Gardening is one of summer’s greatest joys — what can be more relaxing than starting your day in your backyard or on your patio, admiring and caring for your beautiful flowers, herbs or veggies? If you’re like most gardening enthusiasts, you’re always in need of one more planter for the seedlings you just acquired. Why not give some unique and eye-catching containers the DIY touch, not only providing a home for your beloved plants but also injecting a touch of personality and charm into your garden or patio? On top of that, you’ll have the opportunity to upcycle and reuse a variety of items — which is great for the environment and for your wallet as well.

With a dash of imagination, a pinch of resourcefulness and a sprinkle of DIY magic, you can transform ordinary objects into extraordinary planters that captivate both nature lovers and décor enthusiasts alike. Whether you have a sprawling garden or a compact deck or patio, unconventional planters can offer an opportunity to infuse your outdoor space with a sense of wonder and whimsy.

Check out these DIY ideas that will help you embark on a journey of creating planters that reflect your unique personality and add a touch of joy to your green oasis. From repurposed vintage teapots to upcycled rain boots, the possibilities are endless.

1. Old tires

Old tires can have many uses as planters — you can put them flat on the ground and plant flowers in the middle, or you can hang them on a wall and add soil and plants on the inside of the tire. You can even cut them in half and use each half as a planter. Another great thing about tires is that you can easily paint them in bold, colorful colors, adorning your garden even more.

2. Rubber boots

If you’re passionate about gardening, or you simply love strolling in the rain, then you probably have at least a couple of pairs of old, leaky boots. Parents often buy a new pair of rubber boots for each of their kids every year. Don’t throw them away — what could be cuter than an entire “family” of rubber boots holding a bunch of happy, colorful flowers? Pro tip: Old Crocs could also make fun planters for small flowers.

3. Wooden pallets

Wooden pallets hung on your home’s exterior (or, why not, interior) walls are an excellent, sturdy stand for displaying various types of plant containers. If you want to go in full upcycle-DIY mode, paint some empty cans in your favorite color and anchor them to the pallet, as planters, for a rustic décor. However, you can also use some narrow containers hidden on the inside of the pallets for a minimalist vertical garden look.

4. Already broken ceramic pots

Large ceramic planters for your garden are definitely gorgeous, but, unfortunately, they also tend to be pretty expensive. Plus, they break easily. If that happened to you as well, don’t be disappointed, as there are ways to still use them (supposing they didn’t break into a million pieces). If there’s a decently sized piece of the ceramic planter pot that can hold some soil, you can use it as a quaint container for a cute arrangement of succulents or of other types of small flowers.

4. An old chair

A wooden or metal chair can be an original and romantic way of displaying planters in your garden. Whether you remove the seat and replace it with some sort of container for the potting soil and the plants, or you simply place a planter on the seat, the overall effect will be charming. Use trailing flowers like petunias or gardenias for this type of arrangement.

6. Your very own fairy garden

Any type of wide, shallow container you might have at home (an old baking tray, for example) can be turned into a unique fairy garden: You can customize it however you want, but they usually contain small plants (such as succulents) and other small flowers: violas, forget me nots, lobelias, thyme and so on. Adding accessories (miniature toy furniture or pieces of decorative glass or ceramic) will only make it more interesting.

7. Big or small wooden crates

If you can source wooden crates for cheap, or free, do not hesitate! Wooden crates turn into very efficient and nice-looking planters. Small ones can be painted and used as hanging planters for a rustic garden vibe. The large ones are great for container gardening — you can grow all sorts of veggies and herbs in them. Wooden crates are suitable for composting as well: Deposit the veggie scraps from cooking in a crate, alternating with layers of dirt. In time, it all turns into a very rich and nutritious potting soil.

8. Old kitchenware

Teapots, bowls or old pans — you can reuse them all as planters if you want to. After all, what could be cuter and more whimsical than a colorful teapot with marigolds growing out of it? However, don’t forget to punch a hole in the base of your teapot, bowl and so on — if the water doesn’t drain properly, your plants will suffer.

9. High heel shoes

That’s a truly unconventional idea — but why not, after all? If you have shoes too old to wear (or want to get your revenge on a particularly uncomfortable pair), you can totally plant some flowers in them. It’s an accessory bound to attract attention and it’s perfect for a small balcony.

10. Old barrels

Old barrels are sturdy, durable and look adorable — which means they’re perfect as planters. Depending on the size of the barrels, you can cut them in half and use each half as a plant container. Or you can leave them whole and use them for decorative trees like dwarf conifers, rhododendrons, crab apple trees and so on.

What to do with your gardening paraphernalia during the cold season

Your garden looks great now, with its cute, DIY planters and comfy garden furniture — but if you want to enjoy it year after year without spending money each spring on new planters, gardening tools or replacements for broken furniture, you should store your garden-related accessories indoors during winter. From planters and containers to garden furniture, outdoor toys, tools and equipment, all of it can be damaged by rain, snow and frost and defrost cycles. The best way to make sure they’re well protected during the cold season is to rent a self storage unit close to your home. This way, you can protect everything garden-related, prolonging the lifespan of your items and saving money in the long run.

Renting a self storage unit hovers around $127 nationally, with prices going up or down depending on your actual location. A 10’x10’ self storage unit in Houston, Texas, for example, rents for under $100 per month, while the same type of storage unit in Phoenix, Arizona, costs around $125 monthly. Take a look below to check self storage prices and availability in some of the country’s major cities:

Depending on how much stuff you own, a 5’x10’ storage unit or a 10’x10’ unit should be quite enough. You can use the unit to store other items that you don’t use on a daily basis, including out-of-season clothing, seasonal decorations, children’s toys and furniture, sports equipment and so on, thus keeping your home and your backyard nice, tidy and uncluttered.


Maria Gatea is a real estate and lifestyle editor for Yardi with a background in Journalism and Communication. After covering business and finance-related topics as a freelance writer for 15 years, she is now focusing on researching and writing about the real estate industry. You may contact Maria via email.

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