DIY gardening ideas! For those looking for some creative ways to recycle the old stuff around the house, here you go :) all of this you see is pretty easy to figure out by looking at the pics, requiring only the odds and ends we all have laying around, plus some eye-screws, tape, or twine. But I wrote up some basic instructions if you want to give these a shot. I hope this is useful, or at least interesting. Peace! —Brooks
1. Worn-out work boots and shoes add a nice contrast of hard and soft, old and new, flowers and leather/canvas/etc. Place them along the edge of your garden bed, path, stairway, or wall for a rustic vibe. Keep in mind the space of your shoes; use plants that are not deep-rooted and are suitable for small pots like pansies, petunias, lobelia, and african violets. Because of the chemicals that go into boots and shoes (not to mention your feet) this is not recommended for herbs, fruit, and vegetables.
2. Nail a shoe to a tree. DO IT. Little birds like wrens, chickadees, creepers, and nuthatches like tucked-away, cubby-hole type locations to build their nests. Okay who knows if a wren will actually nest in it, but hey, it’s a conversation starter.
3. Low-budget movable sprinkler system. Simple enough, right? Water bottle + hose + electrical tape. (Electrical tape is a good idea because it is water-resistant!) Just remember to punch holes in your bottle first. Try using thumb tacks for the holes, since they are sharp enough to penetrate the plastic and the flat end will prevent you from hurting your finger. Good for small gardens and planters. If you don’t have those little wheels, try a rectangular water bottle (like the Fiji bottles) to prevent it from rolling over the holes you poke. Use this and cut back on the materials used in a traditional sprinkler system. Remember to recycle your bottle when it is worn-out!
4. Low-budget bird feeder. Again, this is pretty self-explanatory. The handles of the spoons (ladles can work too) provide perches and receptacles for your little avian visitors. Punch holes in a plastic bottle large enough to fit the spoon handle through, but not so large that it will slip out. At the spoon end, enlarge the hole so that the seed may spill into the spoon. (Otherwise birds will perch and peck at the bottle and wonder why they can’t get to the seed even though they can see it :p ). To hang it up, drill an eye-screw into the cap and hang with twine or fishing line. It might not be the prettiest bird feeder, but that’s one less bottle floating around in our oceans!
5. Hang old soup ladles up for a succulent garden. This is great if you don’t have much ground space. In the photo, these ladles are hanging from a metal rod, but if you don’t have one, you can go to your local hardware store and pick up a ½” wooden dowel to use instead. Hang this from an overhang, deck, eaves, or wherever by drilling two eye screws into the desired location, insert your rod/dowel, and then hang up your ladles. Again, because of the tiny amount of potting soil, choose a plant that suits the space. Succulents, baby cacti, and decorative moss would all work well depending on your climate. Not ideal for edibles; you never know what metals might be in your ladles!
6. Teacup planters. Ever go to the thrift store and find a ton of amazing teacups/mugs/glasses/jars? But you couldn’t buy them because you had no space for them? (Or maybe you did, and now you’re kicking yourself because wtf is one person going to do with that many cups?) Don’t worry if they are chipped. Try them out as little pots for your herbs, small flowers, succulents, mosses, etc. This is can work as a window garden and fit right in on your windowsill, in your kitchen, or on your coffee table. Of course these are cute outside too. Tuck them in next to the plants you have growing in the ground, place them on your steps, or arrange them with the boots/shoes. Be careful watering, however: if you do not drill holes in the bottoms (which runs the risk of cracking the whole cup) you might want a layer of gravel at the bottom to allow for drainage. Even so, take care how much/often you water such a small vessel. (If the leaves start to turn yellow and droop, you are probably over-watering.)
Have fun! Hopefully this inspires some of you to recycle and reuse some of the stuff that for some reason we hold on to.