12 ideas for quirky plant containers to jazz up your garden

12 ideas for quirky container gardens - the best unusual planting and container gardening ideas

Forget terracotta. There’s more to plant containers than flower pots. Here’s some great container gardening ideas, including ways to find new uses for objects you would normally throw away.

Wooden pallets

Carl Stewart/Shutterstock.com

Carl Stewart/Shutterstock.com

These have endless uses in the garden. But one of my favourite ideas is to repurpose them as vertical planters. You need to prise out some of the planks and nail them back in to create u-shaped planting pockets.

Line them with a permeable membrane and fill with soil and plants. It’s great for city gardens where there is only wall space.

Baskets on the bike

Milosz M/Shutterstock.com

Milosz M/Shutterstock.com

This is a quirky display. Lush flowering plants are spilling out of baskets and containers mounted on a rusty old bike. The zinc watering can and enamel milk jug add to the vintage style.

Plastic tubs



These make great free plant pots for herbs and bedding plants. Don’t forget to punch drainage holes in the bottom to stop waterlogging.

Tin cans

Tom Gowanlock/Shutterstock.com

Tom Gowanlock/Shutterstock.com

Metal food cans are another good recycled container. But here they have been made to look chic with a lick of metal paint. Designer containers for next to nothing! They are also ideal for small houseplants.

Vertical crate wall

A boxy container garden with wooden pallets and textured foliage plants. Here are quirky container gardening ideas


This is a striking green wall! Wooden crates have been painted in different shades of blue and planted up with striking specimens for a Mediterranean coastal vibe. Aim for a mix of foliage colours and textures for the best effect.

Half barrel

Elena Dijour/Shutterstock.com

Elena Dijour/Shutterstock.com

Put a spin on an old wooden barrel by using it to grow leafy plants. This would also work with salad leaves or other small container crops.

Plastic bottles

A recycled container garden made with plastic drinks bottles and hanging baskets made from wood scraps. Quirky and unusual container gardening ideas

Praiwun Thungsarn/Shutterstock.com

Lay the bottle on its side and use strong scissors to cut out a planting hole. These are great on shelves or they can be attached to a wall or wooden pallet planter. Kids love to make them too!

Drainpipes and guttering

Piyachok Thawornmat/Shutterstock.com

Piyachok Thawornmat/Shutterstock.com

Create a striking vertical garden for lettuce with old drainpipes and guttering. Add water retaining crystals to the compost to save on watering.

Watering cans



These cute watering can planters are fun. You can use any open-topped watering can for the same effect. Coat them with metal paint for something colourful.

Wellies and zinc buckets

Zoom Team/Shutterstock.com

Zoom Team/Shutterstock.com

Don’t throw out old wellingtons! Put plants in them for extra character in the garden. Zinc is always popular in the garden, and these sweet buckets filled with herbs would look lovely on the dinner table.


Gorgeous container garden in a wicker and wood cart surrounded by pots planted with pelargoniums - so romantic. The best container gardens


Old carts are often used as recycled planters and they make a great conversation piece. Check out local car boot sales and reclamation yards for your own quirky garden structures.

Hanging wall display

A Aleksandravicius/Shutterstock.com

A Aleksandravicius/Shutterstock.com

Here’s a clever idea to ‘green-up’ a bare wall. Suspend hanging baskets from a wooden planter, and fill everything with trailing varieties for a floral cascade.


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