The Crate of Clementines Problem

The blue flower is a new verbena called "Royale Chambray."

Well, not a problem exactly, but if you like clementines and sometimes buy them in wooden crates, you are left with the crates, and you can’t throw them out. It’s just not possible. But what do you do with them? I store craft supplies in them, mainly, but last night while reading a British gardening magazine, I spied a picture of a wooden seedling tray that had the name of the magazine woodburned into it. I thought of the woodburning pen I had in a drawer somewhere and soon was busily woodburning away on a crate. Woodburning as a craft has a Cub Scout feel to it, but it’s fun. This crate is more a garden tchotchke than anything practical, but it would be wonderful for a garden walk or tea, or a nice way to give a friend starts from your garden.

A spring-type clothespin can be used as a plant label for potted plants.

Several things to keep in mind about woodburning: it takes about 10 to 15 minutes for the tip to fully warm up, and when it does, it’s extremely hot. Don’t touch it! When I needed to put it down, I put it on a ceramic plate. It also takes awhile to cool down. And you might want to practice ahead of time on a piece of scrap wood. I incised the word “flowers” into the side of the crate, but you could incise “seedlings” or even a little fragment of poetry.

The three guidelines are 1/2" apart.

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