This garden features upcycled garden planters made from old household standards including a clawfoot bathtub, pedestal sink, toilet, gas cooker, and a rowboat.
For more also see 40 Unique Container Gardening Ideas.
Unusual Garden Planter Ideas
You know how they say everyone has a doppelgänger (biologically unrelated look-alike)? Well I think I found my garden doppelgänger.
These ideas come from Nicole Chin in Morisset Park, New South Wales, Australia—just 15k kilometers from my home here in Ontario, Canada—yet so in keeping with my own garden style.
Nicole came across this website while surfing for garden art ideas and wrote to share images of upcycled planters from her own garden. And they are simply charming. The combination of the vintage pieces and plantings are garden art perfection!
Come along as Nicole tells us about her garden.
The Boat at the End of the Driveway
The first garden feature we put in the yard was the old rowboat. It came from a property just down the road from us, and since we live on the Lake, almost everyone has a disused boat in their backyard, all except us!
I found one which would suit being a giant plant pot and proceeded to fill it with garden soil and Agaves, which absolutely thrive here.
The boat is positioned at the end of our long driveway and alerts visitors that they are approaching the house.
Our climate is quite temperate, so we don’t get frosts or snow, and although we do see summer temperatures over the 100-degree mark, most of our garden survives as we also have above average rainfall here.
Our garden is full of large Eucalyptus trees (Gum Trees) so a lot of the garden has dappled shade, which makes growing conditions great.
2Clawfoot Bathtub Planter
The Guest Wing Bathtub
The bathtub came next, as I had always wanted a clawfoot bath, but our bathroom in the house just wouldn’t accommodate one!
Next best thing was to have one in the garden.
We found an old bath and lovingly repainted it. The claw feet are painted in metallic copper paint.
When I filled it with Agaves, I partially filled the bath with old styrofoam packing to reduce the weight and amount of potting mix required.
It sits outside our guest wing, and it is framed by a hardwood screen. I want to add a vintage overhead showerhead as a water feature in the future. I am still looking for the perfect big old showerhead!
Related: How to Make a Bathtub Pond
The Hand Basin at the Front Door
I was looking for a hand basin to complement the bathtub and happened to mention to a dear friend what I was looking for.
She exclaimed that she had one that she was going to use in a bathroom renovation, but decided to go ultra modern, so the vintage basin was surplus to her needs!
I was thrilled to finally find one and placed it at the entrance door to the house.
Everyone who comes to visit sees it as they walk into the house.
Being a shallow basin, I filled it with a variety of succulents:
- Semecio rowleyannus “String of Pearls”
- Aeonium Arboreum “Black Rose”
- Senecio Serpens “Blue Chalksticks”
- Sedum Album “Small Houseleek”
I swap out anything that gets too leggy, so it always looks great.
The Toilet in the Walkway
This was a natural addition to my growing garden art!
After renovating our bathroom, we had this toilet suite left over. I couldn’t let it sit in the shed unused.
It does raise a few eyebrows, and I am thinking of relocating it further into the garden.
The bowl has an Agave, and the cistern is planted out with more string of pearls, chalksticks (Senecio Serpens) and a cutting from another garden favourite: Pink Zygocactus.
5Gas Cooker Planter
Gas Cooker at Driveway Entrance
This lovely addition came about, as I am always on the lookout for quirky garden features, and then it hit me! I always wanted a vintage AGA stove, but so far haven’t been able to renovate one into my life! One day I will find the perfect kitchen to have one.
When this lovely old relic appeared on our local online marketplace, I was smitten! I am so fortunate to have a very understanding husband, and after much heavy lifting the cooker is now firmly entrenched in our garden.
I planted a couple of salvage sale saucepans (after drilling holes in them first) and planted a small Agave, and some more chalksticks (Senecio Serpens) to simmer on the cooktop!
I also draped some grandfather’s beard or Air Plant over the backboard of the cooker.
I will hang a few old utensils from the shelf in the future. Maybe even a soup ladle with a succulent growing in it. I just love being creative in the garden, and always smile when friends notice a new garden feature.
I am currently working on a new garden space, with a bench seat, so I can sit and watch the grandchildren play on the tyre swing. I am on the lookout for my next garden art piece.
Thank you Nicole for sharing this. I can’t wait to see what you do next.
If you want to find cool items like these ones, these are my thrifty shopping tips for used items.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛