Even an old pair of boots can act as a unique gardening container. – ATTRIBUTION: Howard Dickins ( Flickr )

Even an old pair of boots can act as a unique gardening container. – ATTRIBUTION: Howard Dickins ( Flickr )

Instantly add a burst of color to your front porch, backyard garden, deck, or even along your windowsills. Container gardens are an excellent way to grow annuals and perennials for those on a tight budget or lacking space. Best of all, you don’t need to spend a cent to start your container gardens. Everything from recycled paint cans to painted wood scraps can be used to create innovative plant containers. Get inspired with these container garden ideas.

1. Recycled Paint Cans

Clean and reuse old paint cans instead of throwing them away. For a colorful, modern container, drizzle craft paint along the top rim of the can. Spray a coat of polyurethane over the entire can to prevent it from rusting. Alternatively, skip the top coat and allow the can to naturally weather for a rustic look.

2. Aquatic Garden

Miniature tabletop water gardens provide a refreshing aquatic feature inside your home year-round. Plant water lettuce, taro, fairy moss, water hyacinth, or any other water-friendly plant in a clean, transparent mug or bowl and watch your aquatic plants flourish.

3. On Wheels

Garden containers on wheels are not only unique but also practical, allowing you to move your arrangements when needed. Quirky containers can be made from nearly anything on wheels, including old wheelbarrows, bicycles, and wagons. These items blend nicely with the landscape when taller plants are planted behind them.

4. Galvanized Buckets

Vintage galvanized buckets, tubs, and troughs can be used to plant colorful flowers, herbs, or vegetable seeds. Line the metal with porous landscaping fabric or coir sheets if growing foods, as there is a chance of chemical exposure caused by the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.

5. Rubber Tires

Tires can be both whimsical and charming when cleaned, painted and filled with vibrant arrangements. Make cuts around the top perimeter of the tire and insert plants around the bottom base. For larger plants, stack the tires and fill with soil.

6. Salvaged Cases

Put old chests, makeup cases, wicker cases, suitcases, picnic baskets, and lunch boxes to good use. Find these items in your garage or attic or at a local antique shop or flea market. Drill holes in the bottom of each case to reduce the speed of water damage.

7. Cookware

Old pots, pans, slow-cooker liners, and other forms of cookware add appeal to any garden when overflowing with flowers. This low-budget option offers endless possibilities for your gardening efforts. Even old cupcake tins and colanders can be filled with soil and plants.

8. Painted Wood

Scrap wood and salvaged lumber can be cut and painted to create garden containers in a multitude of styles. Create long planters to hang from your window sills, or plant greenery in old wooden crates or drawers. Wooden pallets can be placed flat on the ground or vertically against a wall and filled with plants along the openings.

Looking for more container-gardening tips? Check out these sites: