Photography by Bryan McGowan & Trish Kroeger for Enrich Magazine
Does “an apple a day keep the doctor away”? A simple question gave birth to Power Plants a new book written by Frankie Flowers (Frank Ferreguine) and Bryce Wylde. They combined their talents, searched their souls and tilled the soil to prepare an easy to follow guide for Canadians to grow their own living medicine cabinets.
But what if you are “spatially” challenged and don’t have a garden? What if you live in an apartment building, a small townhouse, or don’t have access to a community garden?
Utilizing urban gardening techniques and container gardening, the Style Team at Enrich Magazine created their own medicine cabinet – literally.
Conveniently, Power Plants takes container gardening into consideration. From the book, the Style Team prepared a list of plants that can be grown in pots. We then grouped selections by taste and visited the garden centre at the local discount grocer. From 20 on the list, we were able to source 11 plants with very little effort.
We found industrial pallets by the roadside in early spring and recycled one for this project. Garage sale finds such as a metal trunk, a dairy milk jug and urban milk crates make for creative vessels, and can easily be tailored for both balcony and small patio scenarios.
Though planting an herb garden in a pallet has been done a million times, we realized the techniques found online, though conducive for gardens, were impractical for balconies and small patios; you can’t use a garden hose to water a vertical surface.
Using the basic techniques of pallet gardening, the Style Team made innovative modifications to complement the concrete and cement terrain. Affixing the pallet to a remnant butcher block counter top with a generous overhang allowed us to add mobility with industrial castors.
The pallet was double-sided, allowing us to use landscape fabric as hammocks, creating pockets of soil easily suspended between the slats.
Celebrating the fact that we used a skid as our grow centre, we didn’t want to fasten the fabric with a staple gun, so we used thumbtacks for a more decorative finish. As various hardwoods are used in making pallets, pushing tacks with our thumbs became tiring, but we found other ways to ‘drive’ the project. Using this technique, we could easily create a double-sided Skid Grow centre, but for this project we used the staple gun on the back and kept it single-sided.
A dustpan was used to scoop triple mix into the fabric pockets where we gently planted our selection of Power Plants.
Watering cans with extended snouts make daily watering easy; having a unit on wheels allowed us to service the rear side with very little effort.
enDiY: SKID GROW
Easy to follow instructions to build your own living medicine cabinet.
Creating a double-sided Skid Grow using this technique is easy, and it’s not limited to just using plants with healing powers.
RAISED GARDEN BED
Utilizing pallets helps to contain herb gardens, preventing them from sprawling or allowing you to stack 3 or 4 high, creating a raised garden bed. For the latter, you don’t need double-sided skids and can use landscape fabric on the bottom underside to contain soil and root systems.