Creative Garden Art: From Trinkets to Treasures

Did you know that you can give new life to nearly any old object? Not only can these ‘recycled items’ add unique charm to your home, but they also be incorporated into the garden. With just a little bit of imagination and a lot of creativity, an ordinary garden can be given the ultimate makeover-one full of character and history. Objects for this task can be found just about anywhere. You can even make use of your own personal possessions that you may have found difficult to part with in the past.
In the garden there is a place for everything, especially containers. Some of the most commonly reused objects that can easily be transformed into interesting containers include plastic jugs, old pots and pans, baskets, and tires. You can also use an old wash tub, sink, or wheelbarrow. For a more personal touch, consider recycling a pair of outgrown boots that were once yours or perhaps belonged to your children. As long as your object allows for drainage, nearly anything goes. For items without drainage holes, simply poke a few in the side or bottom with a drill or other suitable instrument. Don’t get rid of those aged flowerpots; give them a face lift instead by adding some paint or mosaic tiles.

Plastic soda bottles can turn into unique ‘piggy’ planters. Simply cut a section out of the side to hold a small pot. On the other side, add some feet; this will also give the planter support. Typically, I use an egg carton for this; you may use whatever is on hand. Choose your favorite color and paint the bottle. Add some eyes and ears; the nose comes from the bottle’s lid. Now place a flowerpot into your ‘piggy’ planter and set it in a location of your choosing.

What is a garden without interesting focal points? Large objects make great eyepieces. Wheelbarrows, tubs, old mowers, and statues are some good choices. Fountains and other water features can easily be made from old objects that have just been lying around. Use pieces of pipe, old sinks and tubs, or different sized pots and pans. Welcome birds into the garden with creative sanctuaries. Turn an old mailbox into a festive bird retreat or feeder. Transform dishes into splashing bird baths. Worn-out tools and other similar items can quickly become treasured garden pets. For instance, post-hole diggers can be changed into magnificent alligators. Flowerpots can magically be transformed into cute puppy dogs. Turn saw blades into artificial flowers with some paint; attach to stems made from pipes or broken tool handles. Maybe you would prefer to create sundials from the blades. It’s totally up to you.

Everyone enjoys the whimsical sounds of wind chimes, and these can easily be made from various scrap metal parts. Wind sounders can also be created from strips of metal and twisted into shape. If you have an excessive supply of glass canning jars, drop some tea light candles into them and line walkways or even a deck to add subtle light for get-togethers. Old coffee, soup, or paint cans may be used as well. Simply punch decorative designs into them, add some paint, place a candle inside, and enjoy. Stones and weathered stumps or logs even have potential in the garden. When uniquely placed, these objects can provide additional interest throughout the garden area. Do you like collecting things? Integrate them into the garden. For instance, a collection of bottles or sea shells can be utilized as edging for beds. Ladders, gates, or bed frames can make an attractive trellis for your plants. Dishes can be used in place of mosaic tiles for decorating a variety of objects.

No matter your level of artistic ability or skill, art is art. With any type of art, there is no right or wrong. Objects of all sorts can hold hidden potential. Whatever you see in an object, you can do. All you need is some creativity; as imaginations are never-ending, so are the possibilities.

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