Once Lamp Shade-Now Planter!

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” – Boyd K. Parker

Or “repurpose it!!” The concept has been used for hundreds of years (think old cowboy boot nailed on a wooden post as a mail drop!)…but now the practice of using or changing an item for an alternate use has developed “urban cachet”.

When the base of a floor lamp was unable to be safely stabilized, we knew it had to be discarded…but the large glass lampshade was perfectly fine.

It was approximately 18” in diameter with fluted edges that (from afar and to a non-discriminating eye) looked a bit like marble or alabaster! A perfect planter!

Several layers of plastic mesh (rain gutter lining) were placed over the two-inch opening at the base to facilitate drainage and keep the dirt (a modified cactus mix) from escaping through the bottom.

Small succulents (in 3-4” pots) from a local hardware store were carefully transplanted into the lampshade planter. A rounded Mammillaria was chosen for the center and five other selections spaced evenly around the perimeter. These are all fairly slow growing plants with similar light and water needs. Light colored gravel was placed on top to serve as mulch and to add a decorative contrast.

The planter sits on a table top beneath a covered patio and receives filtered light. Although the height makes it (hopefully) inaccessible to javelina; birds and squirrels remain potential adversaries.

After six months, the plants appear healthy and show some (small) growth. The planter now happily lives within 10 feet of where it was once a lampshade!!

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