Don showed how to transform ordinary light fittings into funky pots and hanging planters. Tools bucket trowel pliers drill/bits spanner/shifter scissors tape measure bolt cutters or hacksaw Materials Light shades 250mm galvanised stormwater pipe x 1800mm 4mm long link chain bolts/nuts/washers 5mm snap hooks 20mm ceiling hooks aluminium flywire potting mix iron pot stand plants How it was done
1. Don prepared two painted, aluminium light shades for planting by simply cutting some aluminium flywire to size and covering the holes at the bottom. He then filled the shades with potting mix and planted them with freckle face (Hypoestes ‘Persuasion’) and sedum (Sedum ‘Gold Mound’). The hypoestes prefers a semi-shaded or indoor position, while the sedum loves full sun. Because the ‘pots’ have such narrow bases, Don used cheap metal pot stands to prevent them tipping over.
2. Don transformed an aluminium, industrial light shade into a modern hanging basket, which provides lots of growing rrom for plants. He started by cutting some strong chain into equal lengths. He then drilled the shade near the rim at four points and fixed the chain with a small nut and bolt with two washers. (Tip: while working on your light shade, stand it in a bucket for stability.) Don cut a piece of flywire to size and placed it in the bottom of the shade to stop the potting mix falling out. He then filled the shade with potting mix and planted it with two hen and chicken ferns (Asplenium bulbiferum). The loose ends of the chains were brought together and secured with a snap hook. A heavy-duty hook was fixed to a beam and the snap hook clipped over. (Tip: water the plants after you’ve hung the basket, so that it won’t be so heavy to lift into place.)
3. As an alternative, Don then securely fixed a 250mm galvanised stormwater pipe into the ground and placed one of the planted shades into the top to create a living column.
Painted and industrial aluminium light shades are available from recycling centres and secondhand dealers for $5-$10. Pot stands cost about $10 from nurseries and garden centres. 4mm long link chain costs about $3.75 per metre. Freckle Face (Hypoestes ‘Persuasion’) costs about $6 for a 60mm (2″) pot. Sedum ‘Gold Mound’ costs about $5 for a 60mm (2″) pot.