Repurposing Junk For the Garden

by Sarah Blankenship June 14, 2017

Repurposing Junk For the Garden

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Hello! My name is Sarah and I am the author behind Flat Creek Farmhouse. My husband and I try to live a simple life while remodeling our double wide trailer into that farmhouse style that we love. When I am not busy raising our four children, cleaning house or knee deep in a remodel you can find me in my flower gardens. I love to take old forgotten pieces and find a way to repurpose them in my garden. I began flower gardening around 5 years ago and love everything about it. Many morning you will find me with a coffee cup in one hand and the garden hose in the other. There is peace to be found amongst the common ordinary everyday beauty that surrounds me.


How many times can you look at a piece of “junk” and think about your garden space? I have long loved looking at long forgotten pieces that have been thrown by the wayside and wonder how I can reinvent it for my garden. So, grab your favorite drink and take a virtual walk around the flower garden with me.

Wheelbarrows are perfect flower containers. I purchased this one from a couple in our community and I just love it. It has seen several different arrangements throughout the years. This year the front flower gardens are adorned in a theme of white and green. I placed an old galvanized tub inside the wheelbarrow which helps to protect the wood on the wheelbarrow from rotting.

In the wheelbarrow I planted a Hosta, White Geraniums, Blue Daze and White Verbena. This area of my garden gets a lot of the morning sun but is shaded well in the hot afternoon by a large Walnut tree. On the side of the wheelbarrow I have a smaller Dogwood variety planted and on the ground next to the wheelbarrow wheel is several Vision in White Astibles.

These two items were found at different times. I believe the bottom is an old milk container and the top is an old vent probably for a barn. In order to plant in the old vent I simply put landscape fabric on the inside and then scooped my potting soil in it before adding my plants. Using pieces like this in the garden instantly adds character and charm.

A simple arrangement of White Geraniums and Silver Star Helichrysum keep with the white and green theme for the flower garden.

I love old vintage watering cans but they are hard to come by in our area at a decent price. I seen this one at a garden nursery one day and asked the owner if she would sell it. Never be afraid to ask about an item that you really love because the worst they can say is “no” and in my situation the owner said “yes”! $10.00 later this watering can was mine and I simply brought it home and hung it on a garden pole that I had laying around. Again it was an instant update to the garden area.

Any guesses as to what this is or where I may have picked it up?

Did you take a guess? It’s an old oil pan and the biggest surprise might be that I purchased this from a junk yard. Yes! A junk yard. Our local junk yard pulls out a lot of things that people might use and believe it or not a lot of people stop in to purchase from them. They have all sorts of lovely vintage metal pieces but this has to be one of my favorite purchases. I screwed it to the front of my shed door and planted a succulent inside.

You can never go wrong with galvanized buckets because they are perfect planting containers. When you purchase a vintage bucket many times they will already have some small holes but if your bucket doesn’t then you will want to add some for drainage. I really love Hostas in galvanized buckets. They come back each year and a great smaller variety is the Blue Mouse Ears Hosta. It only gets about 8-12 inches high and 8-12 inches wide. Planting perennials in containers helps to cut down on the cost of filling the containers each year. Annuals can be very costly if you have a lot of space to fill.

These metal feed troughs were picked up at a barn sale. They are heavy and have a wonderful patina. I planted White Vinca in the top one and White New Guinea Impatiens in the other.

Out under our Maple tree you will find an old set of washtubs. This set belonged to my grandparents and although they were dented in on one side I still loved them. I placed a flat rock at the dented spot so soil wouldn’t escape and this year I filled them with White New Guinea Impatiens. All around the washtub is Hostas. This area is fairly shaded and they thrive in this location.

Last summer I installed a fish pond just off the front of our deck. This has brought many hours of enjoyment as we listen to the sound of the water falling down the rocks and all the frogs that sing in the evenings. May birds also visit to take a bath in the water near where the water falls. I recently found this old child size bed frame and placed it along the edge of the pond. This helps to keep our dogs out of this area.

If I had to pick one favorite item from my yard that was repurposed and upcycled it would be my little garden shed. It was completely built from old lumber, an old door from an auction and even an old found window. It holds all my garden tools plus more. It sits at the front corner of our yard and just behind it is where I get to enjoy the view as I hang laundry on the line.

Around the garden shed is an old work bench that my great uncle made. He made it carry around the farm in his truck and when he stopped to work he had a place to sit and his tools were stored where I now keep terra cotta pots. A few bird houses, a branch above the window to hold a lantern and a window box are just a few of the things I love in this space.

I love planting flowers in buckets that go up the stairs to our porch. I use a variety of containers including a couple of galvanized buckets, an enamel bucket and an old milk crate. To use the milk crate as a planter I placed landscape fabric on the inside and then potting soil. This is an easy way to turn anything into a great container for planting.

I truly hope that you have enjoyed today’s post and that you have realized that you can repurpose so many items in the garden. A little bit of vision and some beautiful blooms create a masterpiece special for your place.

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2 person already talking about this.
    Stacey Weichert
    Certified GKH Gardening Expert
    Answered on June 16, 2017Reply

    Wonderful post Sarah!

    Carol Brinkmann
    Answered on June 17, 2017Reply

    My newly found favorite garden junking blog along with your Facebook page. Love the green and white theme.

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