My wife and I are coming up on our Thirty year Wedding Anniversary. I can remember the Anniversary due to the fact that I found bonsai during said Honeymoon. There are those out there that may wonder how my wife has been able to put up with me for so long with so many expensive hobbies and spending so much of my free time on trees instead of her. Well…the answer is simple. She is one in a million. She retired this past March and was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. She is a trooper and has always been able to dish it out at me pretty well. She takes pictures of me pointing to places on a tree with a chopstick and even was with me when I bought the pink thong ….and took the picture! How many wives would be complicent in that? Here she is bald as a billiard ball.
OK, enough about my wife because we will come to her later.
I procured a few large filed grown trident maples last year from my friend Steve DaSilva. They have done very well this summer and this spring I will do the necessary ground layer on each to get them into the correct size pots. I wish to grow them out in air type pots due to how well the roots grow. Problem is I can’t find the necessary size large enough for the size of the maples currently. I need a minium if 12″ x 12″ just to get them into the soil.
I decided to build my own. I wanted something simple, not cost too much to make, and hold up for future use with other trees. I started out deciding that I want to make them from hardware cloth. That way I could simply fold the mesh and make a pot. I started with a two foot wide roll of 1/8″ hardware cloth. I bought six feet to get my feet wet. The tools I would need, stapler, tin snips some screws and a nut driver for the screws and a tape measure.
I cut a piece from the roll 24″ by 24″.
Snip the corners at a 45 degree angle to make a hem.
Use a scrap strip of wood to fold the cloth at the halfway point of the 45.
Bend it down over the edge and finish up with the strip as a backer to fold it aqll the way over. use the block to flatten the hem.
Go all the way round on all four sides and fold the hem over. This is just to keep from ripping my fingers on the jagged stuff. If you are tough forget this step. It does add some rigidity.
I wanted about 5 inch tall sides. That gave me a square in the middle of about 13 inches. I cut a piece of board 13 x13.
I used a thin strip of wood from each corner of the board to the corner of the mesh and made a crease.
Then using a square block I made some mark at 90 degrees from the corners of the block. bent that up square at that point.
When you gather it all up it makes a square basket.
I stapled the corners together to hold them while I laced some 1mm bonsai wire around the top edge to hold it together.
Cut a couple 3/4 by 3/4 strips of redwood for legs to keep the damn root from growing into the ground and screwed them thru the mesh into the legs.
So I ended up with a 13″ x 13″ x 5″ plant basket all ready for my tridents and the 2014 growing season.
So now I am proud as a peacock. Strutin around like Cock of the Walk and take it in to show my wife. She is the one that gives me a thumbs up or thumbs down. Most of the time it is down, but I digress…
She looks it over. “Nice article”. “Well made”. “You really did nice job babe”. I am pumped. I can’t wait to share this with everyone. No longer will we have to settle for the wrong size pond basket, now we can make our own. She says..”that is cool, but you could have just bought those vegetable baskets at the Super Asia Market”! DOH! I jump in my truck, hit the freeway and 30 minutes later I am home with 10 vegetable baskets in my favorite color, (match my thong) and I don’t have to do a thing.
14 inches in diameter
Exactly 5 inches tall. Made to order.
So, what did I learn from all this. Ask the smart ass wife first.