Black is the new 'fake terra cotta'

As you may recall from my deck post I had some big things in mind for our little back deck area. I really wanted to create that 'outdoor room' feeling so have a bunch of little projects up my sleeve on my 'to do list' that I can't wait to share with you all!

First up was my pink chandelier and next on my hit list was some camoflauge for this fugly cement wall. We can't really remove it unless we want to entertain our neighbours back yard on our deck if you know what I'm sayin'. As you can see, it has a tendency to get kind of grimey and could only be described as 'pretty' if pretty was a secret word for 'redonculous eyesore of a stupid cement wall that we are stuck with'. And those are my nice words. I present you with Exhibit A taken from an earlier post...





















So, fast forward until a month or so ago when my office was doing some botanical rejigging (technical term). In other words, they were sprucin' up the joint and were getting rid of some old planters. They had a ton of these and put an email out to staff that they were selling them for $10 a pop. Great deal! I went to take a photo on my phone to email my hubby and tell him of my great plan and when I got back to my desk to send said email I got the 'ol "all planters now accounted for" email. What!? Early bird what? Insert sulk here. Insert me forgetting about this master plan until a later day.

That later day came when my coworker mentioned that she had gotten two of the planters but had decided they weren't going to work for her. What's that you say? Why YES I'd love to take them off your hands. And that is how this stack came to be on our deck.








































Now, don't be alarmed. I am not a She-man who can magically turn over 100lb clay pots with as much ease as Snooki downs a beer (no, I don't watch the show but it's common knowledge that that's got to be lightning fast isn't it)? But rather these are fakeo terra cotta. They are really just feather light resin.

My plan for these pots was to spray them gloss black. I loved the shape (hated the colour) and thought they'd add a nice graphic punch while giving me a vessel to plant something TO HIDE THAT FREAKIN' EYESORE OF A WALL! Sorry for yelling at you. I get passionate about dirty cement walls.

So, the first step was to clean the pots so that I started with a nice surface to spray. I actually power washed the deck and wall this past long weekend so I invited the pots to the spray party as well. Guess how quickly a power washer takes grime off a fake terra cotta pot. Hint: see Snooki comment above.

I used a high gloss black spray paint that was suitable for plastics and outdoor use. Each pot took one can each - about 5 coats. Multiple light coats will give you the best result and help to avoid any drips. Since the spray paint dries quickly between each coat it only took a few hours to do. Here is what it looked like after the first round of spraying.




















Once they were both sprayed it was time to add some filler! I wanted something that would grow A) fast B) full and C) tall. Since I wanted to camoflauge the cement, this was key. I was thinking bamboo but after discussing it with my neighbourhood garden centre they suggested I go with some grasses as they met all my criteria as well as offered a nice texture. And the grasses cost less! Bonus. So I picked out some nice grasses that promised to grow to 42' and also some 'rainbow grass' because it looks so great. There is a chance that the original grass may choke out the rainbow grass as it grows (supposedly quickly) but if so I can easily transplant it to my garden. For now though I like the texture it offers. One grass is light and airy and will grow up and over (like a big weeping willow) and the rainbow grass is straighter and thicker. I'll update you all with some pictures as it grows!

But for now, back to planting and a tip! A good idea to keep your planter light and manageable (to move easily when full) is to fill the bottom with styrofoam, empty milk jugs or 2 litre pop bottles. What they do is take up space at the bottom allowing you to fill with one half the amount of dirt you would otherwise need to! No problem if you have a gardener/pool boy to move them for you but let's be honest, I don't have a pool. So styrofoam and an empty laundry detregent jug for me it is.




















Once I had that taken care of I added my dirt and grasses and she was all done! Oh, but don't forget to water generously as you should always do when you transplant or newly plant something. Doing so helps your new plant take root.








































I can't wait to watch these grasses grow! Come on grass... RACE. $10 to the fastest growing grass. NOW GO!




















And here are the pair of them. What do you think?










































The outdoor room is coming together and taking shape! ... Should I invite Snooki over for a beer on the deck? Nah.


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