Recycled Can Planters for Earth Day

I actually made these several weeks ago, I just have not gotten around to posting them.  I hadn't planned on sharing them this weekend until a kind reader pointed out that it was earth day this weekend.  Since this project has a nice green feel to it, I thought I'd share a few photos.  I know this isn't an entirely orginal concept.  In fact, I have pinned several variations of this idea on Pinterest.  Here is a really cool project using plastic bottles.  I wish I could tell you that mine is all about sustainable eco friendly gardening, but really I just want my fence to look pretty.  I've already hung a painted picture and a sheet metal flower on it, now I wanted some actual plants.   Here is what I ended up with . . .


These are pretty simple.  I just collected cans, in both large and small sizes.  I may have also harassed friends to give me their cans too. Once I collected my cans, I cleaned them all and painted them.  Now, if you were planning on keeping these for years or were worried about rust, you might want to prime them.   Since I just used mine for some annual plants, I just decided to keep it quick and easy by skipping the primer.  Henry helped me paint them and we kept the style simple.   You can get as fussy as you want. In fact, I am sure with some time and intentionality, you could make some really creative planters.  I just tossed some paint on them.  I actually raided out a stash of leftover paint (my planters match my bathroom, kitchen and dinning room).  I didn't seal them, but since we used a high grade wall paint they are holding up great.  They've been on the fence about a month.  Once they are all painted, it is time to get drilling.


I put three small holes in the bottom of each can for drainage and then one small hole on side about half inch from the top of the can.  I don't measure anything.  I then hung them on the fence with 's' hooks.  You can see the hooks and my drill holes in the photo above (and my grass that needs mowed).  Trust me, go with the 's' hooks.  The hooks I bought ran me about a buck a peice.  After hanging up the first few, I deiced to try some zip ties to save some money (okay, I'm cheap).  They just didn't look as good and you can't move the planters around (which, I have done several times).   In fact, at first I had these on my back fence and they just weren't getting enough sun.   I think when I moved them to the side fence, the plants gave a sigh of relief.


I actually used them to hang around my fence art.  I decided to 86 the morning glories.  Funny story, Jason kept cutting them down with the weed eater.  So, I informed him that I was going to start doing the trimming.  Using a trimmer is much harder than it seems.  Way harder.  I mangled lots of my plants.  I'm giving Jason a permanent trimming pass.  I have rethought some of the plant placement and I've decided he can keep trimming.  I don't want anything to do with it.


The other planters are around my sheet metal flower.  I plan on adding a few more, these are really cheap, it just takes a little time to collect the cans.


Since we are talking about the yard, here are a few shots of the layout.  This is a major work in progress and . . . we still have a lot of work to do.  But, you can get an idea of where we are going.


The stone pathway is more practical  than aesthetic.  Our yard gets really muddy when it rains and it occasionally floods.  The stone sets allow us to access the barn without wading through the mud.  And, best of all, they were free!!  Some friends were moving and gave them to us.  We are all about doing things cheaply and will take handouts willingly.  The same friends gave us all the brick I used to build the beds.  And, because I usally make Jason do the hard work, I would like to mention that I laid out all the stone and bricks by myself.


And, here is the view looking at our deck.   This space needs a lot of work.  We put our deck in when I was pregnant with Alex.  We really need furniture for the deck and to fill in the landscaping.  We are thinking of enclosing the botton with lattice because we are currently using the space under the deck as storage and it looks ugly.  See my pallet?  I have got all kinds of ideas for it!  And yes, as you can see in the bottom left of the picture below, Henry was mulching the stepping stones.


For fun, here is what the space looked like in October of 2010.


I wish I had some before pictures of the rest of the yard.  But, I think you can get an idea what it looked like based on the photo above.  It wasn't pretty.  We aren't done, but we have made some progress.

Just for fun, I thought I would leave you with a photo of our eclectic old planter that we got from Goodwill.  I saw it and loved it.  I picked it up and turned around to show Jason. I was slightly worried that he would think it was awful.  He took one look at it and said "I love it. Let's get it."  Glad we are on the same page these days.