westland garden health logo

Alternative Flowering Container Ideas

For years many of us have created flower displays for our garden, beds, borders, containers and hanging baskets. This was as far as we went with our planting. However, that thought process seems to be shifting. The recent development of up-cycling has had a major impact on our gardening trends.

What once may have been sent to the recycling centre is now taking pride of place on our lawns, often in full bloom.

It seems almost anything can be used to plant flowers and shrubs in. From old bathroom utilities such as, baths, sinks and yes toilets to tricycles, bird cages and even old vehicles.

If you want something different in your garden but haven’t really been sure of what you could use, it’s really dependent on the available space you have. These creations can be as bold and brass as you can think of, or a modest small arrangement in an old time milking jug!

We have come up with some alternative options to containers for you to try out at home whatever your garden size. So it’s time we got the sleeves rolled up and our creative caps on.

Pallets, these versatile frames have been given a new lease of life in recent years, not only can they be converted to garden furniture but they can also be transformed in to living walls, and of course kept on the ground as an excellent plant container. All you need is some landscape fabric or weed guard to staple around the pallet and you are nearly good to go. Depending on the width between the pallet slots you may need to remove a plank or two so the plant has enough room and won’t be damaged as it grows.

The watering can, over time they can become tired and worn, often little holes appear, leaving you watering your legs as well as the plants! Rather than casting them out of your garden you can create something special with very little effort. Galvanised watering cans are particularly nice when used as a plant container, however they can be painted for an added pop of colour, and the plastic variety work just as well for transforming a plant in to a piece of art! One of the added bonuses for using the watering can instead of a vase is there is no additional work to it, it’s as simple as using a standard pot but much more attractive.

A bath, once a single purpose amenity, large enough to compete with most flower beds, you can plant a range of shrubs, flowers and perennials making it more dramatic and noticeable. The older ones with legs do perhaps look best, however baths without legs are more than capable of holding their own too when filled with an array of flowering plants. An additional idea could be to paint the side of the bath in a bright colour to make it more appealing.

If the bath is particularly deep you can firstly add in a cut-to-size piece of timber so your plants are elevated meaning you don’t have to use endless amounts of compost when planting.

The Wellington boot. In any keen gardeners shed you are sure to find at least one pair of old wellies, and this is before you consider the multitude of children’s boots that can gather over the years. Once these had been flippantly tossed aside when replaced with a shiny new pair, but not anymore. Now the waterproof wellie can be revived and re-purposed as a flower container. Start by giving the wellies a good clean removing any debris or muck which may have made a home on them. Then remove the liner or insole from the boot, holes will need to be made along the bottom of the wellie for drainage, a drill can be used for this. Then add in some heavy stones or pebbles to help the wellington stay upright in winds, this will also help the water to drain out. They can be kept upright on the ground or hung on a fence, either way they will make a beautiful addition to your garden.

Basically nearly anything can be turned into a flower pot, as long as the plant has enough room and there is adequate drainage you should succeed. Further alternative container ideas are:

Up-cycled shoe organiser

Chest of drawers

Upside down umbrella


Basket on a bike

Bird cage

An old wagon style wheel or tractor tyres

Tea pots / cups & saucers


The possibilities are endless, all you need is a little imagination and some elbow grease, and you can create a beautiful botanical haven in the strangest of objects.

Related articles

Top 5 Herbs to Grow

Top 5 Herbs to Grow

Herbs are very simple and easy to grow and don’t require much space. You can grow them in your borders or in pots and containers...

Top 5 Summer Flowering Bulbs

Top 5 Summer Flowering Bulbs

Bulbs, tubers, roots and corms will fill your summer garden with an array of colour, depth and variety. What’s more they will continue to do so for...

How to Prune Roses

How to Prune Roses

Why Pruning Roses is Important Learning how to prune your roses is essential for maintaining the health of the plant and to keep them in...