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Out of the Kitchen into the Garden


by Rosalie Stanley

My mother thought she was helping my daughter in college out by giving her a bunch of unused pots and other items from her kitchen. As it turned out, most of the things were well worn and my daughter didnít want to use them but didn't want to hurt Grandma's feelings either. She packed up the things that Grandma gave her in a box and brought them home to me.

ďMom, Grandma gave me all this stuff but itís junk,Ē said Jenna. I didnít think they were that bad but I knew she was right. After all, some of the things were almost as old as me. Jenna went back to school and I was left with the old things from my mother's kitchen.

The box sat around for awhile and I was about to throw it out when I thought of a new use for some of the items. With a little effort I could make some unique containers for succulents or other small plants.

An enameled colander that had rust spots on it became a happy haven for succulents. I simply lined it with sphagnum moss then put in some potting soil, sedums, and a handful of gravel. A cast iron pot turned into a planter by drilling a few holes for drainage. Over the months it has taken on a rusty patina that compliments the succulents planted in it. Momís old strainer was treated the same as the colander and is perfect for hanging on a wall with some colorful lobelia and yellow oregano.

I havenít done this one yet but another idea would be to drill holes in that favorite bowl or cup of yours that has a chip in it and use them to hold a plant or two.

Using stuff from the kitchen as plant containers is one way to recycle an unwanted or tired item from the back corner of your or grandmaís kitchen. There probably is a memory of something cooked in that old pot and youíll remember the moment each time you water or walk by.

Pots, Colanders, Strainers etc.
1/4 inch drill bit for metal
Spagnum Moss
Potting Soil
Small plants or succulents

Drill holes if needed for drainage.
Line colander or strainer with sphagnum moss.
Plant as you normally would.

**All photos by Rosalie Stanley

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published June 27, 2008

Photos to enlarge


Hanging strainer with flowers and herbs

Cast iron pot with succulents

An incredible colander

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