Wine barrels make great planters for flowers.
image by Marcelo Gerpe/sxc.hu
Wine barrels make fantastic containers for flowers. They can be placed just about anywhere in the yard, patio or porch. Two wine barrels on either side of an outside door are perhaps the most popular display of wine barrels. Most anything can grow in wine barrels, including vegetables and fruit trees. However, flowers are most commonly used since they make an aesthetically pleasing look for most homes.
Cut your wine barrel in half if desired and if you have the carpenter skills to successfully accomplish this task. This step will give you double the containers for the same price, which is nice since wine barrels can cost a lot of money. Cut between the two metal bands that run horizontally across the barrel.
Drill several holes at the bottom of the wine barrel. If you didn't cut your wine barrel, you will have to remove the top piece of wood. If desired, add caster wheels on the bottom along the sides to help support the barrel and help with drainage. It will also making moving the barrel possible, especially if you plan on moving it when it's full of rocks and soil.
Fill the bottom two inches of the barrel with gravel or small rocks to help with water drainage. You can fill the barrel higher with rocks if you have more, which will then require less soil but will weigh more.
Fill the barrel with potting soil until you reach several inches from the top rim. In general, a quality all-purpose potting soil is sufficient for most flowers. Mix in one part perlite for every five parts potting soil. This combination will result in a loose, well-draining soil, which is essential in a large container like a wine barrel. If you know exactly which kind of flowers you are going to plant, you can tailor the potting soil for that specific flower, but, again, most do well in regular potting soil.
Plant your flowers according to the label. Select plants with similar watering and sun needs. Plant smaller plants in the front if you are planting a variety of flowers. Plants that will hang over the sides should be planted along the edge.