Awaken Your Cottage Garden Using Eclectic Containers

by Jean Smith

in Gardening

Old wheelbarrow turned into a flower filled cottage garden container

Whether you have an acre or a small nook to cultivate, you can create a warm and inviting Cottage Garden space that beckons onlookers to meander on through. Using eclectic containers scattered here and there will add both depth and interest to an area.

By incorporating what I refer to as Garden ‘Junque’, your garden will speak that you are the composer… inviting all to venture through inspiring them to imagine their own.  Read on for some great ‘junque’ container ideas and planting tips.


Nifty plant containers:

  • Wheel barrows or old wagons. You can place the potted plants directly in the containers or fill them with dirt and plant.
  • Barrels or metal wash tubs.  Elevated and planted with cascading nasturtiums add a charming touch.
  • Drawers and crates. Planted with petunias, geraniums or herbs, these work to add character.
  • Old wooden troughs. Used to add height to the back of a garden, especially up against a building will have a spectacular effect.
  • Metal containers. Old galvanized chicken feeder or waterer, tin buckets, watering cans, antique metal double burner caner, anything enamel ware. Place on garden chairs, crates or tables to say ‘Welcome’.
  • Wicker baskets. Attached to the front of a garden bike or set upon a wooden chair adds a homey feel.


 Planting Tips:

  • The key to success with container gardening is proper drainage.
  • Wooden items will have a longer life if lined with plastic.
  • Use a good potting mix (see recipe below) and fertilize monthly.
  • To save on soil, fill large containers half full of packing peanuts, broken clay pot pieces or small plastic pots then finish filling with dirt.  This helps in making the container lighter and easier to move.

No matter what you choose, choose what you love and what speaks that you are the designer.


Here’s an easy Potting Mix recipe to use for your house plants, outdoor potted plants or for seed starting:

2 cubic feet Peat Moss                        40 oz bag of Perlite

1 cup 5-10-10-Fertilizer                    40 oz bag of Vermiculite

1 cup Ground Lime

Mix all the ingredients well; make sure the mixture is well soaked before planting.


Watch next time for where to find great Garden Junque… Enjoy Friends!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bill D. March 14, 2013 at 8:23 am

Excellent job, Jean. What you’re describing is “garden art.” Recycling at its finest!


2 Maria Georges March 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

Fabulous ideas!!! 🙂


3 Kathy Henderson-Sturtz March 14, 2013 at 10:33 am

I’m so glad you included a simple potting mix recipe with this article. I don’t use it often enough to remember off-hand. But this made it super easy to start filling up some of the eclectic containers I’ve been collecting for just a project like this. Makes spring feel like it’s almost here already.


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