The Planted Suitcase

I brought home this cool aluminum suitcase from work a while ago. It was originally used as a prop in the windows, but was being discarded, so I knew it had to come home with me.

I debated for a while as to what to keep in this totally awesome suitcase. I thought maybe it would be a good place to keep James’ rock collection. But then decided he would probably have way too much fun rattling it full of rocks and that would drive me crazy. Then I thought Ted might like it for his postcard collection, but it’s rather messy inside as you can see below. So, that probably wasn’t a good idea either.

The interior plastic lining had been melted by being in the window. Then it hit me, this was a perfect candidate for planting.
So here’s what I did.
I purchased various annuals, Miracle Grow Potting Mix, and gathered a hammer and a nail set.
First step is to pound holes in the bottom of the container for drainage. I put in about 8 holes, the amount is not really important, just so you have enough holes for the plants to drain. This is critical to plant survival.
Then I added some crushed soda bottles and plastic containers to the bottom of the suitcase. You can also use the pesky little plastic 4 packs you buy your annuals in. This creates drainage for the plants and doesn’t add a lot of weight to the container like stones or broken tiles would.
I filled the suitcase 1/2 way with soil. Then I set the plants inside still in their containers to see how it would look. I made a few adjustments, adding, subtracting, and moving plants before I decided on an arrangement I liked. When doing this, don’t forget your root balls should be touching each other, if they aren’t you may need more plants. Don’t fall into the mindset that your plants will grow in to the container, you won’t be happy with the results if you skimp on plants.
I even had to add a couple more plants after I put the others in, it just didn’t seem full enough. Add plenty of soil, pack it down lightly and water liberally. My plant list included:
Coleus Glennis
Dracaena Spike
Americana Red Geranuim
Nagano Heliotrope
Dusty Miller
Varigated Swiss Chard
Diamond Frost Euphorbia graminea
Golden Money Wort or Creeping Jenny
Pink Supertunia
Save your plant tags in an envelope with a picture of the planted container for next year so you will remember what you did and how beautiful it turned out.
Then grab an ice tea, sit and admire your creation!
Who knows, you may even want to plant one to give to your Mother for Mother’s Day.
Designer Mom

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