idea!

  15. I've been wanting to try hypertufa, but I haven't gotten brave enough yet. It sounds complicated!-- Randy

  16. Good morning, I like the shelf idea. I wonder if those pots would work for winter sowing?

    Meant to try making some hypertufa last year and never got around to it. Maybe this year.

  17. I really love the gourd tree. Very neat.

    The shelves look great also. Mine in the house are, as you said, a little more refined as they were for house useage so I scalloped the edges and put a nice stain on them and I still love them. With
    6, 5ft boards they hold a lot and to make it look even better I used stacks of bricks with only one shelf having the cinder blocks. Very sturdy for all those books. By using the 2x4's, yours will even hold more weight. You go girls!!!

  18. Your shelf reminds me of the brick and 2x4 shelves I had when first married! I think yours look great and I am definitely borrowing it for storing some of my outside supplies of empty pots. It looks so organized :)

  19. I love your gourd tree and the color of the gourds is my favorite. Isn't it wonderful to make your way into the garden after a prolonged absence?

  20. The gourd tree is really neat looking! We started a gourd vine to try this year, maybe we'll get a few gourds too. I was inspired to try them after seeing them on your blog.
    Great storage idea. I love the hypertufa pots you make. My pots are all in the side yard now, not nearly as organized as you.

  21. Love, Love, Love that gourd tree! So darn creative! The sedum containers are awesome too! I love to have one but I can't seem to grow them...*sigh*

  22. Sapphire, Yes, the gourds dry a tan and then I finished them with a wood stain that makes them appear more golden. A pretty lucky color for sure.

    Dave, You have me intrigued now.

    Lola, Time to get cracking on making some fun crafts with those gourds..

    Kathleen, Yes, a night light out there but not really for the gourd, more for security.

    Skeeter, it took me a while to get it right but I am so happy to have those pots out of my way. Very nice day today!

    Randy and Jamie, It's very easy-really!

    Marnie, Not sure if they'd work because you can't really cover them up, but then again I've never had luck with winter sowing. Hypertufa is fast and easy really. It's the setting up that takes time.

    Mom, I've always liked that idea of yours! It has worked well for you all these years.

    Ilona, A cheap way to store books for sure but good for the garden. Thanks for dropping by and I'm glad you like it. Borrow away as I think they work great for storing plants too.

    Noelle, It has been fantastic getting out there. It seems there is always too much to do though so I can't be out there enough.

    Catherine, Fingers crossed for lots of gourds for you guys!

    Jackie, Sedums work great in these pots. Try hen and chicks and angelina sedum for part shade conditions. Good luck!

  23. The gourd tree is eye catching and how eventive the shelving unit...mmm, I have quite a few blocks....

  24. I love the natural look of your gourd tree, Tina; this is a great way to display them. And the hypertufa pots are beautiful! A great idea to build these shelves to display them.

  25. Is the power outlet on the tree for lighting?

    I'm wanting to throw a hypertufa party this spring, and have been scouring the internet for recipes, tips. I'd love to know how you made yours (nd I hope I didn't miss the post if you already explained this).

  26. Hi Monica, Yes, the power to the 'tree' is one. There is a florescent light mounted to the pole for security. I make my hypertufa with various recipes. I think I usually use 1 part peat moss, 1 part perlite, and one part Portland cement but it varies. I did post on my procedure under hypertufa. A hypertufa party sounds like fun.

  27. What a great idea. I love those shelves. The gourd tree looks so cool. I like the idea that you can change the theme from year to year or whenever you want!