Turning trash into garden treasure is an art form of its own.
Most of the gardeners I know recycle found objects to add interest and personality to their gardens while turning waste into a resource.
The weathered wooden chair with a missing seat becomes a way to prop up droopy plants, a leaky birdbath makes a fine feeder and an old leather work boot planted with hens and chicks really adds some kick to the rock garden.
Repurposing objects, whether whimsical or functional, stretches a gardener’s creativity and provides another frugal outlet for artistic expression. Just about anything can be recycled into a work of art for the garden.
Instead of throwing away a rusty iron headboard, it can be planted with an assortment of colorful annuals to create a real bed of flowers. A leaky metal bucket can find a new life when placed it on its side on a small berm and planted with blue and purple flowers making it look like water spilling out.
All it takes is a bit of creativity and a knack for looking at ordinary objects in a new way. A colorful cracked ceramic teapot may have outlived its usefulness in the kitchen, but it can have a rewarding second life as a patio planter for herbs.
There are no rules for turning trash into garden treasure, but there are a few guidelines. Items need to be sturdy enough to stand up to all kinds of weather; avoid glass or mirrors if there’s any chance for breakage.
If you’re going to use an item as a planter, make sure holes can be drilled in the bottom allowing for drainage and consider how serviceable it will be: When filled with potting soil and plants will it weigh too much to be easily moved? Is it large enough to keep plants from drying out? Will it add interest during all four seasons or only when it’s planted?
Safety should always come first, especially when putting old metal wash basins, watering cans and coffee tins to use. Broken pottery may make a lovely border for the garden, but it also presents a hazard to bare feet and paws.
If decorating fences with rusty antique tools or gardening implements, make sure they’re securely fastened to the fence. Take care when hanging or arranging rusty farm paraphernalia and always watch for sharp edges.
If using old painted wooden doors or window frames don’t plant in beds close to edibles because lead-based paints can contaminate the soil.
Have you turned trash into garden treasure? Please share your ideas by posting a comment here.