Salvage Gardening


Whether you call it junk gardening, salvage gardening, repurposing or upcycling, incorporating the non-traditional and "found" items into your garden and outdoor décor creates charm and interest.
a vintage candy tin is perfect home for this begonia.
reappearing with an assortment of non-traditional garden containers: candy tins, a vintage colander with lobelia tumbling over the sides, even an inverted lamp shade to disguise an unattractive but functional plastic pot holding a pink begonia... loads of colour and interest.
everything in this little vignette was a rescue: the bamboo child's chair has a hole in the seat (soon to become a true chair planter). the tin can is a coffee can from work (I bring home the coffee grounds and use them to nourish my garden and fight pests). A couple of coats of spray paint, a lace border and some drainage holes in the bottom and I have a happy home for a geranium. The teddy bear was tossed out by a neighbour, so I don't mind leaving it out in the weather.
This baby shoe found by the side of a road makes a charming and appropriate planter for Hens and Chicks
This retro looking blender is a charming showcase for this contrasting purple petunia.
I love the contrast of this sturdy masculine leather boot and the tender, leggy pansies.
a close-up of the begonia nestled in a pretty, inverted, scalloped lampshade.
The Shasta Daisies and white pots (I have a pair) were both salvage as was shrub next to it. The white pots were an ugly faded black and a distressed white paint job gave them character and charm.
As smoking becomes a historic pastime, smoking paraphernalia like this pipe box provide fun repurposing opportunity.
Repurposed mailbox makes a great wall or fence planter. I added a found bricklayers tool to the front for added texture and the old rolling pin for signage.
a fabulously weathered piece of lumber inspired this sign and subsequent entire seaside vignette.
simple and pretty - rusty tin can whitewashed and embellished with lace made a sweet home for a petunia.

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Jul21559578
    on Jul 6, 2017

    wouldn't you need to put holes in the bottom of these for water drainage? every time i've tried a plant in a "solid" container, it dies.
  • Nancy
    on May 21, 2019

    how do I plant flowers in a colander?

    • Leah
      on May 24, 2019

      Line it with Spanish moss,like the hanging baskets that you buy .

Join the conversation

2 of 7 comments
  • Jnj12800236
    on Jul 10, 2017

    I may,but I'm not going to get too attached as these tins will rust away in no time unless u find a liner.
  • Linda Abate
    on Mar 16, 2018

    Love it when people think out of the box. All the ideas that have been posted are awesome and would make any garden or porch proud. The items that one decides to use as a planter can be anything you have and definitely does not have to match. Love the quirkiness of using things like the boot, the lampshade, the kitchen mixer, and of course the various shapes and sizes of tins. You really know how to make a garden a fun place to walk through or relax in. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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