These creative ideas for planting wagons, carts, wheelbarrows, bikes, and whiskey barrels come from home gardens. Come explore the gallery and grab ideas for your garden.
For garden structure ideas, also see the Arbor, Trellis, and Obelisk Idea Gallery.
Creative Wagon Planter Ideas
These creative garden planter ideas come from home gardens.
These antique, vintage, and modern wheeled carts and wheelbarrows that have been given a new life as a flower planter.
Sometimes the cart is the star of the show, other times the choice of plants and decor make it sing.
Tips for Long-Lasting Unique Planters
Old wood and metal items are very prone to decay and rust in the garden.
- Never place soil or potting mix directly in the wagon—use containers instead.
- Protect or line surfaces to reduce water damage.
- Create drainage holes otherwise water build-up may rot your plants and your planter!
1Rustic Arch with Old Red Farm Cart
I took this photo years ago on one of the first rural garden tours I ever attended. The cart alone is a great piece. The addition of the rustic arbor, modern metal work, and masses of flowers make it perfect.
2Old Order Buggy with Flower Baskets
This is another one from a farm tour. The horse buggy has plenty of room to sit baskets of annuals.
3White Painted Cart with Red Wheels
I’m not sure if this one was ever intended to carry stuff—those red wheels look pretty rough! But I sure love it as planter packed with pansies and vinca vine.
4Cart with Metal Wheel
I have cart envy! This one looks like they built the cart to go with the old wheel—I could be wrong but I don’t think it’s antique. But no matter, it looks great, especially with the flowers and weathered wood fence as a backdrop.
5Amish Buggy with Planters
Another retired buggy either from a local Amish or Mennonite family. The red flowers look gorgeous with the black paint. This one was photographed at a local garden nursery.
6Homemade Wooden Wheelbarrow
I assume this next one was rebuilt at some point. It again proves that point that everything looks good with pansies!
Related: Make a Wheelbarrow Planter
7Plain Wood Buggy
This one was also photographed at a garden nursery. You can’t see the flowers from this viewpoint. I assume the original paint was removed revealing the gorgeous wood underneath, which is fine in a protected area like this.
8Antique Cart with Flowers
This one is a beauty! The size and shape of the wood cart leaves lots of room for plants.
Insider tip: Is your wagon planter too deep? Place upside-down flower pots in the wagon and sit planted pots on top so you don’t need a truckload of potting mix.
This article has more tips for filling large flower pots and raised garden beds.
9Front Yard Flower Cart
This one is in a front garden, filled with potted purple and white flowers (and maple leaf decorations for Canada Day).
Related: How to Grow Vegetables in Containers
10Old Metal Wheelbarrow with Wood Trug
I built this garden trug to fit over top my wheelbarrow. The whole thing is dressed up with pansies, petunias, and sweet potato vine. I prop up the back legs to make it display nicely.
Related: Make a Garden Trug
11Little Red Wagons
This photo came from a friend of Empress of Dirt on Facebook: it’s a collection of little red flyer wagons lined up on the driveway and filled with colorful flowers.
There are lot of red wagon planter ideas but the main thing is to protect the wagon as best you can. They do not do well with water sitting in them: rust will quickly form.
For mine, I drilled drainage holes in the bed and also line it with landscape fabric before adding plants in pots. This really helps extend the life of the wagon.
12Strawberries in Old Garden Wheelbarrow
I took this wheelbarrow from a neighbor’s garbage. The metal barrow was rusting and had some holes so it seemed like it was asking to be a planter. I built the wood planter box to sit over top and filled both levels with strawberry plants.
The hand-painted strawberry sign lets you know what’s in there in case there’s any question about it.
Related: How to Grow Strawberries
13Old Farm Equipment and Flower Planters
Old metal and wood farm equipment is perfect for garden art. Here they have gathered a collection of planters and treasures including an vintage lamp post.
14Rusty Wheelbarrow and Broken Flower Pot
It’s the place where broken things come to rest. This old rusty wheelbarrow has seen better days. The begonias, broken strawberry pot, and funny birds give it an artful, quirky touch.
15Old Red Wheelbarrow with Sweet Potato Vine
One of my favorite combinations ever: the green of the sweet potato vine plus the purple flowers and deep red patina of the wheelbarrow are just stunning.
Want free plants?
Use these tips to propagate sweet potato vine from cuttings.
16Rusted Tricycle with Half Barrel Planter
The old tricycle is a reminder of the days when kids used to play in the garden.
17Half Barrels on Wood Deck
If you want wooden barrels to last longer, use something to line them. You can buy plastic liners for some barrel planters like these ones on Amazon. I also use plastic flower pots within other decorative planters to help retain moisture and avoiding rotting wood.
18Black Metal Bicycle with Basket Planter
This bike was made to be a decoration. I have no idea of its origin but you can see it’s not functional. I love the front basket of flowers. If this was mine, I’d be tempted to hang the whole thing up on a wall and have flowers and vines trailing down.
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These next ones are sitting outside a local antique and collectible shop.
19Yellow Bike with Yellow Flowers
I think this gardener loves yellow! Some gardeners put bikes as-is in the garden, others paint them. Either way, it’s your garden and your choice.
20Tall Wood Barrel
This is another collector’s item. With a plastic pot of flowers inserted in the top, it makes a nice rustic plant stand.
Related: Vertical Garden Ideas
21Giant Old Wagon Wheel
Years ago in this area, and I assume in other parts of Canada and the United States, big old wagon wheels were standard décor in gardens. It was almost expected that you have a wagon wheel! While not a big fan of conformity for the sake of itself, if you love them, show them off.
22Mini Water Mill at Home Garden
This photo was taken at a rural garden. They built a small creek around the perimeter of the property and had a functioning mill that turned with the water flow. It was quite charming.
23Standard Wood Half Barrel
Another fine barrel planter on a deck. Those tall flowers in the middle are cleome (spider flower).
24Buddha Gets the Last Laugh
What can I say?
And that’s it for wagons and wheels in the garden.
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~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛