Winters are rough here in the Northeast. Our mailbox can take a real beating against the snowplows as they come through. Because of that, right now, our mailbox wobbles. We need to set it straight. There is so much rock underneath the post, we have to get creative since we won’t be able to dig a deeper hole. I found an old plastic flower pot in the shed. This was a way to recycle and re-purpose plastic, as I try to stay away from this material. It works well in an application such as this, however, because it’s flexible. When the mail carrier drives up, her car gets super-close to the mailbox and sometimes hits whatever is at the base. A hard, metal surround would not work as it may cause damage to her vehicle. (I know this from experience!)
Cleaning up the Flower Pot
It needed a good cleaning, plus a sticker had to be scraped off.
Removing the bottom of the Flower Pot
The next step was to try to remove the bottom of the pot so the post could be set down into it.
My first attempt was with scissors.
That really didn’t work out so well, so I got something a little more heavy duty out of the barn.
It worked! Although it’s a little rough, here is the result – complete with Finn in the “frame.”
The Next Steps
Once all that was done, we had to step outside to assess the situation.
Removing the Bolts
Do you see how, at the bottom, it is strangely angled? It wobbled to and fro. I once had a little wood border around it to try to help keep it anchored, but it rotted and fell apart. Within it, I had placed plants, which are sitting in the black bucket. Joel had to get the bolts out of the metal piece which was holding the wood post. See the wrench sticking out?
Taking out the Post
Once that was done, the wood post slid out pretty easily. The bolt removal had the challenge of rust, and the post is a little bit rotted, but not enough to cause too much concern.
From here, we slid the blue, bottomless flowerpot over the top, then placed the post back in. After that, Joel tightened the bolts again. It was a little bit of a squeeze where space was concerned, but he made it work. Then, we filled in the surrounding flowerpot with soil and the plants.
The plants I used were Morning Glories, Bee Balm, and a Day lily. The Day lily and the Bee Balm have finished blooming, but the Morning Glory is still going strong. Since the Day lily and Bee Balm are perennial, I have my fingers crossed that they will come back strong next year.
The Mailbox Transformation
Here is a final look from afar.
The post still looks a little slanted, but the good news is, it doesn’t wobble anymore!
The great thing is, as we say in Permaculture, “the problem is the solution.” This wobbly post offered us an opportunity to create a small garden area. Yes, it’s very small, but it is beautiful and helps secure the mailbox post all at the same time. By recycling a plastic pot we already had, we were helping the environment out by just a little bit. And every little bit helps!
Do you have tips and tricks for turning a “problem into a solution?” I’d love to know!