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Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters

Don’t have the time or money to buy a new pot or build a garden bed?  It’s much easier than you may think to find the perfect container without costing an arm and a leg!  If you’re not in the habit of finding ‘new ways with old things,’ read on to find out why you should consider reusing what you’ve already got

 

Twinings Tea Tin Windowsill Planters - Items you might otherwise throw away can be useful plant containers instead. | The Micro Gardener

These quaint little metal Twinings vintage tea tins have been reused as small herb pots. They make a cute set of windowsill planters. To avoid rust damage, sit metal tins on a tray to catch water from the drainage holes.

 

1. Save money/make moneyTurning ‘trash into treasure’ is one sure way to be thrifty in the garden.  If you don’t have to buy a container, you can keep your money in your wallet for plants or other garden supplies you really need to buy.  Being creative with your hands and making attractive, affordable planters, potting benches and unique pots for other gardeners may also be a niche market to make money or raise funds for a worthy project.

2. Reduce landfill and ease your conscience.  In our ‘throw away’ society, many people never stop to think about giving new life to an object that appears to be ready for the rubbish tip.  Stop!  Think about the shape of the container and ask yourself ‘Can I add drainage holes?’ or ‘Can I use this as a cache pot?’ Large items in particular like BBQ trolleys, chairs and furniture take up a huge amount of space in landfill but can easily be turned into useful planters or potting benches.

 

Potting bench with repurposed window - Furniture items often take up a huge amount of space in landfill but when refashioned into useful items are far more environmentally friendly. | The Micro Gardener

An old window frame has been repurposed with some other salvaged materials into this practical potting bench for the garden.

 

3. Add loads of character to your garden.  Many people spend a lot of money to buy unique, one-off pieces at expensive garden centres and nurseries to decorate and add character to their garden.  Frugal gardeners however, know you can achieve the same effect with a little creative thinking and often a splash of paint, polish or artistic flair!

 

A colour-coordinated collection of assorted planters in different shades of blue & filled with colourful geraniums. | The Micro Gardener

Add a little artistic flair in the garden by clever use of colour - 500ml sample paint pots have more than enough paint to cover several plant containers in matching colours at minimal cost.

 

4. Create a unique design theme.  Think about what YOU love – and turn this into your personalised garden theme.  Do you have a favourite colour?  Like rustic farm or garden tools?  Garden art?  A particular plant species?  Do you have an old collection of unused items that could be turned into planters?

 

While old enamel kitchenware may not be as fashionable as it once was, it can be very useful and add loads of character in the garden. | The Micro Gardener

Here a collection of old enamel and metal containers in silver and white have been grouped together and reused as planters with great effect.

 

Once you decide what is missing in your garden, you can add a little creativity by incorporating your hobby, art, collection, favourite colour or plants into your garden space.  Just start sorting out or collecting old items, going through your garage or attic, and saving objects you would have otherwise thrown away.

 

5. Make great use of vertical space.  If you’re cramped for space, growing ‘up’ with some clever repurposed space-savers is an ideal way to get more plants in your garden. For example, an old piece of lattice, a gate or shelf can be repurposed into useful wall or bracket-mounted hanging space for plants.

 

Pots on a repurposed shelf make most of vertical space, are easily accessible and add charm to the house exterior.| The Micro Gardener

An old piece of timber and a pair of brackets have been refashioned into a useful vertical growing space for pots.

 

6. Find an outlet for creativity.  Some people find repurposing containers totally addictive!  Making old things new or painting a mis-matched collection of items in the same colour can make you look like a pro garden designer with very little effort.  It’s also a great way to make home-made gifts.

 

Succulents in basket are a low maintenance garden to give a friend. | The Micro Gardener

There’s no better hand-made gift than to ‘give a garden’ in a repurposed planter. This basket has excellent drainage and makes a perfect partner for low-maintenance succulents.

 

7. Teach children not to waste valuable resources.  Kids thrive when given some creative space.  Give them the opportunity to make their own garden with the simplest of containers like old tin cans, shoes and toys.  They’ll take to it like a duck to water.  When they grow out of those gumboots or break a toy, give them the chance to re-purpose it into a new garden!

 

These colourful pots have found new life after being repurposed from tin cans.

Tin cans from the pantry would normally end up in the bin but can make cute flower pots or mini planters especially for children. A great craft project and a micro garden small enough for a windowsill.

 

Make it their own exciting little project to work on.  With a little paint, patience and imagination, children can invent their own ingenious ways to save resources and grow their own garden.

 

Leading by example we can teach valuable lessons to children about reusing instead of being wasteful.

“The most important lesson is teaching children how to re-use items instead of being wasteful and always expecting something new.”

 

8. Inspire others to do the same.  Not everyone can picture what they can do with what they’ve got – so help them out!  Invite friends, family and neighbours over to share your creative ideas and inspire them to get started on their own repurposed garden project.  Find a friend – be inventive, share resources and go shopping at garage sales and op shops together.  Many retired people have spare time and would love to share their skills and have a bit of company while making planters with others.  Start a ‘Repurposed Garden Group’Funky planters can be great fund-raisers too so think about opportunities to make something unique and raise money for your local school, community organisation or project.

 

9. Create a design feature.  Many gardens, especially micro gardens fail to make the most of the space they have.  They are often missing a special feature to draw the eye, become a focal point for the garden or even when looking from inside out.  Put your artistic hat on, stand back from different angles and try to imagine what the space needs.  Holding your hands out in front of you to make the shape of a miniature square ‘frame’ like a camera often helps!  What can you see inside the ‘frame?’ Maybe a tall container is needed where everything else is low-growing.  Perhaps a vertical ladderwith plants on the rungs would draw the attention to a feature wall or an unusual container in the centre of the garden may become a conversation point.

 

Make the most of small spaces by looking for items that will allow you to plant 'up.'

An old ladder may no longer be safe for human use but it may be perfect against a wall as a vertical garden feature.

 

10. Support a local charity or cause. Many unique containers and little hidden gems can be discovered at places like op shops, charity organisations, garage sales and school fetes.  These are spots you can often find a treasure trove of bargains and feel good about spending a few dollars with a charity or cause that really needs it.  Think ‘win-win!’

 

Have these ideas inspired you to start a repurposed planter project?  If so, please leave a comment, share your ideas and photos to show others what you’ve done.  We can all learn from each other.  Check out other container ideas here and pick up some tips for growing container gardens.

 

I’ll be posting more photos of how others are using repurposed planters in their gardens soon, so if you don’t want to miss these, subscribe to my newsletter (and grab your free eBook) or click on the RSS feed below or to the right.

Want more photos and tips?  Check out these clever plant container ideas, tips on frugal gardening, thrifty recycling ideas for the garden and more inspiring repurposed containers.

 

© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2010-2013 – http://www.themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters”

  1. […] more ideas?  Check out ten great reasons why you should re-use old items to make new planters and thrifty recycling ideas for the […]

  2. […] to start growing in.  Repurposing old items into creative planters is easy, offers you loads of benefits and there are plenty of inspirational ideas and photos here to get you […]

  3. Repurposed Planters « F that Son 28 May 2011 at 10:37 pm

    […] Micro Gardener also has an interesting post on the benefits of using repurposed items as planters….I especially like the fact that it […]

  4. […] Tips for Growing a Garden in Pots, 5 Thrifty Recycling Ideas for making your own and consider the Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters.  You will also find a lot of tips in the Container Gardening […]

  5. […] (imagen via The Micro Gardener) […]

  6. […] buying all these at retail prices will obviously add up very quickly.  If you want decorative pots or containers for them all to go in, then you might need deep pockets!  Once you have all these wonderful […]

  7. […] posts: Clever Plant Container Ideas, Sensational Shoe Planters, Turn Trash into Treasure, Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters and DIY Repurposed Garden […]

  8. Unicorn Baconon 06 Feb 2012 at 12:56 am

    […] Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Containers as Planters | The Micro Gardener) Be Sociable, […]

  9. […] Gardens – Turn Trash into Treasure; 15 Helpful Design Tips for Vertical Gardens & Ten Benefits of Using Repurposed Planters […]

  10. […] The Micro Gardener […]

  11. Repurpose or Toss | Clean Mamaon 28 Nov 2012 at 6:39 am

    […] after seeing this, I regretted putting the pasta jars in the recycling bin! What’s the moral of this post?  If you have eleven glass pasta jars in your cupboard taking up the whole shelf for over a year, put them in your recycling bin.  If you see a container that could serve a new, clever purpose, repurpose it!  […]

  12. 6 Easy DIY Container Garden Projects |on 31 Jan 2013 at 9:05 am

    […] can make a new or repurposed planter for a herb, veggie or flower garden in just a few easy […]

  13. […] Finally! It feels like SPRING! Once the weather gets nice like this, my family like to spend most of our time outside, soaking up the sun and the fresh air. This is when I start my planting and my “outdoor decorating”. Since I try to repurpose anything and everything, my goal is to not purchase any new pots this year and instead, think “outside the container”. Not only will it save money, but The Micro Gardner points our 10 other benefits to using repurposed planters here. […]

  14. […] 01. Pinterest; 02. not just a housewife e 03. the micro gardener […]

  15. Kellieon 26 Nov 2014 at 1:00 am

    I love this! Thank you!
    I’m working on reusing tin cans (from soup and canned vegetables) as centerpieces for my wedding, and am looking for some nice flowers to plant in them. I love the flowers in #7, but don’t know what they are. Any help? And if you have any recommendations for short flowers to grow in pots, please send them my way! Right now we are looking at dwarf zinnias, marigolds, and pansies.

    Thanks !

  16. Anne Gibsonon 26 Nov 2014 at 6:39 am

    Hi Katie. Not sure what #7 is sorry but other short flowers you might look at are violas/Johnny Jump Ups; lobelia; begonia; dianthus; some salvias (depending on the pot size); portulaca and alyssum/Sweet Alice. It also depends on the season so it might be best to chat to your local nursery and get some advice. This online resource may to help you with a shortlist too: http://www.virtualflowers.com.au/annuals.asp.

    Hope you have a wonderful wedding. I would absolutely LOVE to see/share some pics of your can planters with my readers to inspire others what they can do. Feel free to email me before/after your wedding. All the best with your plans.

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