Activity: transform sad hippos into mini gardens

Do you have a neglected hippo languishing in your garden? This one was in mine, unloved and uncared for…. so sad 😦

It used to be cherished as a paddling pool, then a sand pit, but now it is festering. Time for a hippo rescue.

To transform an old plastic paddling pool or sand pit into a mini raised garden, read on.

You need:

  • A really sad and neglected rigid plastic pool
  • A drill or sharp stanley knife
  • A bucket full of gravel
  • One or two bags of peat free compost – depending on your pool size
  • A selection of shallow rooting plants, try courgettes, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, herbs, salad leaves.

Start by cutting or drilling drainage holes into the bottom and sides of the poor hippo (or equivalent). Just an inch up from the bottom on the sides is enough.

Next, position it where you want it, ideally with full sun – it will be too heavy to move when full. Next, fill the bottom with gravel until it is about 2 cm deep, like this:

Next, fill to the top with compost. Our little hippo only needed one bag. Finally, plant your seeds and plants and give them a good water. Be aware that there is still a possibility of frost, so protect vulnerable youngsters with a homemade cloche (a cut off large water bottle popped on at night will do the trick).

The result: One happy hippo!

We do need to paint his eyes back in though, they look a bit sinister. Happy gardening.


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