How to make a cheap sweet pea container

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This project is a way of bringing colour and fragrance to your garden (and home if you cut the flowers) for not very much money.


Lower scores are good, higher scores bad.

Cost: 3/10 (bucket may be expensive in some areas depending on supplier)
Ease of making: 5/10 (tying the sweet peas may be tricky)
Maintanence: 3/10 (sweet peas need regular tying)
Suitable for children to do: 5/10 (an adult should punch the holes in the bucket)

You will need:

Sweet pea seeds/seedling (growing from seed will be cheaper)
A galvanised steel bucket
Oboliske (bought ready made or make your own)
Bubble wrap

1, Sow sweet pea seeds (in autumn or spring, autumn seedlings are usually bigger by summer) or buy seedlings. Do this a few months before planting up so the seedlings are strong.

2, Punch or drill holes in the bucket, the more holes the better drainage.

3, (optional) you can paint your bucket if you wish, using a suitable metal paint. The hole thing will look better if you coordinate the colours of the sweet pea flowers with the colour of the paint. Or if your flowers are mixed flowers go for a brilliant white or a bright simple colour, like red for example.

4, Line the bucket with bubble wrap, this will stop the roots from being scorched by heat or frozen by frosts, cut holes in bubble wrap for drainage.

5, Fill 1/4 to 1/3 of the bucket with crocks (polystyrene packaging works well as its light and your recycling by using it! Or a broken terracotta pot works just as well)

6, Fill the bucket with a good compost, a multi-purpose will be a good choice.

7, Place the oboliske or make your own from bamboo canes (bamboo canes usually cost £1 a bunch so are cheaper).

8, Plant the sweet peas, tying them to the canes or winding them around to give them a nudge to grow upwards. Wrapping string or mesh aroung the canes or oboliske will help the sweet peas to grow upwards. Makesure you water them well before and after.

9, (Optional) you could also plant sweet peas to trail over the edge if you havent painted the bucket, but the metal bucket is decorative enough to be left uncovered.

More points:

If you grow your sweet peas from seed you will be able to choose specific varieties for desired colours and fragrance, bought seedlings you get less choice with.

A decorative gravel on top if coordinating with the flowers and/or bucket will create a nice extra, bright colours will be more appealing to children.


Adults should punch the holes, supervise children while doing any project in the garden. This project uses sharp tools. Just use common sense and you should be safe (unless your working with someone who has no common sense). ( - ;

I am not an expert just a dedicated gardener who enjoys the hobby, you may know better methods, if you do use them. I cannot be held responsible for incidents while doing this project, take safety measure especially with children.

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