Container gardening is growing in popularity, and not just for those with small gardens or living in apartments and condos. Creating a creative container garden that has character and personality isn’t as easy though. Here are seven great ideas for creative gardening, using containers you never thought of! (But wish you had!)



  • Use a hollowed out log or stump.
  • Metal industrial pipe can make great modern containers.
  • Old rusted tool boxes are a natural.
  • Recycled tires? No, not crazy!
  • Old free wooden pallets!
  • Concrete cinder blocks.
  • And finally, a burlap shoe caddy!

You can be creative with your container gardens, without being tacky. Recycling and up-cycling are the new buzz words in any garden, so take advantage of what you have around you, and look at it in new ways.

easy container gardening

garden edging industrial pipe

easy container gardening

easy container gardening

pallet container garden

cement block garden containers


Image Credits: teacup, suculentasminhas, Floradora Gardens, recycledawblog, lifeonthebalcony, cutediypins, creative garden containers


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  1. April February 22, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    What’s your take on vegetables garden in the tires. I think that might be hazardous. The point of having a garden would be to keep it as organic as possible. So I’m a bit concerned. Any ideas on this?

    1. Kathy Woodard March 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

      It’s not something we would do actually… I agree, I wouldn’t want to eat food grown in one!

  2. Nora May 12, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Sorry bout the last sentence. Should be Do this for 3″…

  3. Linda Shumate February 25, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    all of these ideas are great and I can’t wait to utilize them, so I have one question? In order to keep the dirt from washing away from the bottom of the containers, such as the old tires for instance? What is placed at the bottom to hold the soil and roots?

    Thanks, can’t wait to start planting.

    1. Nora May 12, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Try a good layer of small rocks about 1-2″ in diameter mixed in with some larger to take up space. Fo this for about 3″ deep should be good to go.

    2. Chad May 19, 2015 at 8:28 am

      Maybe a large heavy duty garbage bag opened up inside. Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage. Layer in the bottom a few inches of larger (2-3″) gravel, then several inches of pea gravel on that, then your soil. Just a thought.

      1. Chad May 19, 2015 at 8:30 am

        May not need anything if the tires are placed on a level draining surface (not concrete) though.

    1. Kathy Woodard July 31, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      Thx Andrea!

  4. Janet June 30, 2014 at 6:45 am

    I wonder how strawberries would do in a pallet garden set vertically? Do they have deep roots?

    1. Kathy Woodard July 7, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      They do not…I have seen strawberries in one of the pallet gardens, and they seemed to thrive!

    2. Vivian P. July 11, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Be careful of pallet with vegs…make sure they have not been chemically treated…the chemicals can leech into your food…

      1. Laurie December 15, 2014 at 6:31 pm

        FYI – all pallets are treated. I would think a good coat of paint on the interior soil contact areas will prevent migration

        1. Kathy Woodard December 30, 2014 at 9:42 am

          Hi Laurie! Does anyone have an opinion on this? I was told you could find untreated pallets… I agree though, it seems paint would seal it in… Comments readers?

          1. Amanda W August 27, 2015 at 12:16 am

            Some pallets are chemically treated with some pretty nasty stuff for a vegetable garden. I would think that you would want to use a garden safe poly (plastic) if you are using chemically treated wood. I don’t think that paint would prevent leaching by the soil. The same applies when you build raised beds and planters using chemically treated lumber like yellow pine instead of cedar.


        2. Dmar May 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm

          You can get untreated pallets but they are expensive (around $100) but worth it if you’re growing edibles.

    3. Paige April 25, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      Strawberries grow great in the “Topsy Tervy” Tomato planters.

  5. Jenny June 10, 2014 at 6:42 am

    The toolbox would be the neatest idea for a Father’s Day gift!! I think I need to go to some thrift stores ASAP!

  6. Jessica Cramer February 3, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Oh, these are wonderful ideas! I love the succulents in the tool box! Sharing!

  7. Dionne Kempenich October 18, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    I live in Asheville NC and would love to have a succulent garden with hens and chicks that I can leave out all winter even if it snows. Besides the hens and chicks, can you suggest others? I love getting my blog from glove.

    Thank You.

    1. Kathy Woodard November 3, 2013 at 11:52 am

      Sedum “Angelina” is our favorite hardy succulent, but your best bet is to visit your local nursery to find out what works best and is available in your area.

    2. Bets January 18, 2015 at 5:36 am

      I live in Ma and have hens and chicks planted in my yard which stay out all winter. I was surprised the first year to see they survived thru the cold winter. I don’t cover them at all. Have had them for at least 5 years

      1. Kathy Woodard January 22, 2015 at 8:37 am

        Hen and chicks can be quite hardy!

        1. debio January 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm

          I live in northern WI and the majority of my sempervivum last through our nasty winters! :)

    3. Gayle May 12, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      I lived in Cary, NC and grew chicks & hens. As long as you have well draining soil and keep watering even through the winter, every few weeks. I put a layer of fine to medium mulch surrounding but not totally covering them and didn’t worry about them. If they get damaged by frost, they do recover & any bare spots can be filled by removing dead plants & putting a chick in the spot


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