Container idea: Upcycle office supplies, tanks, pipes

Laundry basket used as a plant container

A laundry basket by any other name.

Spring may be dragging its heels in our garden but it’s arrived in stores. Pots and planters are practically spilling off the shelves.

I bring this up because last year at about this time I was too late to score a dark brown faux-wicker, moulded-plastic planter I had my eye on. I thought it tres chic but waited for the shockingly expensive item to go on sale. Oops. They sold out faster than you could say “You snooze, you lose.”

But as I threaded my way back through the aisles of the big box grocery/garden centre/everything store (OK, Walmart), I noticed a laundry basket with almost exactly the same texture, colour and height as said coveted planter. On sale for $13.95. See basket, planted up later that summer at left.

Looking beyond the garden centre for plant containers is not news, I’ll admit. The beauty of gardening is to have free reign to express yourself and there’s no limit to what you can up-cycle as a planter–from teapot to claw-foot bathtub. But for anyone looking for a contemporary looking, designer-style container without the high-end price tag, here’s a short list of alternative planter ideas:

  • Sleek wastepaper baskets have huge potential for adding a cool minimalism to an urban garden. Be sure to drill some holes in the bottom of each.
  • Want to give your hanging baskets a new spin? Try a square wire storage basket like the kind used to organize desktop accessories or a closet. Find light chains for hanging at a hardware supply store.
  • Galvanized water troughs and livestock tanks can make strikingly dramatic raised beds. Michelle Slatalla at Gardenista shows you how.
  • Lengths of salvaged sewer pipe stood on end are the epitome of minimalism. Line up several and vary the heights to add interest.

4 thoughts on “Container idea: Upcycle office supplies, tanks, pipes

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