Fave 5: Recycled Garden Ideas

Recycled garden projects provide inexpensive ways to be creative in the backyard. Here are a few of my favorites.

Jill Staake

Garden supply catalogs arrive in my mailbox all the time, and while I love to flip through them and dream about owning some of the amazing products on offer, one look at the price tag is usually enough to stop those dreams in their tracks! That’s the great thing about recycled garden projects – you can use supplies you have on hand (or those you find in thrift and bargain stores) to keep your garden looking just as good as the ones featured on those glossy catalog pages. Here are some of my favorite ways to recycle in my backyard.

1.  Shower Caddy Planter Rack. I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to add plants to my screened-in back porch. My cats think every potted plant is their own playground, though, so I try to come up with ways to keep plants off the ground. Recently, I saw a shower caddy intended for use in the corner of the bath, and my brain said, “Bingo!” I installed this one in the corner of the porch, where it holds seven small pots and brightens up an otherwise unusable area.

Recycled Garden Shower Caddy Plant Rack

Jill Staake Corner shower caddies come in different styles and sizes. Find one to suit your space!

2.  Tire Gardens. The neat thing about this recycled garden project is that it can be very simple – just a stack of tires filled with potting soil and plants – or you can dress it up to fit your own style. Paint the tires, arrange them in interesting patterns, or even hang a few from a tree. Learn more about tire gardening here.

Recycled Garden Tire Garden

Jill Staake Keep tires plain or make them colorful. It’s up to you!

3.  Hair Accessory Plant Clips. Training a new vine to grow up a trellis can be a pain, especially at the very beginning. Stop struggling with twine and scissors – just pick up a couple packages of mini hair claw clips at your local dollar store and use them instead! You can use brightly colored ones so you can find and reuse them easily later on, or clear or muted colors so they blend in.

Recycled Garden Plant Clips

Jill Staake These come in large sizes that you can use with big plants too.

4.  Slinky Bird Feeder. When I saw this new style of feeder in a catalog a few years ago, I knew I wanted to try one out. It seemed a great way to keep the squirrels in my yard busy so they might stay away from my other feeders and give the birds a chance! This project was fun and easy, and I was right – the squirrels do love it! Learn how to make your own here.

Recycled Garden Slinky Peanut Feeder

Jill Staake Peanut feeders also draw blue jays and mockingbirds.

5.  Coupon Organizer Seed Keeper. I can only assume that other gardeners, like me, buy far too many packets of seeds for their own good. Between the ones I save from my own garden each fall, and the ones that tempt me in store displays and shiny catalog pages, I usually wind up with quite a stack. I’ve found that coupon organizers are a great way to store and organize them. You can sort them alphabetically, by color, by garden, by start time… whatever works for you! If you have a large yard with multiple gardens, you may even want to pick up one of these for each of your major garden beds.

Recycled Garden Coupon Organizer

Jill Staake Bonus tip: Once you’ve planted your seeds, use the organizer to hang onto the empty packets in case you have questions later.

How do you recycle or reuse items in your own garden? Tell us in the comments below. Looking for more recycled garden ideas? Click here!

  1. says

    I spent last fall collecting the leaves that were falling from my neighbors ash tree, the dried flower blooms on the vines next door, some dried blooms from the crepe mertles in the neighborhood , the pine cones, & the empty pine cone empty “hats” to spray & make dried pictures as well as holiday ornaments for next year. Will take some pictures & send them soon.

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