Kerry Michaels


I love growing plants in containers. The right container adds just the right touch to a boring corner, or lets you take advantage of the sunny areas of your yard (or balcony!) Store-bought pots are nice, but I'd much rather have any one of these creative, useful container gardens, made from reused materials. Check them out!

1. Juice Box Planters.

My friend Kerry, made these from used Capri Sun drink pouches. What a cute idea for an outdoor dinner party, or to just place in any area that needs a little something.

2. Kickball Hanging Planter.

I saw this over on Instructables, and I'm almost hoping for my kids to break one of their kickballs. It's bound to happen sooner or later, and when it does, I know exactly where I want to hang one of these planters.

3. Coffee Bag Hanging Planter.

If you buy a lot of coffee (like me...) you probably have at least one of these bags in your house right now. I always feel bad throwing them out, because they're made of such nice, strong plastic. And some of the bags are actually quite attractive. I think I'll save them from now on and make a hanging garden from my coffee bags.

4. Bread Pan Succulent Planter.

This is a great idea for anyone who wants plants around, but forgets to water. And it's pretty easy to find bread pans at yard sales and thrift stores if you don't have an old, unused one sitting around.

5. Colander Lettuce Garden. Not only is it pretty, but I like the idea of growing my salad in a colander. And you don't have to worry about over-watering, because there's plenty of drainage! 6. Kid's Toy Dumptruck Garden. I can't even count how many times I've seen toy metal dumptrucks out on the curb on trash day, mostly because they're dirty and rusty. They'd make a perfect planter, especially for succulents or maybe small ferns (if you have a shady spot). Next time I see one on the curb, I'm grabbing it. 7. Tin Can Wall Garden. Of course you recycle the cans from any canned soups or vegetables you buy, but why not go a step further? Drill a few drainage holes in the bottom of each, paint or decorate them any way you want, hang them on a wall, and plant them up. I love this look! 8. Water Bottle Herb Garden. We may as well try to do something useful with the glut of plastic water bottles that our friends and neighbors are tossing into the recycling bin (because we don't buy bottled water anymore, right?) This is a cute idea for making a small herb garden from plastic bottles. I especially like the way the author finished the tops of the planters with colorful bias tape. 9. Self Watering Planter from Found Dresser Drawers. How often do you see an old dresser on the curb on trash day? The top may be scratched up, it may be falling apart, or (more often in my case) you just don't need another dresser. But if the drawers are attractive, why not grab them to make a really interesting planter for your yard? 10. Garden in the Gutter. I posted on this a couple weeks ago. You can grow plants indoors or out, using sections of old rain gutters, which you can find in the trash, on construction sites, or at reuse-it centers. 11. Cooler Garden. My pal, designer and garden blogger Amanda Thomsen, planted this container garden on her front porch with a few vintage coolers and thermoses she had on hand. The coolers are a really great option because they hold so much soil -- you could even grow vegetables in these. 12. Grocery Bag Salad Garden. This is another idea from my friend Kerry. We all have reusable shopping bags now (right?) and I'm noticing that a few of mine are getting a little holey. You could patch your old shopping bags up and keep using them, or you can fill them with soil and plant some veggies or herbs. A nice bonus: this can work as a hanging planter as well. 13. Baby Bathtub Water Garden. I want a water feature in my yard, but I haven't figured out exactly what I want to do yet. If if manage to find a cute vintage baby bath tub, I know just what I'll do with it. What a great water garden idea. 14. Baby Stroller Planter. Going with the baby items theme, if you happen to come across one of these vintage baby buggies (I see toy versions more often than full-sized ones -- I'm guessing that would work well, too) why not turn it into a planter? This example from Apartment Therapy is indoors, but you could definitely do the same thing on a porch or patio. 15. Garden Desk. Garden writer Amy Stewart has this desk in a corner of her garden, with each drawer planted with a few small plants. If you keep the top clear, you can use the desk to jot down notes about the garden, pot up plants, or just set a cup of coffee while you enjoy the garden. I hope you enjoyed these ideas for creative container gardens. It just proves that if you are determined to find a way to reuse something, whether it's a drink box or an entire desk, you can do it. More: Organic Gardening