Upcycled Gardening Ideas

Upcycled Gardening Ideas

I'm finally feeling settled after my big move back home to Nelson. Building Bear Spring Eco Retreat has made gardening top on my mind. With a food forest, peony farm, 3 vegetable gardens and acres of cleared grassland to landscape I am a bit busy to say the least. Time and money are short so creativity and innovation are needed. There are literally thousands of cost effective, yet beautiful ways to grow plants and beautify your home and property. If you missed my CTV Morning Live segment on May 3rd, this month’s blog will cover everything I talked about and more.

Repurposed Boot Planters

Old shoes and boots make great planters both and indoors and out. Give them a second life in a stationary location either strategically placed in the garden or hanging on a wall. I repurposed an old pair of cowboy boots here. Using recycled plastic bread bags as a waterproof liner, I filled them with soil and planted pretty spring blooms. I put this cute pair on the floor in my living room but they would be super cute out on a front porch too. You may extend the blooming phase of these plants by cutting off the dying flowers.

Recycled jean basket planters

Baskets, bowls, tubs, boxes, any kind of vessel that can hold soil and water can be upcycled into a planter. I love the look of fabric in particular. I just love the soft, tactile look of blue jeans. I made my own hand woven baskets from blue jeans shown here in these photos. I used wire and jean for one and wicker and jean for the other. Watch this tutorial to learn how to make your own. Using a more rigid material in conjunction with the fabric makes weaving easier, especially for beginners. A word of caution, I used recycled plastic bags once again to line the interiors when planting in these vessels. If the jean material gets wet it will start to deteriorate. It could also damage furniture or flooring if moisture accumulates at the bottom.

Repurposed tea cup planters

Other great items to repurpose into planters are vintage tea cups. They are waterproof and pretty. These little cups are perfect for little succulents or starting herbs. They also make great gifts and decor for weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties. You may even be able to find cups with the appropriate greetings such at “25 Year Anniversary” making them an awesome repurposing project. Find them at second hand shops, vintage furniture stores or flea markets. You may even spot a few at garage sales. I would not pay more than $5 per cup and saucer set. So, keep that in mind when shopping around. There are a few hand painted fine china pieces but most are not worth much more than that. Of course, you may be willing to pay more if you love the design. The nice thing about using them as planters is that you can always clean them out and use them as cups again.


Brick border

Pallet planter

Bicycle with plants

Outside, I have repurposed tires, bricks, pallets, bicycles and more. I also draw inspiration from what others have done. I have seen toilets, sinks and tubs upcycled into beautiful, durable planters and bed frames repurposed into borders to make a literal garden bed. Others have used materials on hand, such as rocks and soil, to make living outdoor furniture. Over time, I hope to try all of these things out at our retreat. With all these amazing, clever ideas there is no need to buy anything new. The possibilities are endless when it comes to repurposing, recycling and reusing.

Toilet with flowers


Bathtub with flowers

Grass furniture

You may even incorporate some humour like in this creative living display!


Finally, if you don't have the time or feel crafty enough to make your own planters, I've got you covered. I have a full line of recycled plastic planters ready to ship. You'll never kill a plant again (well okay, maybe we can't promise that). All my planters are self-watering and come with a built-in reservoir and drip tray to prevent both root saturation and drying out. Give your plant a good soak after planting to fill up the reservoir, then water to your plants needs as usual. It's as simple as that!

Each one is 3D printed from 100% recovered plastic waste, creating no environmental footprint. You can even send it back to me to be recycled again when you are done with it. Choose from a variety of shapes, sizes and colours.


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