Just 16 days until the official start of Spring here in the USA – and I couldn’t be happier! I love Spring! All the Spring animals return to our property, the trees start to bud, the grass wants to turn green, and tulips burst out of the ground in celebration of warmer weather.
While it’s too early to start planting in March in Minnesota, we can at least start planning our gardens. Here are some ideas to incorporate vintage treasures into your gardening plans…
Vintage Pulley and Pail
Start with a vintage pulley and pail for your petunias. Hang a vintage pulley from your deck, arbor, or even from a tree branch then add a potted pail. In the Spring and Summer the pail can hold your favorite annuals, and in the Fall and Winter, your favorite evergreens.
HOW TO: To provide adequate drainage for your plants, either drill small drain holes in the bottom of the pail, or add a 2″ layer of pebbles to the bottom of the pail before adding potting soil. The pebbles or small rocks will provide a place for excess water to collect, away from the roots of your plants.
Vintage Potting Bench and Metal Accents
Turn a vintage table into a potting bench and place it near your potting shed. Embellish the wall of your shed with an old window frame with hooks for your gardening tools and baskets.
HOW TO: Paint an old wood table with outdoor house paint to help protect the wood from the elements. The paint also allows you to match your existing decor. Screw “S” hooks into the wood frame so you can hang your garden tools from them. Staple a cut piece of chicken wire to the back of the frame, then use old wood clothes pins to hang seed packets onto the chicken wire mesh.
Vintage crates, especially the ones with great labels, make unique planters! Place several crates into a garden bed or display them on your porch or patio for a colorful display.
HOW TO: You can use the wood crates just the way they are, but I recommend you add an old window screen to the bottom of the crate before adding potting soil. Some crates have wide slats at the bottom, so the window screen will help contain the soil. To ensure the paper labels last throughout the season, coat them with a waterproof clear coat varnish or polyurethane before putting the crates outside.
Vintage suitcases definitely make a statement – tucked into a garden bed or displayed on a front porch or patio. Choose metal suitcases, leather suitcases, or even fiberboard suitcases.
HOW TO: To help a suitcase survive outdoor weather and water, I recommend you remove any fabric liner from the suitcase before planting. Drill small drain holes into the bottom of the suitcase for adequate drainage. Coat the inside with a UV stabilized epoxy. If the suitcase is leather, condition it with a leather oil before planting.
Vintage Glass Insulators
Vintage glass insulators make perfect little pots for starting seeds or for planting succulents. Add a dozen to your patio table for a great display. The glass of the insulators will sparkle in the sunshine!
HOW TO: Since the glass insulators do not have a form of drainage, make sure to add a layer of pebbles or charcoal to the bottom of the glass before adding potting soil and plants. When it’s time to water, take care not to over-saturate the soil. Add stick-on pads to the bottom as feet – or use silicone to glue a small solid brass ring (used for crafting) to the bottom, to keep the insulators from tipping over. To add some variety, glue two insulators together with the brass ring between them to make different heights. For a unique look, make crackled insulators: heat the insulators in an oven, then carefully quench them in cold water. The glass will fracture – but not fall apart. Finish them with a transparent crafting glass stain. They are beautiful in the sunshine!