Make a happy-hour planter

Host drinks in your garden with this party-friendly make

Ice bucket planter

by Melissa Mabbitt |
Updated on

Built to be enjoyed, this planter is part drinks chiller and part cocktail garnish stash and will have guests making a beeline for its pretty and tasty contents. We used a large, wooden, barrel-style planter and filled it with tasty herbs, edible flowers and strawberry plants in fruit.

Basil is the perfect herb to use as it complements most drinks and you’ll find unusual varieties such as purple basil at plant nurseries. But add whatever flavours you like – do avoid mint though as it’s so vigorous, it’ll squeeze out everything else! We’ve added marigolds, nasturtiums and violets as the edible flowers, but you could also use small lavender plants or scented pelargoniums.

Nestled in the middle of the planter is an ice bucket for your favourite tipple, making this an ideal centrepiece for an outdoor table. Snip the flowers, herbs or fruits into a cool glass of something refreshing and toast your good work!

You will need:

- 2 x 18cm wide zinc buckets

- Jute fabric or bubblewrap

- Tape

- Large planter at least 40cm wide

- Peat-free compost

- Edible herb, strawberry and flower plants

What to do:

Photos: Neil Hepworth

1 Wrap one bucket with several layers of jute or bubblewrap and secure with tape. This creates an insulating layer to prevent the plant roots being damaged by the chill of the ice.

2 Fill the planter a third of the way up with compost and firm it down. Place the wrapped bucket in the centre and fill in around the sides with compost until the planter is two-thirds full.

3 Position the plants around the edge of the planter and carefully fill in the gaps with compost, firming in with your fingers and being careful not to let any fall into the bucket. Carefully water the plants.

4 Nestle the second bucket inside the first. Using two buckets makes it easy to tip away the ice without disturbing the plants. It’s best to remove the ice as soon as your drinks are finished to stop the plants getting cold.

Our budget:

- Buckets: £2.78 each

- Jute fabric: £7/2m roll

- Plants: £3.50 each

Total: £40.56


Use any large planter you have – a terracotta pot looks great too

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