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Quirky and fun gardening projects to try

Here's how to get creative to repurpose old items in your garden planting.

DENVER — I'm all in favor of quirky, whimsical gardening projects.

I've been planting my old wheelbarrow for years. I like planning plant combinations for it each season. I'm not the first or last gardener to plant in a wheelbarrow. Great focal points can result from planting in wagons, carts and old farming implements. All you need for success are imagination and drainage.

If you're constantly dragging a hose over your plantings, install hose guards. I use these in my vegetable gardens. They're just short pieces of 4x4 lumber with rebar drilled into the base. Stuck into the ground, they're good at preventing me from flattening the peppers with a hose. They're rather unremarkable by themselves. I added old doorknobs as finials on the top of each guard. It's a whimsical touch that makes two utilitarian objects special.

It turns out that old ladders can be put to good use. I use a five foot step ladder as a trellis for beans or cucumbers. Any number of vining plants could be trained up a ladder. For stability, bury the feet of the ladder several inches deep so it won't blow over.

An amazingly tall ladder a friend gave me was a challenge. I couldn't think of too many vines that would grow tall enough to cover it. So I turned it into a plant pyramid with shelves balanced on the rungs. A carpenter would take a more logical approach by buying lumber, measuring, sawing, staining and beveling. Since carpentry is not one of my best skills, I just rummaged around for random boards and plants. The result is a quirky display that distracts from the compost pile behind it.

Put your creativity to work and repurpose old items for quirky garden additions.

More Proctor's Garden:

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