Yesterday you read my post on the Advantages of Container Gardening. So today I thought I’d share some inspiration for how to make your container garden fun and whimsical in the form of fabulous and unlikely growing containers! After all, it is hard to make a horde of plastic containers look stylish, so here are some other ideas to try.

Fabulous and Unlikely Growing Containers:

A Bag of Planting Mix

A bag of planting mix can become an instant planter with a few snips of the scissors. Even a plastic garbage bag with the proper soil will work. It may not look pretty, but it is certainly economical. Be sure to poke drainage holes in the bottom and make sure the bag isn’t see-through since roots don’t like light. Tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, chard, and peas are some examples of vegetables that grow well this way.

A Drawer From An Old Dresser

A drawer from an old dresser can easily become a planter box or a frame for a raised bed. You will need to drill drainage holes at the bottom as well as line it with planter fabric. These containers are great because they are often deep enough, 12 inches, to grow root vegetables. Since this wood is often pretreated, you will want to finish it with a fast-drying  oil that doesn’t need to soak in over time. Danish oil is a good option; it is made of part tung or linseed oil and part varnish. The more layers of oil you add, the longer the wood will last.

A Ladder or An Old Bookcase Laid Flat

A ladder or an old bookcase laid flat on the ground can serve as an attractive compartmentalized frame for herbs and low-growing vegetables like radishes, spinach and lettuce.

Fabulous and Unlikely Growing Containers

A Fabric Pocket 

A fabric pocket made of felt and lined with plastic can be fastened to the wall and planted with hanging nasturtium or other edibles. There are some you can buy already made, but you could also use a hanging shoe pocket with a tray underneath to catch any water.

Fabulous and Unlikely Growing Containers

A Metal Lampshade Turned Upside Down

A metal lampshade turned upside down is an instant decorative plant holder.

Wine Crates 

Wine crates can be found at high-end wine stores and antique markets and are great for growing salad greens. You will need to add drainage holes to the bottom and finish the wood with weatherproofing oil. This wood is untreated typically, so it will soak up cheaper finishing oils like linseed, but it will take much longer to dry. If you are pressed for time, Danish oil is a better way to go. Whatever you choose, resist pure varnish, it will seal the wood but if any water gets into cracks, the wood will rot from the inside. To ensure these boxes will last, you may also want to add braces to the corners to prevent the wood from warping.

Fabulous and Unlikely Growing Containers

Fabulous and Unlikely Growing Containers

Food Tins 

Food tins are an attractive and funky way to upcycle materials and put them to good planting use. Cookie tins, large olive oil and tomato containers, coffee tins, and whatever else you stumble upon in the Dumpster can make for a stunning display. Use nails to poke holes in the bottom as well as the sides for proper drainage.

What kind of fabulous and unlikely growing containers have you used? I’d love to see your photos and hear your tips. Share with me in the comments below or post a picture on social media using #ModernPioneering and tag @GeorgiaPellegrini. You can also join our community in our Secret Facebook Group where we share tips and pictures of our projects.

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Georgia Pellegrini

Growing up on her family’s farm in upstate New York, Georgia developed a passion for simple farm-to table food and a deep connection to the outdoors. Having worked in the finance world after college, she decided to leave her cubicle and reconnect with her roots. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, she began working in Michelin restaurants in New York and France, and soon started leading her renowned Adventure Getaways: excursions around the country aimed at promoting “manual literacy” and helping participants step outside of their comfort zone and experience life more viscerally. Georgia is a firm believer in empowering people to be self-sufficient, identify personal strengths and pursue their life passions.