In my last post, I introduced some ideas for turning household items into garden containers. In a similar vein, I'll show you some ideas in this post for repurposing second hand finds as plant pots. For a reminder about what you should look for in a garden container, read my previous post about repurposed garden containers.
Where to Find Garden Containers: The Antique Store
Antique markets and shops provide lots of interesting options for garden containers, often at a reasonable price. When you search antique stores, give yourself lots of time so your imagination has ample time to wander (and so you can hunt for a good bargain).
This is an old coal bucket in which I've set a plastic plant pot full of purple coneflower (echinacea). I didn't actually find this at an antique store: it was sitting in a corner of our garage when we moved into our house . . . another treasure left behind by the previous owners. But I have seen many of these at antique stores, usually at a decent price. This container has ample room for a good sized plant. And I love the visual interest that the shape of the coal bucket adds to the garden.
Here's an antique store find that I got for $8: an old sap bucket, once hung on a maple tree to collect sap for making maple syrup. It's nice and deep, and of course more than able to stand up to the elements. Because it's such a deep container, I have used it to house a tall perennial, false sunflower, which gets lovely yellow flowers later in the summer. The yellow flowers will look gorgeous with this blue container, and I love it that I have something so iconically Canadian in my garden.
Where to Find Garden Containers: Second Hand Stores and Garage Sales
You can often find used flower pots, window boxes and garden containers at second hand stores and garage sales. But if selection is scarce for traditional garden containers, look for something out of the ordinary or eclectic: buckets, colanders, stock pots, camping dishes, crockery . . . heck, even an old wagon would be a great thing for vessel for potted plants.
I found this cute sandbox/beach bucket at a second hand store and knew right away it would be a perfect plant pot. I poked some holes in the bottom of the pail and planted some golden spotted lamium in it. I'm pretty stoked about how amazing this lime green lamium looks in the orange and yellow pail. The vibrant colours some playfulness to the patio.
These ideas just scratch the surface of what you can use to pot up your plants. Let yourself explore, and I know you'll enjoy the surprising and eclectic results.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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