Repurposed Items as Planters

I am all about reusing and recycling, so I love the ideas people come up with for using repurposed items for planters. As long as the item has a method of draining water from it, the sky’s the limit. If it does not have holes in the bottom, you can either drill some into it or put a layer of small rocks or pebbles in the bottom to create the necessary drainage space.

This idea of using an old BBQ that was designated for the garbage comes from a fellow WP blogger living in sunny California. It makes a perfect planter for his extra tomatoes…

repurposed items as planters

I have a few repurposed items masquerading as planters in my gardens too. An old milk can from my grandparents’ farm is perfect for sprigs or branches, especially in the fall or spring. This milk can does not have drainage and the bottom is too rusty to drill holes into it, so I choose branches that don’t need water or insert a pot (that has drainage holes in it) into the mouth of the milk can. Pussy willows are an example of branches that do not require water. It is now sitting on my front porch with pussy willows still in it, left over from their spring display. I added a pot of soil to which I tucked a few sprigs of blue lyme grass and annual bacopa for a summery look.

repurposed items

Other repurposed items I currently use as planters are two old ash buckets that used to sit beside an indoor fireplace. They both have pebbles in the bottom for drainage. One sits beside the milk can in the picture above, the other is pictured below. Both look great with colourful annuals…

And an old teacup and saucer make a great (fake, so no need for drainage) plant holder in my living room, AKA “the green room” as named by my two-year-old granddaughter.

Use your imagination to come up with repurposed items you have around your home. They make great planters!

Limbing Up: Removing Lower Branches

Recently I took on the project of limbing up several evergreen trees on a client’s front lawn. One of my favourite gardens is part of this gorgeous property. Although I cannot take credit for designing or planting the gardens, I have had the honour of maintaining them for the past several years. The gardens are surrounded by a stone retaining wall with a verdant backdrop of mature evergreens, oak, and maple trees.

The evergreens featured as the backdrop for these gardens are massive (the reach of their branches is at least 30 feet each) with their lower branches sweeping the ground, crowding each other, and choking out everything, including the lawn. Many branches of these trees were dead or dying. Cutting the grass and raking leaves was awkward and frustrating. Annoying and increasingly dangerous mosquitos and ticks are abundant in these conditions.

I had suggested this limbing up process a while ago, but the homeowners were hesitant as they like the privacy of their lot. That is until they were the victims of a break-in recently. Burglars drove into their driveway, broke down a door, gaining access to their home in broad daylight. Fortunately, their security system alerted the police so not much was stolen.

That home invasion was enough to motivate these homeowners into letting me start the limbing-up process. I removed the branches from the first tree, then checked with them to make sure they wanted me to continue. With the go-ahead, I continued with twelve more trees. Removed branches were cut into four-foot lengths and left at the curb for pickup by the local garbage crew.

When limbing up, be sure to cut off the branches as close to the main trunk as possible, without leaving an unsightly and unhealthy stub…

As I was working, a few neighbours stopped by to say how wonderful the yard looked with these branches removed. I agree; the trees look much healthier and the yard still has that woodland setting I would never want to alter. When the lawn recovers, the property will be even more spectacular!