I saw this idea on Pinterest, and just had to do it! However when I clicked on the link it failed, so I made it up using the pictures on the left as I went along.
So this is what I did.
- Bought the hanging baskets for a £1 at Pound World – they are far too small to work as hanging baskets as they dry out too quickly, but perfect for making a tortoise.
- Mark on the liner where you want to put the sempervivums aka hens and chicks.
- Cut a horizontal line in the liner so that the water runs downwards and into the compost.
- Replace and fill basket with slightly moist compost
- Using an old compost bag, cut 6 or 7cm larger circle than the basket.
- Tuck it in to form the plastron (underside)
- Remove the chains from the basket and clip across the basket to keep the compost bag circle in place. I did have to use a pair of pliers.
- Cut a head from florist oasis / make out of chicken wire. I pushed the head onto the edge of the basket to form a slot to hold it in place. Cover with moss and tie moss in place. Add an eye each side – I had 2 spare teddy bear eyes in my button box, but glue on googly eyes if you want.
- Cover 4 little flower pots with moss and tie on with garden wire tie, leaving long enough ends so that you can tie them to the edge of the basket to create feet.
- Gather chicks from your sempervivum plants and insert into the slits that you made. Water, and continue spraying to keep the tortoise alive. Watch for the hens to make their chicks and the carapace (shell) form.
You now own a living pet tortoise. What will you call yours?