Tips to Create Knock Out Container Gardens | Pretty Handy Girl
Tips to Create Knock Out Container Gardens

It’s that time of year again where the weather is warming up and we can’t get enough of colorful flowers blooming in the yard! It’s also the time of year I like to fiddle around in the dirt and create a bountiful garden. If you don’t have a space of your own to use for gardening, you can create your own oasis with container gardening. These small gardens are great for vegetables, fruit, flowers and green plant. Container gardening gives you a lot of flexibility for outdoor living.

Here are some Easy Tips to Create Knock Out Container Gardens:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)


Here are some planter ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

How to Assemble Container Plants:

1. First, select your containers. Get creative with your containers or use something you already have at home. It’s a fun and unique way to get planting.


Clean Your Plant Container:

Clean out your container (especially if it had other vegetation in it.) Use a stiff brush to remove any dirt. Then use water and a small drop of soap to clean the container. If you need to disinfect the planter because the previous plant contracted a disease, use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water solution and soak the planter. Then rinse and let dry thoroughly.

Tips for Container Gardening

Select Your Plants:

First locate plants that have the sun requirements matching your new planter’s location. Then select your plants using this simple rule of three: “Thrill, Fill, Spill.”

Tips for Container Gardening

Thrill: Select one tall plant to give the arrangement height and excitement, the “thrill.” Selections are usually something tall.

Lowe's Spring Makeover Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

Fill: Next pick something that will grow full and fill in the open spaces in the container. This will take up the most real estate in your container garden.


Spill: Then choose plants to cascade or something to fall or “spill” out of the container and flow onto the ground.

Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

Select Planting Material:

It’s important to select a good potting soil (not a topsoil or garden soil.) Potting soil will give your plants the right nutrients to grow and flourish.

Heart Shaped Topiary | Pretty Handy Girl

Proper Drainage:

Add drainage to your containers. This can be as easy as crumpled up newspapers or small rocks to allow the water to drain from the pot. A pot that doesn’t drain will rot your plants and flowers.

Tips for Container Gardening

Fill your planter with soil and the plants. Making sure to allow room for the plants and their roots to grow.

Tips for Container Gardening

Water the newly planted container thoroughly especially the first two weeks while the plants get accustomed to their new container. Then water when the soil starts to feel dry. Remember container gardens tend to dry out faster than a ground planted garden.

Soon you’ll have a knock out container garden!


Here are some more tips that will make container gardening easier for you:

How to Lighten Containers:

Although newer containers are losing weight with new materials. They can get heavy once loaded with plants, soil and water. To lighten up your pots, bunch up newspapers and put them in the bottom of the containers. Not only will this act as drainage for your plants, it will decompose naturally and use less soil. You can also fill the bottom of tall planters with pine bark mulch, rigid packing styrofoam, or plastic bottles. Just make sure you have enough soil on top of the “filler” material to support a healthy root system.

How to Move Containers:

Use plant stands with wheels to easily move containers. Not only will wheels protect your floors inside, it also helps you arrange the containers without strain. Alternatively, you can add a cut piece of felt under your indoor planter pots for easy sliding on hard floors.

How to Add Drainage:

If your pot doesn’t have drainage holes, you can add your own. Simply use a drill to drill holes in the bottom of the container.

Tips for Container Gardening

Don’t walk, run to your local nursery today and get some plants that grow well in your region. Have fun selecting plants. These easy tips will have your container garden looking like a true knock out in no time and will make those neighbors jealous.

Lowe's Spring Makeover Reveal | Pretty Handy Girl

Then as you become a plant lover like I am, you’ll laugh at this funny plant-themed tank top:

Have fun in the garden and hope to see you at Decor Adventures soon!

Jessica at Decor Adventures Blog

JessicaBioPicHi, I’m Jessica, and I live in Upstate New York in an old Colonial home with my husband, two children, and DIY partner, Dan. By day I’m a worker bee, but by night I’m a knee-pad wearing, drill-wielding, spray painting do-it-yourself project queen.

In between all that I blog at Décor Adventures, where I share DIY tips, furniture makeovershome improvement projects and more. That fun happens at our first home, which was built in 1900 and has lot of old house charm

I’d love to connect with you on FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram, and Google+.

~ Read more of Jessica’s tutorials here. ~

Don’t forget to pin this image to share with a friend:

Tips to Create Knock Out Container Gardens | Pretty Handy Girl

If you want more ideas for container gardening or landscaping tips, you’ll love these tutorials:

3 Step Wagon Planter Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

3 Step Little Wagon Planter


ice_bucket_stencil_planterIce Bucket Stencil Planter


Scrap Wood Planter Box

Scrap Wood Planter Box


Landscaping 101: Tools, Planting, and Adding Color to your Landscaping | Pretty Handy Girl

Landscaping 101 – Improve Your Curb Appeal with these Tips

Trellis on shed

Quick and Easy DIY Fan Trellis
Quick and Easy DIY Fan Trellis

Every spring I find myself making a new fan trellis to replace my worn, weathered and rotting trellis that was left out over winter.  This year, I am going to use the right materials (cedar and exterior screws) to allow me more than one season’s use of my trellis.  This is an easy project that doesn’t require too much time, tools or money.  And the best part is, you can make it exactly the size and shape that is right for your space.  Follow along and you’ll be ready to plant cucumbers, clematis, or (my personal favorite) hops!


  • 6 – Cedar 1x2s (8 feet for a large trellis)
  • 2 – Galvanized bolts long enough to fit through 5 of the 1x2s stacked together.  (4 inches should work.  Mine were too short so I had to improvise and counter sink the heads.
  • 25 – 1 ½ inch exterior screws
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver or impact driver
  • Miter saw or hand saw

Optional: Clamp (nice to have but not totally necessary)


A note about lumber used for this project. It is important to use cedar because cedar resists weather and insects.  You could use pressure treated lumber, but it is treated with chemicals so you may not want to use pressure treated lumber if you are growing vegetables.

Step 1: Cut your vertical 1x2s

Cut four of your cedar 1x2s to six feet long.  I like to leave the center 1×2 two feet longer than the rest of the pieces and cut it into a point (as shown below) so that I can drive it into the ground with a rubber mallet.  Cut your middle 1×2 to eight feet long, unless you are not sinking your trellis into the ground. In this case, cut the fifth 1×2 to six feet long also.

Cut into point

Step 2- Secure the 1x2s

Stack the five vertical pieces making sure they are equal at the top.  The middle piece (if longer) will stick out at the bottom as shown below.

Connect 1x2s

Clamp the 1x2s at the bottom and drill two pilot holes about two inches apart.  Push the galvanized bolts through the stack and tighten the nuts.  (You may notice my bolts were a little short, so I had to counter sink them. Get longer bolts and you won’t have to do this.)

Messy bolts

Step 3- Create the fan

With the five 1x2s secured at the bottom, fan out the outer pieces at the top to the distance you prefer.

Measure fan distance

Add 6 inches to this measurement. Cut one of the remaining 1×2 to this measurement.

Places vertical 1x2s

Using your feet to keep the outside pieces fanned out, drill pilot holes, and attach the cut piece near the top of the outer 1x2s. This will hold the trellis shape while you measure and eventually attach the rest of the horizontal trellis pieces.

Drill fan trellis

Now determine where to place the other vertical 1x2s.  Feel free to skip measuring and eyeball the sizes and spacing.  Nothing needs to be exact with this project, that’s what makes it fun! Cut your horizontal pieces and attach the vertical supports by pre-drilling and securing with the screws.

Place additional vertical 1x2s

When you are done, your trellis will look something like this:

Fan trellis against shed

If you made your trellis to stake into the ground, pound the long, pointed piece of your trellis into the earth with a rubber mallet.  For added stability, you can wrap a wire loop around one of the top supports and attach to the wall.

I wish I had an after picture of a beautiful vine covering my ugly shed, but that will have to wait a few months.  Happy building and planting!Quick and Easy DIY Fan Trellis

Quick and Easy DIY Fan Trellis

Quick and Easy DIY Fan TrellisHi!  I’m Lara, the creator of The Unprofessional blog and YouTube channel. I am an aspiring handy-woman with little to no experience building, tiling, landscaping, demolishing, and what have you.  I’ve drilled holes in the wrong places, cut on the wrong lines and stripped more screws than I care to count.  And yet, I’m on my way to customizing my home, project by project.  I believe you can do pretty much anything with a few good tools, a stack of wood and a half-baked

I like to find challenges and solve them with my miter saw. When my 3-year-old son complained that he couldn’t reach the picnic table, I designed an easy-to-build folding booster seat perfect for camping trips and beer gardens. When the low ceilings in my cape cod wouldn’t accommodate a bulky barn door, I found an alternative approach to turn any interior door into a space-saving barn door. I love to share these solutions with others in hopes that the empowerment and love of power
tools spreads.

You can connect with me on Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.

Beautiful ideas for DIY Rain Chains - Featured Image square

Beautiful ideas for DIY Rain Chains - Featured Image square

Make Your Own DIY Rain Chains

Do you know what a rain chain is? They are an attractive alternative to those boring downspouts connected to our home’s gutters. Downspouts are incredibly beneficial since they help direct the draining of water during a rain storm. But, let’s be frank, unless they are gorgeous copper round downspouts, they don’t look great. But, did you know there’s a more beautiful solution? Ladies and gentlemen, be prepared to be wowed.

Make Your Own DIY Rain Chains

What do you think about those pretty rain chains instead of a downspout? Love them? What if I told you it is possible to make your own rain chains using various materials that you may have lying around the house.

Here are 21 awesome DIY Rain Chains you can make!

how to make a beautiful copper rain chain

Make a beautiful copper rain chain with leaf shaped pieces cut from thin sheet metal.

stock tank and rain chain by joes happy hour

Create this tranquil and pretty outdoor water feature using a stock tank and rain chains.

copper ring diy rain chain

Make this copper ring DIY Rain Chain using copper tubing.

diy mini pot rain chain

Use mini terracotta pots to create this fun DIY Ombre Rain Chain.

diy cookie cutter rain chain

Add some whimsy to your yard with this DIY Cookie Cutter Rain Chain.

copper wire and stone DIY rain chain

Use copper tubing and stones to make this beautiful, natural rain chain.

galvanized buckets into rain chain

Turn these cute galvanized buckets into a DIY Bucket Rain Chain.

Dollar General Rain Chain buckets

If your budget is tight, consider making this DIY Plastic Cup Rain Chain.

glass and copper diy rain chain

Learn how to make this stunning DIY Glass and Copper Rain Chain.

DIY Funnel rain chain

Make this DIY Funnel Rain Chain using aluminum funnels and chain.

bent silverware rain chain

Repurpose old silverware by bending it and creating this funky DIY Silverware Rain Chain.

succulent rain chain

Do you love succulents? Add more to your life by making a DIY Copper Rain Chain Succulent Planter.

vintage spoons rain chain

Wire vintage spoons together to make this DIY Bent Spoon Homemade Rain Chain.

watering can rain chain

Create a fun and bright rain chain for your garden using dollar store watering cans.

plastic yogurt cup rain chain

Have kids help you show your love for the environment by creating this DIY Reused Plastic Yogurt Cup Rain Chain.

Create a Key Rain Chain with a large collection of old keys.

shower hook rain chain

Use old shower hooks to create this DIY Hook Rain Chain. 

neon zip ties rain chain

Have extra zip ties lying around the house? Create this amazing Neon Zip Tie Rain Chain.

tart tins and colored glass beads rain chain

Add whimsy to your yard by creating this DIY Tart Tin Rain Chain with colorful glass beads.

polished stone rain chain

Drill through polished stone to create this amazing DIY Polished Stone Rain Chain.

wrapped rock rain chain

Finally, here’s another Wire Wrapped Rock Rain Chain that would be gorgeous and easy to make.

I hope you loved this collection of ideas to make your own Rain Chain! Do you have other ideas for creating a beautiful rain chain for your home or garden?  I’d love to hear it! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

If you liked this roundup of ideas, please share this image on Pinterest to get the word out!

Beautiful ideas for DIY Rain Chains - Pinterest Image

Make Your Own DIY Rain Chains

Make Your Own DIY Rain Chains
Hi, I’m Sheri from Hazel + Gold Designs. Here are a few fun stats about me: I like love chocolate and peanut butter (together of course.) If you like stats, I have been crocheting for about 16 years, crafting for 20, and woodworking for about 4 years. I found a passion in making and being creative and began documenting my projects online at Hazel + Gold Designs.

When not working on projects, I enjoy spending time with my husband, four children, perfect dog, and ornery cat. You can find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Read all of Sheri’s tutorials.

Make Your Own DIY Rain Chains

~Find more of Sheri’s projects here ~


man pushing lawnmower shown from back

Can This Battery-Powered Lawn Mower Really Replace a Gas-Powered Mower?

I have underestimated the abilities of battery-powered mowers for years. But, recently I received the STIHL RMA 460 Battery Powered Mower to test out. Did it live up to the claims? Would I sell my gas-powered mower? You be the judge.

Before we begin, I want to tell you that STIHL sent me this RMA 460 battery-powered mower to try out and use. You may recall that STIHL was a Saving Etta project sponsor. However, this post is written solely on my own decision to share my experience with the mower. 

If you want to watch the video, you’ll get all the information and some of the reasons I like the STIHL RMA 460 mower.

For more details and photos, read on.

Here’s My Honest Opinion of the STIHL RMA 460 Battery-Powered Mower:

Folding the mower handle down is super easy. You just need to loosen the two knobs on either side.

folding down mower handles

It’s the first mower I’ve been able to lift into my truck unassisted. Although the mower isn’t weightless, at 60 pounds I can easily lift it and set it in my truck by myself. Before using the RMA 460, I needed my husband’s help to get our gas powered mower into the truck. When I got to the job site, I usually finagled one of my subcontractors to help me unload it.

Brittany lifting mower into truck unassisted

Another advantage of this battery-powered mower is not having to haul a gas can around. And anyone who uses gas-powered lawn equipment knows you inevitably end up smelling like gasoline after finishing the work.

Battery and Start Up Features of the RMA 460:

The STIHL RMA runs on the AK-series batteries. One port for the battery being used and the other port holds a spare should the first one run out. Although the mower runs on the entire AK line of batteries, I highly recommend using the AK30 for the longest run times. To see how much battery life is left, press the button on the top of the battery. The display will show how much charge is left.

pressing button on battery to see life left in battery

The mower has a removable locking key to prevent accidental starts. (As a side note, I do wish the key had a string or somewhere to store it with the mower to prevent it from getting lost.)

The switch inside the mower activates the ECO MODE which should help the battery last longer in shorter grass. When the mower senses taller or thicker grass, it will return to full power mode for faster cutting.

pressing eco mode on STIHL RMA 460

Raising the mower height is easily accomplished by grasping one handle to lower or raise all four wheels at once.

Adjusting mower height handle

To start the mower, press the orange button and pull back the handle bar. You can see how easy it is to start. No more yanking on a rope to start a mower! This mower is much quieter in comparison to a gas-powered mower. To stop, simply release the handle bar.

starting and stopping a battery-powered mower

Can the STIHL RMA 460 Handle Super Tall Grass?

I had been using the STIHL RMA 460 mower for a month or so to cut the lawn at my flip property. But, then we went on a family vacation for over three weeks and I came home to this mess.

Be sure to watch this video to see how the mower did against the jungle of a front yard.

Brittany cutting thick lawn with STIHL RMA 460 mower

Although I had to make several passes for each section, the mower powered through the super tall grass. Before you lawn aficionados get on my case, I easily could have used the bag to collect clippings, but the property was still under construction and I wasn’t trying to protect the weedy grass that was there. If it were our lawn (which is already beautiful and well established), I would have bagged the clippings to prevent them from damaging the lawn. If you look close, you might notice that even with the height of the grass, there were no mounds of grass clippings left behind. The mulching feature on this mower did an outstanding job! To say I was impressed is an understatement.

How to Insert the Grass Collection Bag on the Mower:

Simply lift the back flap on the mower and remove the plug. 

lifting back hatch on mower

Then hang the bag from the mower and you can collect your grass clippings.

inserting grass collection bag onto mower

Will You Sell Your Gas-Powered Mower Now?

I have to tell you my husband has been cutting lawns since he was a teenager. He’s rarely impressed by new lawn mowers, but I caught him trying out the RMA 460.

When I asked him what he thought, he told me he really liked it. But, old habits die hard with this guy. He still prefers his gas-powered mower. (Must be a manly thing.)

Our teenage son has recently started cutting lawns and the STIHL RMA 460 is the only mower he wants to use.

Before trying this STIHL mower, I never thought I’d be happy using a battery-powered mower to cut our grass, but I’m a convert. Plus, it feels good knowing this mower is more environmentally friendly. For now our gas mower stays in the shed for my husband, but my son and I will only use the STIHL mower.

How Much Lawn Can the RMA 460 Cut?

Per the STIHL website, the RMA 460 Mower using the AK30 battery should be able to cut just under 3,000 sq. feet of lawn (depending on height and moisture content.) We have about ¼ acre of grass to cut and the mower cuts it using one and a half batteries (assuming this is for weekly trimming on non-wet grass.)

What do you think? Could you sell your gas-powered mower and replace it with the STIHL RMA 460 battery-powered mower?

Pin this image to share with a friend:

Disclosure: STIHL sent me this RMA 460 battery-powered mower to try out and use. I was previously sponsored by STIHL on another project, but this post is my own decision to share with you my experience with the STIHL RMA 460 mower.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

I should probably re-name this post How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Semi-Privacy Fence. But, honestly it’s only semi-private because the lots in downtown Raleigh are so close together and the next door neighbor’s driveway is against the privacy fence. All they have to do is lean against the fence and peek through to eliminate the “privacy” function. But, if we’re going to be honest here, their six foot picket privacy fence has cracks in it where the picket wood has shrunk. And, yes, you can see through their privacy fence too. But, in a suburban neighborhood, this fence would block the view from the road or a distance.

When I was considering fencing options for the Saving Etta project, I wanted to create a beautiful fence that was attractive to look at but also gives some privacy and security.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

Why I chose to use a window pane lattice fence:

  1. I love the look. It’s a mixture of cottage and modern. And it’s perfect for a modern farmhouse style house.
  2. The new owners can train a flowering vine to grow up the lattice and create more privacy.
  3. It’s neighborly being able to see and talk to your neighbors next door. It fosters community!

As we drew closer to the holidays, I knew I had to push the accelerator on all the remaining projects at the Saving Etta project. Therefore, I did not build this fence, I hired a fence contractor to build it. But, I did design the fence and shared my design idea with the contractor. I took some inspiration from my Pergola with Trellis Screens.

Build a Pergola with Trellis to Screen Your Trash Cans | Pretty Handy Girl

The following tutorial is a basic construction guide for How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate. I didn’t oversee the construction, so I’m going to make some suggested fasteners, but ultimately you should gauge the strength of your fasteners especially when building the gate. If your gate is wider, you may need an additional cross or diagonal brace.

Tools & Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Before we get started, I want to express a huge thank you to Wood It’s Real for being a Saving Etta sponsor. As you might remember, they sponsored the side porch and the front flat sawn balluster project. And now, I have the honor of sharing yet another Wood It’s Real Sponsored project. Let’s learn How to Build Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate using beautiful Southern Yellow Pine.

Wood It's Real Website

This build will take at least two days. Digging the post holes, setting the posts, and pouring the concrete for the posts can be completed on day one. But, you’ll want to wait overnight for the concrete to set up before building the fence panels. For more information on setting fence posts, you might find this tutorial by Quikrete helpful.

Before building your fence, be sure to research your local building codes; know if you have to meet any setback limits, and find out if you have any restrictive covenants for your neighborhood.

Building a Window Pane Lattice Fence:

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

To create the tall privacy fence, we used one 4′ x 8′ lattice sheet vertically between the posts. Therefore, our posts were set four feet apart. After your 6×6 fence posts are set in the ground, you can start building your lattice fence sections between the posts.

set fence posts


Measure and cut two 2×6 pieces of pressure treated lumber to fit between the top and bottom of the posts. Level and secure to the 6×6 posts using exterior grade wood screws.

secure-2x4 horizontal lumber

Center your 4×8 lattice panel in the center of the 6×6 posts. Cut 2×2 lumber to create a frame to support the lattice.

add 2x2 frame to secure lattice

Secure the 2×2 frame to the inside of the 6×6 posts and the 2×6 horizontal lumber. You can use wood screws or 2″ finish nails to secure the 2×2 frame. Add another 2×2 frame to the other side of your lattice.

secured-lattice fence section

Add post caps to the top of your fence to protect the posts from rot (and to make your fence look pretty.)

add post caps

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

Repeat the steps above to create as many window pane lattice fence sections as you desire.

completed window pane lattice privacy fence

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate
Depending on the angle of sight, you can see some shapes through the fence. This is the view from the bathroom window. I’ll be sharing how I added complete privacy to this window in a later blog post.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

From the bedroom you can barely see the neighbor’s car through the fence.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Gate:

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

To match the window pane lattice fence, I challenged my fence contractor to build matching lattice gates at the end of the driveway. I wanted the opening to be wide enough to drive a car through (should they want to park in the back of the house or get a delivery of mulch or other landscaping materials.)


Measure and cut your 2×4 pressure treated lumber. For a 4′ x 8′ gate, cut the vertical pieces exactly 8′ in length. The top and bottom pieces should be cut 41″ long. Secure the frame with pocket hole screws in the corners of the frame. (Click here to learn how to use a pocket hole jig.)

build 2x4 frame for gate

Lay the 4×8 lattice panel on top of the 2×4 frame. Tack the lattice in place using 1 ½” finish nails.

add lattice panel to 2x4 frame

Measure and cut your 1×4 lumber using the same measurements as the 2×4’s.

cut 1x4 frame to size

Secure the 1×4 boards to the lattice and the 2×4’s using 2 ½” exterior wood screws. (The lattice will be sandwiched in the middle and the screws should extend through the 1×4’s and the lattice and into the 2×4 frame.)

sandwich lattice between 1x4 and 2x4 frames

Your gate construction is complete. Add hinges and gate hardware and secure to a 6×6 post.

add gate hinges

These gates are rock solid and shouldn’t sag over time. The lattice keeps the gate square.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

For a decorative touch, we added two 2×6 pieces of lumber across the two gate posts to create a pergola. The new owners can put a potted vine next to each post and allow the vines to grow up and over the pergola.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

A metal drop rod is secured to the left side gate for stability and to keep both gates from swinging in when latching.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

The window pane lattice provides plenty of privacy from the road. But, it also allows the homeowners a view to see if anyone is coming up the driveway.

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

What do you think? Do you like the window pane lattice fence and gates? Would you leave it natural or stain it?

How to Build a Window Pane Lattice Privacy Fence and Gate

Disclosure: This post is a sponsored post for Wood It’s Real. It was written as part of their sponsorship of the Saving Etta project. I was not told what to write. All words and opinions are my own. I am very particular about the brands I work with, and only partner with companies that provide quality materials and/or services.