Take your gardening skills to new heights with this creative DIY living chessboard! With plants as chess pieces and striking black and white colours, your garden is guaranteed to grab attention, invite engagement, and spark plenty of conversation. In addition, you’ll get to add a couple of really special beauties to your collection that you otherwise may not have considered.
Let’s talk tiles
Get your hands on some large black and white tiles, available at your GCA Garden Centre and local home depo stores. When choosing tile slabs, go for ones that are nice and big as they will need to stand out when your pot plants are placed on top of them. You may also want to consider tiles with a protective layer to prevent scratches, or go for concrete slabs and simply paint them yourself using good quality water and weather-resistant paint.
Top tip: While you’re out, grab an easy clean mop or broom to keep near your chess set to ensure it’s always play-ready and looking neat.
Try this: If you’re strapped on space, you could always create a mini version of this game with tiny pots and succulents. Play on a table or transform the courtyard.
Pots and pawns
Your traditional chess pieces will be pot plants, of course! Go for containers with good drainage made from lightweight materials that won’t be too heavy to move. A lovely selection of pots is available at your GCA Garden Centre with treated compost and potting soil to go with them. If you’re on a budget, you could always go for inexpensive plastic containers and paint them instead. Don’t forget your saucers to avoid messy spillages during watering.
Top tip: To keep track of which plant represents which chess piece, don’t move the pot saucers from their original placement when playing.
Embrace bedless gardening and embark on a creative container adventure, right on your stoep!
Who said that beds make the garden? Well, no one, actually! And that’s great news for the balcony, stoep, and patio gardener. You can still enjoy all the glory of gardening by playing with pots, experimenting with the colour wheel, using vertical planters, and adding a few fabulous blooms.
Using different sized and shaped containers add height and variety to the space, while also giving you an opportunity to play with different styles. Incorporating hanging baskets is another simple way of adding greenery to areas with limited space. Using woven baskets (instead of plastic) with spikey foliage will bring in some lovely texture. Spend some time in the pots and basket section next time you’re at the nursery and see what jumps out at you!
*Play away: Try using cute teapots or gumboots as planters to add a little character and fun to your space.
*Go green: You could upcycle cans to use as pots and decorate as desired to suit your existing décor (this is a fun one for kids too).
*Top tip: Ensure your planting containers have good drainage to avoid root rot.
Get your patio blooming
A great way to bring in more life to your patio paradise is by planting gorgeous, blossoming blooms. Imagine a couple of flower pots neatly arranged along the lonely stoep wall or outdoor windowsill. Any available space is an opportunity for flowers to flourish. Get this lush look by using the Thriller, Filler, and Spiller (TFS) concept to create the ultimate flower pot.
*Try this - TFS: One upright focal point plant as your Thriller, a mounded plant as the Filler around it, and then something to trail over the edge as your splendid Spiller.