The Continuing Story of Pig Trough Gardening – Part 2

I’m sorry to tell you that the pig feeder as a garden trough failed because it had no drainage holes in the bottom. Random Thoughts, an engineer in the USA, kindly commented suggesting that I use a piece of cloth as a wick to draw the water out of the bottom of the trough and it did, but a bit too slowly, so the trough became waterlogged. Look at this:-

As you can see it is sodden.

The only answer was holes in the bottom of the trough, but I don’t have the right sort of drill. A neighbour suggested that I use a grinder with a metal cutting disc to make slots in it, I have one of those, so that’s what I did.

Once done I put in new layers of gravel and compost.

I supported the trough on “feet” – these are thin bricks cut to size for the purpose, this to let excess water drain. One of the new drainage slots is visible on the left of the photo.

Then replanted the trough.

Yet I still wasn’t happy, the pot in the centre just didn’t work and had a tendency to blow over in the wind, so I decided to get an old chimney pot as soon as I could find one, that was my original concept anyway. At this week’s auction was a pot that I thought might do the job, though I was worried that it looked a bit heavy, I bought it anyway.

That’s Sandy, our Jack Russell Terrier, examining the pot for interesting smells. As I watched him, I thought that the pot might look and function better upside down.

That’s more like it, now I can use the vents as small plant pockets. So I planted it and here’s the final result.

On the top level is a light red, delicate fuchsia with two white cyclamen and two trailing ivy, in the vents white violas with a purple centre and in the trough a mixture of grasses, pelargonium and coloured violas.

This is more of a witch’s hat than a Mexican hat yet I prefer it, subdued perhaps, but I think it fits in with the other planting in this bed. I don’t like the colourful violas and pelargoniums in the trough, somehow they jar with the quieter plants above them, so I’ll replace them with something more subtle. What do you think I should use?



4 Replies to “The Continuing Story of Pig Trough Gardening – Part 2”

  1. Well you’re resourceful! As I started to read the post I was thinking of a selection of bog plants to fill the waterlogged container but you’ve tackled the problem head-on. A while back, I came across a pack of multi-function drill bits on one of those TV shopping channels. They had a decent (10 year I think without digging out the paperwork) warranty. Not too expensive. And they really do drill through anything.

  2. Thanks John, I did consider bog plants but decided that I don’t know enough about them, we have a largish pond and I’m having trouble enough there, never having had one before. So decided to make the trough something I could deal with in my comfort zone.

  3. It is very trendy to use old agricultural items in gardens today.With your adaptions you could say you are at the cutting edge of garden design.

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