Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or so we are told. Many traditional gardeners scoff at the idea of using everyday trash for container gardening, but it doesn't look so bad once you have flowers growing in it.
Take old tires. They can sit in a landfill for hundreds of years or be turned into an awesome planter. They can be painted to add color to the green scenery and if they have a rim inside, they can be cut to look like a flower too. Canisters from 3 feet in height to coffee cans make fantastic containers for plants and herbs. Those can be painted as well, and smaller cans can be attached to walls for a great vertical display. Plastic bottles are versatile in the garden too. They can be hung upside down, right side up or even on their sides for a neat planter. Clear soda bottles are also excellent covers for protecting small seedlings by acting as mini greenhouses.
Remember our tutorial on using buckets for container gardening? Buckets are a very easy way to spruce up the garden and add some color. Don't forget about rain gutters; those make fantastic planters for herbs and lettuces, and take up little space. Combining rain gutters and buckets to make watering systems are also getting popular because they save time and space for small backyards or patios.
The versatility of recycling and reusing in the garden is amazing. Have a garden? Have an old broken piano? Perfect! Plant inside of the piano. Tell me that isn't a conversation piece.
Our succulent garden is a perfect example of recycling in the garden. Most of our succulents are planted in plastic containers that soup or other food came in. We have some planted in cement planters we made ourselves. They sit on top of a red vintage serving cart, 1990s VHS rack and a Mid Century linoleum top table. They are against the garage wall and help add color to an otherwise bland wall without too much effort. We've also added some art with the very clever saying of "lettuce turnip the beet"! We have plans to add a pallet herb garden as well.
Our Anaheim neighbors decided not to have a lawn, so instead they created an herb garden using rocks and stones. They added citrus fruit trees to the mix and have a perfect garden blend for cooking right outside their back door.
Some of the benches along Center Street in Downtown Anaheim were being removed and heading for the city dump. It’s a good things our neighbors were there to save the beautiful planks of wood. They hauled them to their house with the help of a friend and put together gardening boxes that now sit in their backyard. The best part about saving the wood isn’t the low cost of putting together gardening boxes, but the history the wood tells. Who knows the stories of each person that sat on the benches at one time? The marks of age on the wood really do tell the city’s story in this case and get to be part of the future with each seedling.
What unconventional containers do you use for gardening?