50 Recycled Container Gardening Ideas
Wellie I Never!
For many who are challenged with space and lifestyle, container gardening for flowers, shrubs, vegetables and herbs provides the perfect platform to get the creative juices flowing. Apart from having a unique look, using recycled items will create a focus in your garden or living space that oozes originality, making the usual containers seem boring!
Ceramic Watering Can as Planter
Container Gardening Ideas
Thinking outside the box on what types of Containers can be utilized for gardening; can be enlightening, fun and very easy on the finances.
Household budgets are tighter with less disposable income available today. Different containers are all around us and are often everyday items crying out to be recycled and reused.
Before planting up your new containers, please do spare a thought for drainage issues and what the items are made of.
If there are any potentially harmful substances (e.g. residues from cleaning products), alterations and modifications may be needed as they were not originally intended as plant containers. With thorough cleaning, liners, drainage holes or other minor adjustments, you will be all set!
50 Of The Best
With so many possibilities are out there, here are 50 of my favourite container gardening ideas. Many may be hiding in your attic, garage or kitchen cupboards while others may be purchased at a low cost or even free. They are original, eyecatching and many would make great gift ideas. Look out for the slightly obscure, showing the sky’s truly the limit when it comes to imagination!
Containers From The Kitchen
IDEAS FROM THE KITCHEN
1. Ice Cream Tubs – Given a wash, they make great starter plant containers.
2. Tin Cans – All sizes may be used to give a kitsch look to an apartment for seedlings or starter plants.
3. Bread Pans – For seedlings they are a great, easily got and budget friendly container option.
4. Coffee Bags – If you are a caffeine addict (like me), this is an inventive idea for recycling the bags for hanging plants in. Many coffee bags are attractive and are made of durable plastic.
5. Juice Cartons – Yes, even Capri Sun cartons may be used as a starter plant idea!
6. Water Bottles – Ideal for seed planting with some minor adjustments.
7. Lunchboxes – Perfect for seedlings and starter plants.
8. Kettles - Old stainless steel ones work well with herbs displayed in your kitchen.
Oversized Coffee Cups
9. Porcelain china – White jugs or even soup bowls on a plate make very eye catching centrepieces for your patio tables with pansies, herbs, trailing Ivy or many low growing or trailing annuals. Oversized coffee cups planted look funky as centrepieces in cafes and coffee shops.
10. Mop Bucket – Stainless Steel or bright plastic, they are so versatile for indoor or outdoor.
11. Weaved Baskets – Attractive containers for indoor use planted up or look gorgeous holding small pots of herbs in the kitchen.
12. Picnic Baskets – With minor alterations, baskets look so inviting when full of plants and are ideal for indoors or outdoors depending on what material it is made of.
13. Plastic food trays (e.g ready to go fruit salad comes in these) – Ideal for starter plants or seedling trays.
Excellent Tutorials on Unusual Gardening Containers
- DIY Container Garden | Urban Gardening Without a Yard
This is the story of how I created a DIY container garden with a small budget and no yard.
- Unusual Container Gardens
Container gardens can be made of almost anything. Here are some unusual ideas by Writer and Gardening Enthusiast Kerry Michaels including Crocs, Re-usable Grocery Bags, Kiddies Pool Container Garden, Tea Cups and Clam Shell mini gardens.
14. Colanders – The stainless steel ones are best but you could use brightly coloured plastic ones for bursts of colour. The beauty of a colander is it has the drainage holes already in place!
15. Recyclable Shopping Bags – Excellent if they are the waterproof kind with the liners already inside.
16. Old Sacks – Small ones such as sugar or flour sacks will give a beat up charm to any kitchen when planted.
Newspaper For Seedlings . . . Toilet Rolls For Starter Plants
17. Newspaper – Ordinary black and white newspaper is best, not the shiny colourful pages from magazines as they have added chemicals. Seedlings or even starter plants are perfect in your new creations!
18. Chinese food takeout cartons – These with a good clean out are a funky idea for starter plants, particularly of Chinese origin and make cute gifts.
19. Orange crate boxes – Easily recycled for a rustic burst of colour.
20. Toilet Rolls- Instead of sending your loo rolls to the recycle bin, hold onto them and recycle them yourself into seedling pots.
Shoes, Boots and Trainers . . . Will Thank You!
IDEAS FROM THE BEDROOM
21. Shoes – Not you’re favourite Jimmy Choos or Louboutins but it is amazing how an old pair of stilettos, pumps, work boots or wellie boots can be transformed!
22. Crocs – Yes, they too can be used and with succulents or small plants peering through the holes, look so trendy. They can be easily hung utilizing the strap at the back.
23. Wellies - As shown in the opening photo, wellington boots make great plant containers, the brighter the better! They are great for all kinds of starter plants or why not mix it up with bright annuals. Displayed on decking, patios or even balcony's, wellies are fun!
24. Old Work Boots - Probably keen to get rid of them, you can give them a new purpose and recycle them for plants. They will certainly add a rustic charm in the rockery or flower beds.
25. Trainers – Yes even the dodgy looking trainers buried in the attic are usable!
26. Dresser Drawers – Before you decide to chuck that broken, old looking dresser, take out the drawers and use for seeds, starter plants, vegetables, herbs or low growing annuals. With a few drawers you can have great variety in plants and show a great example of how a deconstructed item may be given a new lease of life.
27. Old Wooden Chair – The seat can be transformed to hold a potted plant and trailing plants such as Petunias, Impatiens, Calibrachoa and Ivy, look eye catching trailed through the back and legs of the chair.
Vintage Baby Stroller
IDEAS FROM KIDS
28. Baby Stroller – The vintage ones are the best and you never know where one may pop up, so keep it in mind. Storage Units, Auction Houses, Warehouse Clearance and Thrift shops are worth remembering if this idea appeals to you.
29. Baby Bathtub – Provides interest in shape and a great option for starter plants, herbs, succulents and even cacti.
30. Kiddies Paddling Pool – These may be bought cheaply if you don’t have one but really fancy this idea. These are excellent for creating a strong visual display in your garden.
31. Kids Toy Dump Truck – Often discarded, these make fun containers for the kids to get involved with and have a gardening project to do. Try ferns or succulents in them.
32. Kick Balls – Look very contemporary when transformed into hanging baskets.
Take a Look Around Your Garden and Garage, You May See Possibilities Such as Tires, Watering Cans and Galvanized Buckets as Shown Below
IDEAS FROM THE GARDEN
33. Old Tyres/ Tires – These may be used alone or stacked for an unusual feature. Paint them plain or in a design, do it as a fun activity with the kids, they will love it!
34. Toolboxes /Tackle boxes – These make perfect containers ( including the flip-top varieties) that can easily be moved around the garden and are Ideal for using as a window box, adding a bit of stylish creativity.
35. Watering Cans – Not just for watering your plants but may be transformed into a container itself
36. Rusty Guttering - From the roof to the garden, this planted up makes any space brighten up, looks great alongside railings of apartments, used as a window box or perched on top of a low wall
37. Wheelbarrows – Stunning planted up with bushy and trailing plants in the summer, all bursting with vibrancy. Wheelbarrows can equally be used to hold pots of plants and flowers that will give height and texture to the display.
38. Galvanized Buckets - Make ideal containers for a great display of all plants. Why not think of a colour scheme to base your plant choice around. Go for a Mediterranean feel with Lavender planted in of this container.
39. Plastic Planters – Recycle any plastic flower pots that are lying around. With a mild sandpapering, these are brilliant for kids to paint and plant up.
Unusual Container Ideas in a Car, School Desk and a Shopping Trolley - Go Figure!
from my good friend Bill Holland
- DIY Projects: How To Build A Patio Chair Using Wooden Pallets
Here is a great project that requires very little knowledge or skill, and the great news is it will cost you practically nothing to build.
- Frugal Furniture Ideas Using Wooden Pallets
Are you looking for frugal and funky? Here are some projects that will cost next to nothing and leave you feeling quite accomplished.
- Gardening Ideas and Early Spring Tips
Some simple ideas to get you on you way to a bountiful garden this year.
40. A car (I kid you not!!) – Well, it can be done!
41. Sink – The Belfast sink looks the business planted up. Make sure you are happy with the location before commencing as they are impossible to move later!
42. Bathtub – Another great idea that requires careful planning, but does create a buzz with visitors!
43. Old Rowboat – Planted up with different plants, why not think spring bulbs or herb garden for an inspirational theme that will enhance the character and charm of a rowboat.
44. Old School Post Boxes – With their sculptured design they look fabulous displayed indoors or outdoors when planted and bring some character into a setting.
45. Beer Barrels – A real talking point when blooming with colour.
46. Aquarium – If you have an old one don’t get rid of it. Planted up with soil and plants, it makes an eye catching addition indoors. Being transparent, it adds great interest to a room and is sure to be a talking point with visitors!
47. Motorcycle / Bicycle Helmet – These could be great gifts for Motorbike / Cycling enthusiasts with an interest in horticulture!
48. Writing Desk – If you have one that is damaged, try it as a feature for your garden or even inside the home with indoor plants for a unique look.
49. Supermarket Trolley - Often found dumped in a canal or river, they look great for woodland themed gardens. I am not for one minute advocating you go to your local and pick up a few from the trolley bays!
50. Pony and Trap Cart - In Ireland this was the form of transport. Think John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in the classic film "The Quiet Man". Many carts have been saved thankfully and today are used as stunning floral displays as shown in this photo I took in our local village.
Old Irish Pony and Trap Cart
How Green Are You??
Have you ever recycled items to use as Gardening Containers?
Be Green . . .Recycle
As you can see, there are many items that with a little imagination and some minor alterations may be turned into a unique container for your plants. If you have any further suggestions or have used other items, please feel free to add to the list, the more the merrier!
Great Tips From Bill Holland -
- Frugal Gardening Tips: Living Simple
Why spend money on gardening when everything you need you already have? There are many ways to have a fruitful garden and not spend loads of cash.
For further information on the author Suzie HQ and to see a full listing of her work, please click here
A Great Idea From Mary615 -
- How To Make A Decorated Flower Pot From A Cat Litter Bucket; Instructions and Photos
This article will show how to transform a kitty litter bucket into a beautiful plant container. This will help keep these buckets from going into landfills, also.
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© 2012 Suzanne Ridgeway