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The Magical Gardens of Disney
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Brian Bennett

Floating Gardens

You can create this special illusion in your own landscape if you have a pool, pond, or small lake.

Ingredients

  • Four sheets of polystyrene board, two inches thick and 36 inches across (depending on how large your planter will be)
  • Latex base glue (or other glue compatible with the polystyrene and water)
  • Black acrylic interior/exterior spray paint
  • Florist knife
  • Sharp scissors
  • 1/4-inch thick capillary mat
  • Nylon cord and concrete blocks for anchors
  • 4-inch eye bolt with nut and two 1-inch washers
  • Up to 50 4-inch bedding plants or a one gallon tropical plant and twenty four inch plants
  • One and one half cubic foot of light soil less potting mix

Instructions

  1. Cut two of your polystyrene boards in a circle the size you want your base to be and glue together. Having two sheets glued together will give needed strength to the planter.
  2. Cut the other two sheets into a circular rim about two inches wide to create the side walls.
  3. Glue the side walls together, then glue the side walls to the top of the base.
  4. Drill four evenly spaced "weep" holes in the sides (not in the base - which will be submersed when the planter is installed) about halfway up from the base to allow water to escape when it rains.
  5. Spray paint the floater black (be sure not to use water-based paint!)
  6. Cut a piece of capillary matting, and line the bottom of the disk.
  7. Cut a one inch diameter hole in the bottom of the planter and through the capillary matting.
  8. Cut a one inch wide strip of capillary matting and insert it through the hole in the bottom of the disk to act as a water wick. Allow the strip to hang eight to ten inches below the polystyrene and insert the other end through the liner, knotting the strip at the top to secure the wick to the mat.
  9. Fasten a four inch eye bolt, nut, and one inch washers to the bottom of the planter. Once it is in place use the nylon cord and concrete block to anchor the planter so that it does not drift too far from your intended location.
  10. Add the potting mix and appropriate plants. Use up to fifty four inch bedding plants for a floral floater or, for a tropical floater, use a single one gallon focal plant in the center and surround it with twenty four inch plants around the edge. Remember to use sun-loving plants since it usually gets really bright out there!
  11. Vary the height, type, and color of plants for an interesting contrast. Place the tallest plants in the middle since the breeze will twirl the planter around in the water. Plant cascading plants like ivy around the edges to hide the container and also to create a soft edge.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Garden Tours

Barb's Top 10 Disney Garden Attractions

Brian's Top 10 Disney Garden Attractions

Tips: Right Plant in the Right Place

Tips: Interior Plants

Backyard Habitats

Butterfly Gardening

Bonsai and Penjing

Water Gardening

Flower Gardening

Cutting Gardens

Disney StyleTopiary

Disney Style Horticulture at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney Style Hanging Baskets

Disney Style Floating Gardens

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