These cute little planters are just in time for the Derby and will be a valuable assist when making the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Mystic Sea Glass - local home store; roughly $7 for a 2lb container. should be enough to make 4-8 planters depending on how lucky you get with the distribution of colors.
Mint Julep cup - Wal-Mart; $3-4/cup one needed for each plant.
1/4" aluminum rod (optional) - local home store; roughly $4 for 36" length. You'll need about 4-5" per planter.
Mint plant - local home store; roughly $3 per plant, spearmint, mojito or wintergreen are your best options for use in cocktails, but any mint will suffice.
Hacksaw or some other metal cutting blade.
800 grit sand paper.
Step 2: Faux Straw
To create the iconic straw/spoon to adorn your plant, cut a length of aluminum rod to roughly 4", preferably with a 45° cut on one end.
Next chuck the angled end into a drill or drillpress (pictured here), then go to town on it with some of that 800 grit sandpaper. I recommend wet sanding here as the results will turn out far better. You can finish with a soft cloth or some buffing compound to make it really sparkle. The object is to impart a shine similar to what you would find on one of the traditional julep straw/spoon (also shown for reference). I suppose you could bury a spoon in the planter but at close to $10/spoon I elected to go the faux route, plus it serves another purpose I'll mention later.
Step 3: Planting
Begin by using the non green or clear sea glass to line the bottom of the cup with a thin layer for extra drainage as these cups don't have drainage holes. I suppose you could add some, but I wanted the ability to repurpose these again as cups should I chose to do so (aka - in case my mint dies).
Next take the plant out of the container it comes in and break up the dirt around the root ball place a small amount of this dirt in the cup over the glass.
Next position the root ball and plant in the cup and fill in the sides with some of the extra dirt. You should have a ounces of dirt left over. Sorry, got carried away and forgot to take pictures.
Next place a few flat green pieces of glass around the top of the cup. These will be slightly visible through the clear glass and give the illusion of mint in the "drink" below.
Add your straw at this point next to the rim of the cup by pressing in an inch or so into the dirt.
Finish by back filling with the clear pieces of glass of various shapes and sizes to give the planter that icy cool look of a real Julep.
Be sure to wipe away any dirt that might have collected around the rim or outside of the cup. Then add a splash of root simulator to get it off to a good start.
Oh yeah, the other purpose for the faux straw! It makes a convenient place to shove one of the miracle grow houseplant food spikes.
I've always found mint to be quite resilient, thriving in low to full sun light so long as you don't over/under water it. of the edges of the leaves start to brown, you're doing one or the other, find out which and stop. ☺
Also, I've seen numerous houseplants bite the dust due to being watered with a water softener that uses salt.