If It Fits, It Grows – My Quirky Container Gardening Style

By Nikki Tilley | April 22, 2021
Image by marianceccarelli
by Nikki Tilley
April 22, 2021

Plants can grow just about anywhere and mine do. As they say, “if it fits, it ships” and when it comes to my container plants, if it fits, it grows wherever I plant them – in a purse, an old cup, toy truck, boot, or even a book. Clearly, I’m not picky. If it can hold soil and a plant, then it’s fair game. 

Growing in Quirky Containers

I’m addicted to plants and can’t seem to control myself when it comes to acquiring more, even when it means having nowhere to put them. This is where containers come in. I always have some type of empty container laying around waiting for a new plant to make a home. I don’t really have a specific container gardening style, unless you include the ‘dare to be different” or “grow outside the box” type of gardening a style.

I do love my terra cotta pots for succulents and the few cacti I grow. And nothing beats the durability or price of plastic and resin-type pots. I even have some metal and wooden container plantings here and there. You might think with so much variety my container garden plants would simply look busy and out of sorts, but not really. When it comes to shopping around for potential garden pots, I try to keep their design, color and shape in mind. This way they will at least be cohesive in their garden setting.

Non-Traditional Containers

And if all else fails, I just look around me. Is there an old chair in need of a “plant” seat? Could that broken mailbox hold flowers instead of mail? Maybe there’s a discarded colander or drawer in need of refreshing. A plant is the perfect fix. I put my creative juices to the test, using my imagination to find unique upcycling ideas when I’ve gone overboard with my plant inventory. Sometimes you have to. If the plants alone don’t knock a dent in your pocketbook, then buying new pots to house them surely will.

I found out the hard way that my passion for gardening could become an expensive hobby. But it doesn’t have to be. After awhile I figured out how to garden with what I already had, and I even look to other venues for acquiring additional containers, like thrift shops, yard sales and, yes, tossed out trash. It’s true”¦ “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” It may seem a bit low class to some, but you’d be amazed at the number of items, and I’m talking everyday things, you can use to grow plants in with just a little ingenuity. The shell of an old desktop computer monitor makes a great spot to nestle trailing succulents. Old tires make excellent homes for container garden plants. I turned one into a mini dinosaur garden. My son left a plastic truck bed liner behind and we didn’t feel like hauling it off. With a few small drain holes added, this became the base for a sunken bog-like garden. I’ve planted in bathtubs, desks, shoes, hats, teapots and more! 

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try planting new things in old spaces. Use your imagination and have fun. If it fits and holds soil, grow it in quirky containers!

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