It’s been raining so much here, I started looking through some sunny photos and came across these. We have some enormous tree stumps on our property, old growth douglas fir stumps measuring 6-8 feet in diameter, left behind by the logging that took place when the San Francisco fire took its toll on our island’s trees. Our oldest and tallest helped rebuild that city, hundreds of miles to our south. One stump is so large we built a playhouse for our children off the edge of it, the perfect platform plus huckleberry garden for a pallet playhouse for little tree climbers.
But the mid-sized stumps on our cleared land just sat there for years, slowly rotting out, a small mass of wood and rocks that would take a bull dozer to remove. I decided to turn one, in the middle of a yard, into a planter. Since the stump’s interior was soft, I removed what woody material I could and then put potting soil and compost in its place. My planter was ready for an indigenous perennial.
I chose crocosmia because they’re hardy, come from a bulb and need to be contained. Their reedy thin sword-like leaves spreading forth from the round and flat stump offer a pretty look. And the flashy red flowers are especially stunning in the late summer.
Stump planters are a natural way to take advantage of the remains of an old tree. Here’s one made from a palm tree stump that my mother-in-law used to plant cacti.
You don’t have to wait for your trees to become stumps to make planters. These geraniums add color to a twisted trunk with a hole large enough to hold a geranium plant or two.