I was chatting today with one of my Master Gardener friends and we got on the subject of unusual things to plant in. I was telling him of my Asparagus that I planted in my old bathtub. We had it replaced a few years ago and instead of throwing it into the dump, I turned it into a huge planter. We both agreed it was a great idea. It is big enough to put an array of different things in. Has drainage. And is most definitely a conversation starter.
He was telling me about his Rosemary. It is planted in the drum from an old dryer. Same principles apply here. Won't be in the dump, drainage, large, perfect! It will also keep his Rosemary from escaping and taking over the yard.
I have been thinking about many different things that could be used for planters. Picture this for "Unusual". The bathtub I mentioned above, with all kinds of pretty flowers growing in it. Right next to it, an old Toilet. Plants coming out of both the tank and the bowl. If you happen to have an old pedestal sink, that could be next to it also with some kind of trailing plant coming out of it. If you do this by the house or a wall or something, hang a mirror over the sink. With a little imagination you could really have some fun with this. I was trying to think of a way to have a magazine rack there too.....with Garden Magazines in it of course!
How about tires? I have seen people use old tires to grow Potatoes. You plant the eyes in the first tire. Once the shoots rise out of the soil, place another tire on top and fill in with soil. Repeat this step to about 4 or 5 high. You might want to place a rebar pole along the side of the tires to keep them from toppling over.
There once was a Garden Center here in Charleston that had an old beat up 1950's pickup truck in front. They had the pickup bed all planted with flowers. It was actually tastefully done. This would have been a good place to have the tires next to it planted also.
I have seen things such as old work boots, old wheelbarrows, and buckets used. Old kiddie pools can be used to grow Water Garden type plants. I have even seen pools used to grow Rice. The only limits to what can be used as a planter is:
1) It must have good drainage. If the water just sits in it, the plant will develop root rot and die.
2) Positioned in a place where it will get good sun and close enough where it can be watered if the rains do not come.
3) Be the right size plant for the container. I don't think a Live Oak will work in the toilet, I'm just saying.
4) Your imagination! This is probably the biggest limiting factor.
Just remember, if it can hold soil, it can hold a plant.
If you happen to use any of these ideas or have a couple of ones I didn't mention, please e-mail me. Cactusmusic@netzero.com Send me pictures if you can, I will include them in a post in the future with full credit to you.