Just Call Me Finnegan

free corks
 If you're itching to try it yourself, check out the
details below--I'll be sharing this half-dozen pre-drilled
corks with somebody this week! It might as well be YOU!
(I CAN count, I assure you. The seventh cork is 

what we call "lagniappe" down here!)
Have you been admiring the little cork planters that were all over Pinterest back in the Spring? Me, too.

Why, I can do THAT, I said to myself.


Now, I am a lot of things. For instance, I am hopeful and I am ambitious (craft-wise, anyway), but I am nothing if not persistent.   ("Bullheaded" is what my dear husband would say, but nevermind him, okay?)

The corks? The drilling? The supply of plants? All EASY PEASY!

Getting the little buggers to thrive in such a restrictive environment inside?  Not so much.

It plain hurts my feelings to put a plant into a cork knowing it doesn't have a chance of living beyond a mere  two or three weeks.  I've been trying to tweak the process since spring break, going on five months now.

Between vacation, school/university starting, and a hurricane, it's a pleasure to actually begin again. Just call me Finnegan. (It's better than Bullheaded, anyway.)

If you're new to the saga of the Experiment in Process, here's a quick review
of what does NOT work:
  • Filling the corks with dirt alone. The little plants wither pitifully soon.
  • Using Soil Moist granules (even crushed ones). Those things can plump up waaaay too much and push the plants right out.
  • Leaving the corks outside while on vacation, even with friends checking on and watering them. I don't know which got them: the days with broiling sun, or the days with monsoon-like rains, but it was a bad idea all round.
I would say that the third time's the charm, but...

This right here is take number four. I'm re-using the same corks (after a quick wash to get rid of sun and rain damage), then setting out hens and chicks from my big ol' planter.

Here's what's new:
A while back dietpopstar suggested in a comment that I try blending inexpensive water marbles. She kindly shared that she'd found that using a blended slurry of these marbles to be less likely to "blow out," so that's what I did this time. A quick trip to Dollar Tree's floral section, a focused scrounge in the front closet for my NON-FOOD blender my mom picked up at a garage sale, and here we go again:

A 5-second pulse in the $1 blender and those
Dollar-Tree beads look like a spoonful of pina colada snowcone.

Here's what I tried his time:

I spooned about 1/2 teaspoon of the slurry right into the cork  
before adding about 1/2 teaspoon of soil. 
(On others, I mixed the soil and slurry together. I'll let you know which one works best.)

Then I added a plant and the dirt that clung to it when I pulled it up 
and used a chopstick to GENTLY poke the dirt and roots down in.

I also added moss on top on some,  like this one.

True confession:                                                                                                                            I keep this saucer of moss under our picnic table.                                               

That doesn't make me weird, does it?                          
(You don't have to answer that.)

The gang's all here:

In short, here I go again. 

It's DAY ONE of the Experiment Perpetually in Progress. 

All over again.

(Stay tuned.)

stack of seven corks tied with bow
NOW, about these corks.

A half-dozen corks isn't enough to go into business, but it's enough to make back-to-school night treats for your child's teachers or Christmas gifts for your co-workers.

I have plenty (SweetPea working at a wine-and-painting studio and all that), and I'm willing to share.

The giveaway is simple and completely catch-free. If you'd like to have the  corks in the picture so you can make your own little planters, all you have to do is leave me a comment, telling me what you'd do with them.

Random.org will pick the winner.

That's it. I won't sell your address or send you a Christmas card, or anything, I promise.

Wanna play? You know what to do.

Updated to Add: After an illness-inspired delay, the corks and some little lagniappe are on their way to their new homes! Congratulations to Mrs. M at Married to Events! (And to Riko. I had extra, so I sent her some, too!) :)


Andrea said...

Good luck with your cork planters! And real wine corks are getting harder to find, sounds like you scored!

Married 2 Events said...

Hi! I'd love to have these planters to go in my 1st home! I'm new to decorating miniature houses and I'm very excited. I plan to turn an old Ikea dresser into a mansion and would love to have these to place either in the house on the wall or on the deck. info@married2events.com :))

Riko Boulware said...

So glad the experiment is continuing. I left a comment on your 6Aug12 entry (I think it was that one) suggesting a different plant for your corks, Tillandsia. The common name is air plant; doesn't need soil and water once every two weeks. I'm going to use the corks for a couple of Tillandsia plants and use the others for my own succulent experiment. BTW, I pinned the succulent cork planter experiment to my Pinterest board.

Jeremy said...

OMG! I just bought my first house, and have not started my wine cork collection as of yet...these would be the FIRST things i put in my new house, and i would love to give you photo updates of me trying to get the plants to live! Not only that, if i hit a breakthrough then we both win...please let me win! JeremyCB29@gmail.com

Minou Barton said...

Thank you, Andrea. I'm glad to have enough to share!

Minou Barton said...

M2E, what an interesting hobby! Does it make you see the world with new eyes as you search for items for your doll houses?

Minou Barton said...

Thank you, Rick! Where do you find your Tillandsia plants? The only ones I've seen are expensive because they're already in planters of some sort. I would love to try it, and I would really like to have your input on the project!

Minou Barton said...

Congratulations on your new house, Jeremy! Photos would be a treat!

Minou Barton said...

Happy Wednesday, y'all! Random.org says #2 wins the seven corks!

That means you, Married2Events! E-mail me at thehumofdelicious@gmail.com and we'll work out how to get the corks to you, okay?

Now, Jeremy and Riko: would you settle for a smaller batch of corks, just for fun?

Minou Barton said...

Oh, and you, too, Andrea, if you'd like! (Sorry!)

Riko Boulware said...

LOL. That would be fun. How generous, thank you! Not having bought a tillandsia since the 90's, I discovered they are a lot more expensive than I remembered. I did find a website that is pretty reasonable; about $14.00 including S/H for 5 mini plants. I'll let you know how it works out. Here's the link:


Minou Barton said...

Riko, thanks for the link, and isn't that always the way? (Does anything ever get LESS expsensive?!) While that is a little dear, I just found several sites that mention "pups" growing readily. That would turn out to be about the same thing as my succulent bowls--I bought the mother plants and gave them time to reproduce so I would have plenty of babies to share.

E-mail me with how I can best send you some corks, and after our baby blessing this weekend, I'll get them in the mail to you!

jeshyr said...

Are these babies still growing - I see no updates and I fear that means it's bad news for their futures!!

Minou Barton said...

You are SO right! One by one they've given up the ghost and had to be replaced.

It makes me sad in one way--they simply outgrow the tiny space.

On this batch, I'm trying to catch them and TRANSPLANT them rather than "bury" them!

Thank you for writing, and sorry it toook so long to write back. Crazy season in our lives!

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