Reclaimed treasures make great garden containers

COURTESY This old bicycle makes a colorful container for plants.

The dictionary would have us believe that junk is “informal or old discarded articles that are considered useless or of little value.” Webster is not right about everything. Items are discarded, but often they have much value as plant containers. Many times these items are not only useful, but really unusual looking.

Finding a new use for an old item goes hand in hand with our gardener’s desire to waste nothing.

Here are a few ideas:

-- A vintage item such as a ‘60s era bike takes on a new purpose if you use a little imagination. Give it a coat of paint and attach any type of wire basket to hold plants.

-- Use an old child’s wagon as a plant container to help elevate plants.

-- Old kitchen utensils come to life when filled with potting soil and plants.

-- Planting up an old flour sifter from the 1940s sure beats sifting flour for biscuits. Also, succulents look interesting in a white enamelware dishpan.

-- For a moveable garden planter, plant directly in a discarded wheelbarrow, or use it to hold pots.

-- An old minnow bucket planter will create a different style on your patio or deck.

-- Thermos bottles add a bit of whimsy to cut flowers.

-- A recycled livestock watering trough makes an ideal large-scale container for your favorite plants.

-- Once used to fertilize the lawn, a worn-out fertilizer spreader will serve as a great plant container.

-- Old cowboy boots begin a new life when planted with English ivy or other cascading plants.

Four rules to follow when selecting a container:

-- Space for soil.

-- Room for roots to grow.

-- An escape plan for excess water.

-- Plants that can withstand a container’s dryer condition.

Remember to expand your horizons by repurposing, refreshing and re-creating. You will be rewarded by your efforts.


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