Picnicking with Petunias and Other Pretty Plants

When I saw this old picnic basket in the thrift store last week, it beckoned me to snatch it up and make it into a new home for some flowers.

At first, I wanted to put some daisies in it (I am inexplicably drawn to daisies—all the time), but I decided to go against my natural inclination. I put a combination of plants with different leaves, colors, and heights into the basket.

Before planting, I prepared the basket to receive the plants. I drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage, and lined the inside of the basket with plastic. I cut holes in the plastic as well.

I pushed the top of the plastic between the trim and the basket, along the top edge.

Then, the basket was ready for the addition of soil and plants.

Last Wednesday, at a nearby farmers market, I picked up a few plants to put in my picnic basket and a pot that I’d found a while back. I planted everything that same day.

The downside to purchasing plants at a place like this: none of them had tags. So, I chose some that I knew, and did a bit of guessing.

Most of these plants were pretty small, but they have already grown A LOT.

I came home with some plants that I am somewhat familiar with: Dianthus, two different types of black eyed susan, an orange-y pink petunia with smaller flowers, and some mums. I think the one with the purple flowers is phlox, but I forgot to ask about that one.  The ones with the little red flowers are verbena. I also got one little pot of Mexican roses (this one was a bit of an impulse-I-have-no-idea-what-this-plant-needs-but-I’m-going-to-buy-it-anyway-because-it-has-so-many-different-colors buy).

Earlier that week, I had gone to one of the local Amish farmer’s markets and purchased a hanging pot of petunias. There were three different plants in the pot. Score!

I filled the picnic basket and the pot for about twenty bucks, plus about five bucks in potting soil. That’s pretty good, in my book.


Before putting the plants in the containers, I sorted them according to their ultimate destination. I tried to make sure that there were different colors in each of the containers.

I mixed potting soil with some dirt from around the yard, taking care to remove any roots or seeds.

I patted the mixture down as I went, and when at the proper height, I added the taller plants.

Next, I added more soil mixture, tamping down as I went, to a level suitable for adding the smaller plants.

I made sure the crowns of the plants were at the same height, and the soil was level, with no holes. I watered the new plants and set the picnic basket and the pot on the front porch.

My favorite flower of the day. 🙂

Now we can enjoy something pretty while the front planters are bare.

At first, the petunias were not pleased that I untangled and separated them, but they seem to be slowly recovering after I was forced to do some butchering. I put all the pieces that broke off, along with some flowers from around the yard, into a vase.

  1. Sarah Lewis

    July 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Very lovely. I had flowers in a huge basket in my flower bed for several years but alas, the weather finally caused it’s demise. I can identify with saving all the petals that fall off the plant. I would put them in a glass goblet or small vase also. Can’t bring myself to throw away a single flower. However, it is so hot here in Longview, TX., right now that our Passion vine can’t even hold onto the fence anymore, it’s mostly drooping down and falling to the ground. Very sad to see!

  2. Cindy

    July 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I love your use of the picnic basket as a planter! 🙂 I don’t know much about flowers so I would of just picked based on color xD

  3. Janice Hunter

    August 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Amazing job by an amazing woman!!

  4. Becca

    August 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Thanks, gals! 🙂

    Aunt Sarah- I know, it’s such a shame to see any flower go to waste. That is so sad about your passion vine. :'(

    Cindy-I still pick some plants based on what they look like. Unfortunately, it’s a waste of money if you do too much of that though. It’s better to research what the plants need. That way you’ll know whether or not you’ll be able to care for them, how you should plant them, and which plants can be planted together, etc.

    Jan- Thank you! You’re such a doll. 🙂

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