Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Upcycled Garden Volume 1: Using Recycled Salvaged Materials In Your Garden

 I love an old-fashioned, cottage garden! What better way to showcase those worn and imperfect antiques and flea market finds than to incorporate them into your garden landscape? This is the perfect way to personalize your outdoor haven and add character to your garden! Take a look at these charming examples of ways you can add architectural salvage and vintage finds - recycled and repurposed - to your garden! 

This old frosted glass light fixture makes a beautiful new bird feeder or birdbath



Here, old window frames with well placed chandelier crystals form a unique garden divider

An old window hung from a tree adds interest and shape to your garden

This vintage colander is now a hanging planter with built in drainage!

Old drawers, crates and boxes make unique wall planters

An old garden shovel is used as a trellis from Cottage in the Oaks

Plant Forum
Here, an old high chair adds charm and interest

This potting bench was made from old salvaged materials; from dr Molly

I like to hang planters from my trees in the front yard, but it would look lovely on a front porch as well. I am going to make two more and hang in a grouping of three.  Fill planter with dirt and add your favorite plants.

Add a vibrant painted chair to your garden

A mirror in the garden adds interest as well as dimension

Paint the frame a bright color! by deardaisycottage

an old horse buggy used as an outdoor planter

Wall planter made from old license plates

License Plate Flower Box OH CMT

Barbed wire trellis by Thedustyraven via Etsy

Another great use for old jars is to use them as planters: just add wire! from Hutch Studio

Paint an old wood pallet and use to hide trash cans or air conditioner units by Camelot Art Creations

I LOVE purple in the garden! Don't be afraid to add bright colors with paint for exciting accents. Here, the shutters, bench, and hanging flower pot are all painted purple.

Every garden needs a door, even if it leads to nowhere...
photo by Swede13 via Etsy



What do you think about using these items in your garden? Have you tried anything like this in your own garden? Tell us!

What do you think?

I hope you have a great week 
Love, Laura

My broken china jewelry is always available for purchase at


  1. LOve it! I got an aluminum half round awning (think a long half tunnel) from a steak house that was closing for free. I cut it in 3 pieces one about 8 feet and 2 3 feet sections and mounted the long one on landscape timbers for an arbor. I lined one side with 2 old metal headboards and the other with 3 old metal it! I use the other pieces as trellis now but they may end up"in the air" too. I am always looking for cool old junk to plop in my garden or flowerbeds. I used to do the floorlamp base planters at my old that one with the succulents!I also planted old wire bike baskets and other old wire baskets. I use wire tomato cages upside down..just bend the "legs" into curls and they can hold a gazing globe or they are good for floppy flowers..just stick them right in the planting.My current favs are 3 old zinc chicken feeders(they are like large ribbed buckets) that I have upside down and use for planters and a huge bronze piece that was originally a bell. I want to try some of those chicken wire ladies..less creepy than a scarecrow! Yay for garden junk!

    1. I love the wire bike basket idea! You should put some photos up!

    2. show the steak house thing !!

  2. Oh my, I couldn't pick a favorite if I had to! All are fabulous -- love those mirrors and the various ways of using windows and, oh my goodness, the plates!
    I've got to dress up my shed!

  3. These are all great ideas....I love that last one...usually you see the Madonna in that form...

    Lots of inspiration! Thanks...:)

    1. Yes, I thought that one was unusual & interesting.

  4. Good grief, these are absolutely wonderful and will use ideas for my daughter's wedding. I love recycled art.

  5. Have enjoyed the post. Just so folks know, that red door trellis was made by Kirk Willis, a friend of mine who lives in Washington state. I know he would love to hear from you and if you need help making it will probably gladly share tips. =-)

  6. i really like yur recycled things 2 doors for trellis i thought was neat & different things...

  7. I too am always dragging home "junK" as my husband calls it lol. I have an old Hiawatha bicycle( think Pee Wee Herman) The tires were dry rotted so I just spray painter it tires ,spokes and all a nice bright turquoise and hung a wire basket on the handle bars and two on the rear fender filled them with anuals and viola instant garden art!

    1. I saw a pink one once with flowers plan ted in the basket. It was lovely.

  8. I love the liscence plate haneing basket and the box too... maybe I can get my hubby to bend some up for me.

  9. simply amazingggggggg! love love love..can't wait to do this as well

  10. I love the ideas. It brings so much more life to your landscape with all these personalized treasures. Thanks for the share.

  11. I'm always working in my garden and on the hunt for new treasures.... they're becoming more difficult to find don't you think? I had a great trip to Luckett's in VA. this week and found some terrific 1/2 off sale items! Now, because of your fab ideas... I have 3 items on my list 1. a big funnel 2. a painted wooden chair 3. an enamel colander! Thanks so much - I'm recovering from bi-lateral knee replacement and this is keeping me going instead of being an impatient patient!!!!! Jennifer

  12. Wow. I love this page. I'm interested in up cycling existing things, into yard art, or useful yard items. All of the things showcased here, are done in such a manner as to harmonize with their surrounding. I love it.

    1. Glad you like! I hope you found some inspiration here!

  13. I too, love this page. So many wonderful Ideas ! Beautiful flowers and innovative ways to create a lovely garden or yard. I don't know what I want to try first ! Thank you so very much !

  14. Lindo, Lindo!
    Povo criativo e educado. Sonho em viver meus resto de vida em um mundo assim.

  15. Laura, just beautiful ideas...The Yellow painted!
    Give your old "friend" that served you for so many years, a new life in your garden...Granny to her grandchild... "that was my bicycle many years ago..." Brilliant idea!

  16. So many awesome and wonderful ideas. The best site I've ever seen. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi Laura Beth! I just want to tell you what a big fan of yours I am. I love what you do! You have been a big inspiration to me as a blogger. This post is awesome! :-) Thank you.