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By misshawklet On 06/18/03  

Anyone have ideas? I'm talking how to make a sundial, weird things to plant plants in, how to make a garden gnome, or interesting plant markers, what to make out of your harvest, etc. let's make a great list to inspire!


By CraftyChicaAZ On 06/18/03  

oooh, there are gobs of things you can do. my husband's nana plants stuff in anything with an opening - she even has a kitchen sink in the back yeard with plant growing out of it.

an old chair with the seat replaced with a plant holder

tea cups glued to brass stick and then stuck in the soil - you fill with birdseed.

i love making birdhouses out of unusual objects.

i'll keep thinking!

By starrynight On 06/18/03  

I love the idea of planting things in anything with an opening! I visited a local thrift store recently and found a great old coffee mug and a bright yellow teapot and planted some flowers in them. I live in an apartment, so I'm somewhat limited... or I feel like it anyway- I dream of having an actual garden and yard that I can fill with all sorts of pretty things.

By mishakitty78 On 06/18/03  

the last (i think?) issue of readymade had a pretty nifty grass couch in it, but thats pretty pricey...maybe you could get away with an ottoman or a foot stool?

i plant in boots and old my class we sometimes make chia pets in cups with grass seed (decorate cups and plant grass inside, then "trim" their "hair"), or egg shells (blow out the egg innards first, then remove a bit of the top and add soil and grass seed)- you could have a whole army of little egg creatures with funy hair walking around your garden...

themed gardens are neat, a pizza garden (with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and pizza spices), or a standard herb garden

heres a great site on gothic gardening:

edited to add: oooh! more things to plant in: recycle! old tires, televisions, computer monitors, fishbowls, any "container"

By bammie On 06/19/03  

This site makes great use of glass bottles, though you'd have to be careful not to run into them full force with the lawnmower!

By gremly girl On 06/19/03  

The GardenWeb forums have discussions on just abut every gardening subject imaginable! I've found cool & crafty ideas on both the "garden junk" and "garden accoutrements" forums. (There are lots of instructions for making a trellis out of copper piping and refrigerator tubing -- very cool!)

Here's the link:

By missiongrrrl On 06/19/03  

that gothic gardens link is fascinating!

By ksue On 06/19/03  

I have perhaps the world's weirdest/scariest planter. It is an ancient child's potty, made of iron I believe. It is completed, totally covered with bright orange rust. It's so old that the rust is totally rough and effed-up looking. It's about 1.5 feet tall. The stuff of nightmares.

Makes a GREAT planter.

Anything with a hole is right!


By ookpik On 06/20/03  

i grow succulents in an old typewriter from which the guts have been removed. hot.

besides planters, there are a lot of crafty options for trellises if you grow vining plants. i grow a passionflower up some lashed-together bamboo, and a glory lily up some plumbing doodads (i'm trying to get enough parts that i can pour water into a funnel at the top and have it come out an old metal sprinkle head onto the soil). i really want to set up my mannequin to hold a vine that will climb her.

you might want to check out the "make it with plants" forum over at, and their container plants forum for planter ideas.

By jchinique On 06/21/03  

Coathangers + beads = great garden art!

I made some bright and funky fimo/sculpey beads and threaded them on straightened coathangers, then "planted" them in bunches - it's fun to see polka dots and zebra stripes growing along with the flowers!

I also made a great trellisy shape by crossing two bent hangers and lacing them with wire and these cool stony looking beads. It reminds me of an ancient eiffel tower, and the rust makes it look like it grew there.

By emerdooze On 06/22/03  

my mom is really into gardening and she made a windchime out of an old copper teapot and different kinds of silverwear. just drill holes in the pot and silverwear. i also did something similar like with a kids metal watering can and gardening tools.

By sprung On 06/23/03  

This is a great topic. Maybe you could make an entire tea party planter...set up a table and have things growing out of your cups and teapots, and then use the idea with the flower pots in the seats of chairs.

What I want to do is plant a lot of little flowers and grasses in cups and put them all around my bedroom.

By caropop On 06/23/03  

I live in one of those neighborhoods where everyone has a crazy garden.

The two things I love most are:

The mannequin legs sticking up from the ground.

A neighbor has a coatrack/hat tree thing that she has hung purses on--the purses are some that open up and are big enough to plant plants in. She's got ivy-like plants in them, so they hang over the edges and while part of me thinks "No, I could use those vintage purses!", they look really cool.

By Wildethyme On 06/23/03  

Awwww, I wanna see pics of your neighborhood!

I have an old birdcage stand that I use outside to hold hanging plants from. There are very, very old handmade ladders that disapear into the trees. I like to hang my hanging baskets from tree branches, and I have an old wooden chair that I didn't feel like fixing to stake up my delphiniums. I just pushed the legs into the ground and let the plants grow up around and thru it.

My husband works for the electric company and he brings home old crossarms that he used to build some really great raised beds!!! I love these-they are easier on my back to tend and in our high-altitude climate, they retain warmth better.
He also brought home a number of reel tables that I pile potted plants on.

Most of my garden is furnished with things I found at yardsales for little or nothing like a very old plow, chairs, benches and small tables...

I also keep large pieces of broken terra cotta pots-especially those that have lost the bottoms to frost. I place them on the ground where I know my perrenials are planted to create another micro-climate for them, particularly those that are really zoned a little higher than we are. It also adds warmth and always looks like the plant is planted in the pot, but it is in the ground!

But my very favorite thing is an old hobby horse I bought at a yard sale for 2 bucks, repainted in carousel horse colors and it lives out in the garden. The fact that my neice loves to play on it when she is over, is just a big, wonderful bonus!

Phew! I didn't realize how much I had to share on this one! I LOVE gardening... Did I mention that I press many of my flowers to use in my handmade papers and cards,lol??? I cook with them... and on and on...

I want a freestanding sink and bathtub for outside someday. One of my neighbors has an old iron bedframe in her yard, with a flower "bed". It's so great!

Pics, post pics!!!


By bloomeenee On 04/04/04  

Oh bumpbumpbump!
I just found this thread on a search... any more ideas out there?

By kazoogrrl On 04/04/04  

A friend of mine has an old clawfoot tub out in her yard - she's going to put a manniken in it, fill it with dirt, put in plants, and has clear gazing balls as "bubbles"

Old bikes are good too - vines can climb on them and you can plant in the front basket.

By misshawklet On 04/04/04  

haha! I saw this thread without realizing I wrote it, and for a second I was like, hey! who is writing under my name? wtf?

more ideas are also wonderful, as I'm having a garden this year. yippie!

has anyone ever been to its great.

By lizzymahoney On 04/04/04  

bammie's link to path to freedom has so many great pics. I've done versions of many of them, but no longer have a yard of my own... <sigh>

For a while I had an edible landscaped back yard. Aside from ten fruit trees, I had ferns, tomatoes, several kinds of berries and exotic tropicals like chayote and malanga and yuca. There were still some inedible things that were grandfathered in. Edible flowers too with pansies, marigolds, nasturtiums, hibiscus, and daylilies.

My front yard at that time had recovered/recycled garden art. Old concrete yard items like swan planters with broken necks or the bunny with no ears. In ground homemade concrete birdbath, and a Greek goddess sculpture that had broken in half. Oh, bowling balls scattered around, and big hunks of PVC pipe cast off from a construction site to support bowling balls and potted plants. I also had a large rock collection (both a lot of rocks and large rocks) that lined the concrete path I made. I hate the pavement everywhere motif, so I used the concrete paver forms that can make a cobblestoned looking path. Drains water back into the cracks and looks more natural in no time.

I was going to make those peatmoss and concrete planter forms over styrofoam but never got around to it.

By evilducky On 04/05/04  

These are all great ideas! I have a couple of old ladders that were my grandfathers with morning glories growing on them. My grandmother used to use anything she could find to prop up her plants - she had coatracks holding up her flowers.

I bought that cobblestone cement mold to make paving stones, but i haven't done it yet. Anyone know how to make moss grow on cement quickly?

By ivy-bee On 04/05/04  

Painting on a mixture of honey and vinegar is supposed to make moss grow quickly on cement.

I really dig the bottle trees you see around the South:

By lizzymahoney On 04/05/04  

Instead of honey vinegar, I've heard of plain yogurt painted on to encourage moss. Both the honey & vinegar and the yogurt would have the necessary sugars and acids for a moss environment. More important is the local humidity and the preponderance of mosses and lichens. No moss in your area: you are out of luck. Too much heat and not enough humidity is also bad news.

I've tucked small bits of moss in crevices before and keep them misted. They will grow if the environment is not too alkaline. New concrete or brickwork is alkaline.

By jtsang On 04/06/04  

I've always wanted to make a sculpture out of wire hangers and train ivy to live on it.

That and make some sort of mosaic table for sitting out on the patio to enjoy the garden.


By lizzymahoney On 04/06/04  

Miss Hawklet asked re sundial and plant markers.

Sundials can be very simple. You just need a clear flat sunny space. The sundial is usually just a triangular piece that sits on it in a fixed position and casts a shadow. At noontime at the equator, no shadow. And actually most of us wouldn't see a shadow whatever latitude at noon.

So you put an eighth of a circle vane with the one of the long sides down and the short side facing out away from the center, or bottom of the sundial if you make it a half circle. The sundials are often made full circle, but that's probably more for esthetics than anything. You might get a noticeable shadow at full moon, but not anything to get worked up about. Orient the vane north and south. The shadow will move clockwise and you can then mark the approximations of time.

I'd think a concrete form with colored glass markers at the hours and a vane embedded for stability would be cool. But you'd probably have to test it out on paper first so you know the increments. Just use the size vane you want and the general shape and size of the dial you wish. Plot out the hours by shadows, then when the concrete is poured and patted smooth you can embed the vane and the glass as on your diagram.

Anyhow, I think that would work. I've only used fence posts and my own judgement. When you grow up at the beach you learn to just look at the position of the sun to tell.

By lizzymahoney On 04/06/04  

Plant markers: I had a lot of things tagged in my yard. At first I bought plastic plant markers, but i needed so many that I started cutting up plastic jugs for them instead. I use a Sharpie to write on them. I don't really use anything fancy for plant markers, just simple ID tags basically.

To mark flower beds I've used stout branches hammered into the ground where I might run the hose over tender growth. I bordered all of my beds with an obsessive compulsive collection of rocks. I also used hunks of old concrete, recycled bricks and planted pots to edge some beds.

I had all kinds of bird and butterfly baths, all kinds of feeders, and several birdhouses and one bat house. All the different species have different preferences, so some feeding stations were near tall bushes and some baths had large stones in them for the butterflies.

One of the problems with birdhouses is that birds have very sensitive respiratory systems. You can't make the houses out of just any spare wood. You can't paint them with just anything. I used yellow pine planks and let the weather take care of them. Mossy little houses with grape vine arbors look cute, but may not entice any birds.

By evilducky On 04/07/04  

Hey Lizzymahoney- do you have bats in your bat box? I have one on the garage (the people before me installed it) and I have never seen any bats going in and out (just wasps). I see bats at night flapping around - is there something special to do to entice them?

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