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Creative Container Gardens

Deborah Shelton

Container gardens are so much fun, because the possibilities are endless, and the entire family can participate. You don't have to commit a lot of time to plant: Create one new potted plant each day until your garden is complete! Just about anything that will hold soil can be used. Grown-ups: It's your job to drill a few drainage holes into containers that don't already have them. Here are a few neat ideas to get you started:


1. Terra cotta pots: An old standard that can be made fresh by painting or decorating the outside.

2. Old metal watering cans: A perfect match for your new garden!

3. Wooden crates: Line the inside with a plastic garbage bag, then poke a few drain holes into the plastic.

4. Old shoes: Brightly colored rubber boots add a splash of color and whimsy to your garden. An old cowboy boot adds a rustic look.

5. Metal wagon: A child's metal wagon makes a nice container either on its own (grown-ups don't forget the drain holes!) or used as a holder for several containers.

6. Old toys: Big plastic dump trucks will let the neighbors know that the children had a hand in planting the new garden.

About The Author: Deborah Shelton is the author of The Five Minute Parent: Fun & Fast Activities for You and Your Little Ones. Visit The Five Minute Parent for fun rainy-day activities, family links, and a free email newsletter filled with craft ideas, guest articles, contests and so much more!

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July 7, 20040 found this helpful

Plastic sandpails, on clearance soon, are great. Drill holes, and use a frisbee as a saucer!

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July 8, 20040 found this helpful

I agree with Deborah that anything can be used to hold plants as long as it will hold potting mix and has good drainage. If you live in a small town/country area the rubbish tip is a good place to go for inspiration! Don't just look for the traditional pot or planter shape - think tall and thin, (a chimney pot with the bottom filled with gravel), wide and shallow, a metal roasting/baking dish or build a container with a couple of dozen old recycled bricks or a sink - good for succulents. Varying shapes and heights add visual interest. Look at every container with the thought - maybe I can do something with that - add paint or mosaic with old broken crockery, etc. The rubbish tip is a goldmine of ideas.



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October 16, 20040 found this helpful

My girlfriend placed a straw bale inside her kid's old metal wagon. She watered it, punched a few holes in the sides and top, added soil to the holes and a flower annual and had a unique planter for her yard. The wet straw bale held the water/moisture for a long time and soon the wagon was full of blooms. She had a lot of positive comments on the wagon that summer she said.

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January 31, 20080 found this helpful

I have actually used old childrens bookcases, turned them on their side, painted them, put holes in the bottom, put plastic trash bags inside (with holes), and grown tomatoes in them.

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