You could spend a fortune in your nearest garden center, buying brand new planters for your flower garden. Or you could think creatively and use unwanted, found and discarded objects to plant beautiful, colorful flowers in, to amazing effect. Here are some ideas to get your imagination going.
8 simple ideas for unusual, low-cost garden planters
- Old pair of wellies? What about hiking boots or trainers? Even a funky pair of super-high heels have enough space inside for a handful of good earth, which you can then plant little flowering plants into. Line them up in a row and they look really cool, full of tumbling, vivid color and leaf textures. Chamomile works brilliantly, as do herbs. many of which like well-drained soil, quite like being dry and don’t mind not having a great deal of dirt to get their feet into
- The drum from an old washing machine or tumble dryer – If you have never noticed, take a look at the revolving drum inside your washing machine or tumble dryer. It’s actually very beautiful, a stylish item that will grace any contemporary garden with its shiny good looks and interesting texture. All you need to do is line it with a piece of pond liner of other plastic, fill it with dirt and it’s ready for planting. Gerania look particularly lovely, contrasting dramatically against the stainless steel body
- Old buckets – They come in all soprts of colors, from vivid to plain black plastic. And a bucket makes an excellent garden planter, just like a regulation plastic flowerpot with a handle. You can also find old fashioned enamelled metal bukets that look even nicer, giving your outdoor space a Mediterranean feel. If you’ve ever seen a Greek village with gerania growing profusely out of every kind of imaginable container, outside every house, you’ll get the picture
- Vintage vases – A collection of colorful vintage vases looks amazing filled with tumbles of flowers and herbs. Or you could pick uop a load of very cheap pottery vases from a $1 shop and either use them as they are or paint them using water based eggshell paints
- Old wooden crates – Line an old wooden wine crate with a plastic trash bag, fill it with soil and it makes a marvellous planter for flowers as well as an excellent planter for herbs. You can use old pallets to make larger wooden planters, using a few screws and nails to create a bottomless, four sided cube shape to stand on the ground and fill with earth. Because it’s wood, it’s a good idea to pre-treat it so it doesn’t rot and fall apart in a single season
- Unwanted suitcases and luggage – Whether it’s made from plastic or leather, or reinforced cardboard, old luggage is perfect for planting as long as you pre-line it with waterproof material like pond liner or a black plastic trash bag. Plant things that don’t need deep soil and they should thrive.
- Wood drawers and old furniture – You can even paint up old wooden drawers, first lining them with plastic to preserve the wood’s structure and integrity for as long as possible. You could cut a hole in an old armchair and plant into the seat, which should last a couple of years before falling completely apart – eccentric yet very pretty when stuffed with vivid pansies or daisies
- Ceramic and plastic baths, sinks and toilet pedestals – plant up an old ceramic or metal bath, sink or toilet and it’ll last you for many, many years as well as adding plenty of quirky personality to your yard. Choose a variety of creeping and upright plants, specimens that flower at different times of year, so you get a fabulously frothy display of flowers year-round and enough greenery to keep a smile on your face even through winter
A word about water-based eggshell paint
If you want to change the color of more or less anything, whether it’s glass, plastic, ceramic, wood or stone, exterior water-based eggshell paints stick to almost any surface and last for years.