Plant Rooting Jars made with Crochet

I’ve set Rebecca’s sweater and sleeves aside until I have the space to give it more thought – hopefully this weekend when we’re going to be at the farm and have the inlaws around.  Instead I’ve embarked on another project that I’ve been meaning to get to for a while.  I’ve wanted a set of rooting jars to hang up in front of the window.  My sister has a model similar to this one from Vermont Nature Creations.  I’d intended to purchase one like it for a while, but always seem to have something better to spend my money on.  Meanwhile I don’t have anything to root my plants in that my cats can’t get to.

Well, that’s a lie. I have some winebottles held in socks that are hanging from a curtain rod, but they aren’t very sightly.

The beginnings of a crochet lace circleSo this weekend I’ve gotten busy with some crochet.

I started with a magic circle, size three crochet thread and a steel crochet hook (don’t ask me the size) and worked like this:

Round 1: 24 dc.

Round 2: V-stitch in every other stitch, 12 V stitches.

Round 3: 3 double crochets in each V stitch, with a chain in between each grouping.

Round 4, 5 and 6: Let’s rock the granny square pattern!

Round 7: Granny square pattern without the chains in between.  This is when i slip the bottle into the crochet piece, and the following rows are worked around the bottle… which is a pain, let me tell you.crochet lace around spice jar

Round 8: Only two double crochets in each of the spaces between the groups.

Round 9: a single crochet in each of the spaces between the clusters.

And then finally a chain to hang by: 60 chain stitches for the bottom two hanging, 100 chain stitches for the top one to hang off the railing.  Each of these little things takes me about 45 minutes – so they’re quite satisfying!

I decided that it was a good idea to only hang three in a row, since I don’t want them to hang too low… and I was concerned about how much weight a single row of chain stitches could take.  I mean, each of the jars doesn’t weigh that much… but I didn’t want to push my luck.

rooting jars before window

This is the final result – I love the way the sun streams through the stitches.  You can see in the background the original prototype of wine bottles in socks. The wine bottles in socks were nixed because the wine bottle with the water in it is quite heavy, and I’m not sure I want those hanging there long term.  I suppose I could have crocheted around a wine bottle, but that’s a lot of crocheting.

A little more about my garden plans.

Last Sunday I got some time to get the plants that my friends Lois, Catherine, and others had given me into the ground.  I should say I made some time, because as I explained to Michael, I wasn’t going to be able to sit and relax until I had gotten my hands into the soil, and made my imprint on the gardens.

The garden, needing some love.
The back garden, pictured above, was where I focused my efforts, as I’d be spending the most time looking at it.  We’re using the back door as our main door, so I look at it each time I go in and out of the house, and during any time I spend on the porch.  I needed to fix things there, pronto.
The first thing was clearing out all the dead leaves, branches, and growth from last year.  There was a hard winter this last year, so many things that would have weathered pretty well had died back to the root system.  Snip, snip, snip went my garden shears, and the bush was thinned out (I know what it is, I just can’t remember the name – the plant which, if you get it in the store, will boom purple/blue when exposed to nickel?copper?, but is normally pink clusters of little flowers).
Bush thing whose name I *should* know.
The graslike mounds there are a plant I’m again, familar with, but have no clue of the name.  Clearly I need to look these things up.  Anyone have a clue?  In the fall these plants have a dark purple/black berry which is pretty, I suppose.  Still, the line of these, slightly overgrown and in places quite crowded, was driving my crazy.
I dug up nearly half of them from this garden, and transplanted them to other places.  A few others got split and transplanted also.  One of them got shifted over 6 inches, because the placement was *just* off.
Now, in between each of these, is some of the plants I was loaned.  Lois gave me several irises and some type of orchid thing, which went in the corner, what I’ve come to think of as my display spot.
Siberian irises, orchid, and other lovely things.
Several of the lilies that Catherine gave me (just out of frame, I forgot to get a picture of them), went right next to the steps.  Around the back of the porch, I put little groupings of plants in between the shifted grasses.
The grass things given some room to spread, and the “little groupings” of plants between them.
On the sound advice of several people, I’ve been told that things look better grouped together, so I tried to keep the plants that I’d been given in the same area, with the exception of the Coper Iris that just had to show off it’s attitude.  You can see in the corner the bush looking much happier now that it’s dead growth is pruned back.
The bush, (again, whose name I can’t remember), I know has a tendency to put out roots if you take a cutting.  I’m thinking later in the season, when it gets a bit more growth, I’m going to take some cuttings and put them against the outside of the gate, or perhaps on the side of the house.  My pay it forward to future occupants.
I got several Lilies of the Valley which I planted in what I’m planning on making a shade garden, under some bushes in the back.  I’m planning, when I head to the farm soon, to dig up some more of them and put them in the back too.  Perhaps in a year or so, they’ll have spread into a nice bed of them – something that is low maintence, pretty, and much nicer than the vines that were taking the bushes over.
There’s a bare patch of ground where it looks like the driveway once extended all the way to the back of the yard, previous to the fence being put in.  It’s quite rocky and compacted, and the grass doesn’t take there.  I’m hoping the grass/bush things, which I know to be quite hearty, will do well in the corner.  I’m thinking that I might try and make this area more of a rock garden, putting some plants that are hearty and okay with nutrient-poor soil there.  We’ll see.  At least they brighten up the corner, and give the other plants some room to grow.  If it doesn’t work out, then no harm, no foul.
Potential rock garden.

Air Plants

Okay, brief little weirdness.  I like growing strange things.  Right now, I’m trying to propagate lichen with my tree, and I’ve been known to grow a mean batch of mushrooms.  Chances are, if I like a plant, it’s got an 80% chance of being a type of bromeliad.  That’s just how I roll.

Lately though, I’ve been wanting to grow some air plants, also known as tillandsia (which are actually a type of bromeliad).  They absorb their nutrients through the AIR, which is really cool.  They don’t really need their roots as anything other than the means to hold onto wherever they grow.  Heck, this is one step better than hydroponics!   These things don’t even need DIRT.


Which means you can do what I really want to do, which is to get some of

… and then get some of


Glue them together with water insoluble glue.  And then stick them on my magnetic closet doors.

How cool would that be?