Unusual and Fun Container Gardens

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
succulent plants growing out of a container shaped like high heels

Sometimes it pays to think outside of the “pot” when planning a container garden. 

There are so many different and unusually-shaped containers available to buy and make. You can even upcycle old household items or worn-out clothes into a container. These high heeled shoes are a good example!

This clever design was spotted at my favorite independent garden center. The old high heels are planted with different low-maintenance succulents, and the water drains out the toes. Water slowly and carefully. Fortunately, succulents are drought-tolerant, and thrive a bit on neglect. They don’t need much irrigation.

On the other hand (or should we say, foot?), this shoe-shaped container is an easy way to be inspired by clothing. The ceramic vase lacks drainage, so plants should be watered outside; then reinserted back into the container afterwards.

planter shaped like boots

Pieces of old furniture can be inspiration for DIY container garden lovers, too. Here is a simple wooden chair that was repainted in a pretty blue. The seat was removed and replaced with a lightweight coir or moss planter with succulents. 

plants growing out of a chair

Although it may not be the most comfortable chair in the room, it’s a clever and unusual way to showcase these low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plants in different shades of blue and green that highlight the chair’s color. Be sure to put them in a sunny spot for best results.

succulents growing in a chair

One great benefit to this type of container gardening is that it’s earth friendly. Instead of throwing more stuff in the trash, you’re upcycling junk into something beautiful. Check out this cute planter, which I spotted at a local restaurant.


With a little paint, some creativity, and well-placed drainage holes, this petunia is sitting pretty in this colorful coffee can container.

Wouldn’t this easy and inexpensive craft project be a fun way to involve your kids in the garden? You could also use this opportunity to explain why it’s important to recycle wherever possible.

petunias growing in a coffee can

Sometimes to be creative, it’s actually a good idea to “lookinsidethe box.” These boxes were painted in spring colors to make some lucky plants a lovely home. Plant these as you would a regular container, but make sure you allow drainage by drilling a few holes in the bottom. Line the holes with fine mesh screens to reduce dirt from escaping. 

An easier and cleaner option is to place plants in containers within the box. Take them out to water, and then reposition after they have drained. Use decorative moss and ribbons on top for decoration.

plants growing out of a box

Most plants need excellent drainage, no matter the container, but one exception is the paperwhite bulb.  That’s why I like to plant these bulbs in a vintage-style tomato can with small pebbles. Keep this in mind the next time you force bulbs for the fall.

bulbs and fiskars trowel

Hope these simple ideas get you thinking about unusual and fun containers for your own home. Now, let your imagination go wild!