Bottle garden

With a tight budget and a slightly lazy gardening technique, I need to catch those good ideas when they fall. After accumulating a good amount of wine bottles over a week (or two, but really probably just one week), Trev came up with a brilliant upside-down wine bottle garden idea. Here is a video of him creating one of the wine bottle pots.

What you need:

Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
  • Wine
  • A nice chair and any type of cup or glass to drink it out of. Finish that wine.
  • Empty bottle, non-screw tops because the water will seep out of the cork for drainage in your bottle.
  • String
  • Nail polish removal or rubbing alcohol containing acetone
  • A sink full of cool water
  • Small bowl
  • A lighter or match
  • Sand paper

First you use hot water and a scrubber to peel the label off your empty wine bottle. Then, you tie a string four or five times around the base of the bottle like this:

Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.

Next, you will need to soak the string in a nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol that contains acetone.

Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.

You should now fit the string back around where you want it on the base of the bottle.

Photograph of Trevor Eischen.
Photograph of Trevor Eischen.

Now all that’s left to do is set the fire hazard ablaze over the sink of cool water while you’re holding the neck of the bottle and rotating it slowly so the fire can crawl around the string. When the fire goes out or you hear a crack, plunge the bottle into your sink of water. The shock should cleanly break the glass where you had the string. I say “should” because it might take a few tries. The key here is to have an abundant collection of empties. Sanding the broken bottle with sand paper will further smooth the edge and prevent hooligans from picking your bottle garden up and using it to threaten schoolchildren.

Too pretty for use as street weapons. Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
Too pretty for use as street weapons. Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.

It’s easy entertainment to suggest a walk around Capitol Hill with no other intention than to pick up things that rich people throw out. I’ve picked up a small plastic juicer – something I didn’t know I needed until someone else decided they didn’t need it – multiple beer glasses of all shapes and brands, baking sheets, cooling racks, a whole box of matching ceramic coffee cups and saucers, and even a beautiful wooden dresser. Trev found the black shower caddy on the side of the road and he used a brick to hang it off the ledge in front of my apartment. The bottles fit nicely inside, and with the corks still in, the water drains out. Thinking of tiny herbs, we planted dill and lemon balm. The dill sprouted and is growing nicely. This idea saved us money in buying a pot, it recycled some of our wine bottles, and it looks very pretty.

Dill sprouted and was recently picked by Trev for a dill-cream sauce and garnish for a Tilapia dish. Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
Dill sprouted and was recently picked by Trev for a dill-cream sauce and garnish for a Tilapia dish. Photograph courtesy of Trevor Eischen.
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