Here’s how to get creative to repurpose old items in your garden planting.

DENVER — I’m all in favor of quirky, whimsical gardening projects.

I’ve been planting my old wheelbarrow for years. I like planning plant combinations for it each season. I’m not the first or last gardener to plant in a wheelbarrow. Great focal points can result from planting in wagons, carts and old farming implements. All you need for success are imagination and drainage.

If you’re constantly dragging a hose over your plantings, install hose guards. I use these in my vegetable gardens. They’re just short pieces of 4×4 lumber with rebar drilled into the base. Stuck into the ground, they’re good at preventing me from flattening the peppers with a hose. They’re rather unremarkable by themselves. I added old doorknobs as finials on the top of each guard. It’s a whimsical touch that makes two utilitarian objects special.

It turns out that old ladders can be put to good use. I use a five foot step ladder as a trellis for beans or cucumbers. Any number of vining plants could be trained up a ladder. For stability, bury the feet of the ladder several inches deep so it won’t blow over.

An amazingly tall ladder a friend gave me was a challenge. I couldn’t think of too many vines that would grow tall enough to cover it. So I turned it into a plant pyramid with shelves balanced on the rungs. A carpenter would take a more logical approach by buying lumber, measuring, sawing, staining and beveling. Since carpentry is not one of my best skills, I just rummaged around for random boards and plants. The result is a quirky display that distracts from the compost pile behind it.

Put your creativity to work and repurpose old items for quirky garden additions.

More Proctor’s Garden:

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