Carnival: Using Unusual Containers

by Fern on March 15, 2010

in Uncategorized

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A reader suggested the topic of using containers that are not pots, and it has turned out to be an excellent carnival topic! I really enjoyed reading these posts about using everything from shoes to clamshells. That last idea reminded me of a conch shell I have that was my grandmother’s. I think I’ll plant it with something that reminds me of her.

Kerry was an overachiever. She shared not one, but four ideas for usual containers. The egg-shell containers made me smile, but I think I will definitely be trying her idea to use large seashells.

Dominika also collected a slew of unusual container ideas for the carnival. I don’t know if I’ll ever lug a toilet up to my balcony, but the wheelbarrow and old wooden boat were charming.

Mary shared instructions on how she converted a metal teapot into a container for Cupid’s Dart, Purple Alyssum and Desert Bluebells. If things turn out like her illustration when the plants fill out, it will be a very pretty container design.

Abigail’s blog has my all-time favorite name, “The Lawrence Pothead.” I knew Abigail liked to repurpose old items for containers instead of buying new pots, so I was hoping she would participate in this carnival. I think you’ll find all of the recycled items she uses in her garden a frugal inspiration.

Far Out Flora, a great gardening blog written by two fellow art majors (I really think that background makes for great gardeners, if I do say so myself!) submitted a collection of their ideas for unusual containers. I really liked the Aeonium in a kitschy teacup and love, love, loved the radio flyer wagon.

Ashley submitted a truly Canadian idea for recycling trash into container gardening treasure. I won’t give it away, but she grew some beautiful zinnias in her recycled container. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Canadian to do something similar.

Last, but definitely not least, Lorenka showed how sophisticated a reused container can be with her african violet perched in a dainty little Japanese green tea canister.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily March 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm

What great ideas! I forgot to blog about what I am using for containers, but:
I grew tomatoes in an old recycling bin last year (Portland switched from individual yellow bins that you had to separate recycling into paper, metal, and glass to a single large bin, so everyone had a lot of small yellow recycling bins left over!). This year I’ve started some lettuce in the same bin.
I’ve tried the eggshell idea last year and even hoped it would be easy to transplant (just crack the egg in your hand so the roots can get out), but the seedlings didn’t do that well (I started basil and they got very “leggy” – not enough sun perhaps?)
This year I am using 1-quart yogurt containers for various kitchen herbs & small heads of lettuce.
Lastly, I am really curious about using paper to make pots that decompose, but haven’t tried it yet:


Prue March 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Great collection of posts Fern! So many strange and wonderful pots. When I first thought about posting (and before the thesis took over and quashed any plans I had) I didn’t think I had any pots other than the plastic numbers, but special housemate H pointed out that some were icecream containers, and you could tell my taste in icecream by them, and that phonebooks were the preferred method of pot base not anything normal. Also there was lego, lots of lego, and if it wasn’t so expensive then I’d probably plant in it. She knows me well!!! Not quite are quirky as a teacup or toilet but tasty trying to eat the icecream along the way! Looking forward to next month’s carnival (where I hopefully will have time to join in)


Dirty Girl Gardening March 15, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Is that a zinna? Lovely color..


Fern March 15, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Emily–My friend Adriana (www.anarchyinthegarden.com) sometimes starts seeds in toilet paper rolls. It looks like something similar to the link you provided. I bet it would work well. Just be sure to use paper that has biodegradable inks. You wouldn’t want your seedlings to be growing in anything toxic, especially if you’re growing edibles.

Prue–Heh! I have a whole bunch of ice cream containers that I washed out and stored for seed starting. Chunky Monkey and Mint Chocolate are my favs. ;-)

Dirty Girl–I believe it is!


Matti March 16, 2010 at 6:11 am

Ahh, another great crew of containers. I am attached to (for some odd reason) those toilet bowl containers. Matti


Anne Schreck March 17, 2010 at 6:52 am

You forgot mine Fern. I planted herbs in my clogs and cactus in my teacups remember.


Brekke March 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm

I really wanted to submit for this, but life got in the way. I do have some fun repurposed junk that I am going to be planting in as soon as I get some time though. I will let you know when I have a blog about it up :-)


Kathy Vilim May 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Hi Fern,
What will the subject be for the May Carnival?
Hope you enjoyed the Full Moon..


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