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Wheelbarrows, kitchen sinks, woven baskets, retired tires and more can be repurposed into planters to add a touch of whimsy to Georgia gardens. Photo | Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener

Strict! budgets! or! urban! homesites!

shouldn’t! mean! that! Georgians! give! up! on! the!idea!of!having!gardens!of!their!own.!With! a! little! bit! of! creativity,! there’s! no! need! for! them! to! miss! out! on! growing! edibles! or! brightly! colored! flowers! outside! the! traditional!garden!environment.!! !

A!wide!variety!of!both!edible!and!ornamental! plants! can! be! successfully! grown! in! repurposed! containers.! According! to! gardening! experts,! edible! choices! for! container! gardens! include! strawberries,! blueberries,!beets,!Swiss!chard,!salad!mixes,!pansies,! bronze! fennel,! spring! onions,! cherry! tomatoes! and! herbs.! “Herbs! are! perfect! for! containers,”! says! Marjorie! Stansel,! former! president! of! the! Georgia! Master!Gardener!Association.!! People! choose! to! grow! their! plants! in! repurposed! containers! for! a! variety! of! reasons.! In! the! South,! one! of! those! is! to! reduce! the! threats! of! bolls!and!bermudagrass,!she!says.! Repurposed! planters! can! take! a! number! of! different! forms:! wheelbarrows,! woven! baskets,! pallets,!wooden!boxes,!cans,!buckets,!overLtheLdoor! shoe! hangers! and! even! old! chairs! and! bathtubs.! In! one! of! Stansel’s! children’s! gardens,! milk! crates! are! 12! !

used!to!grow!a!succession!of!potatoes.!! “As!long!as!you!can!put!holes!in!the!bottom,! you!can!plant!in!it,”!Stansel!says.!“Some!people!have! a!theme!to!their!garden!and!may!want![containers]! to!go!along!with!their!home.!…!There!are!a!lot!of!us! that! go! along! with! the! rural! or! folk! art! motif! that! opens! you! up! to! a! lot! of! containers! that! you! can! use.”!!! The! use! of! creative! planters! can! create! a! touch! of! whimsy.! These! objects! provide! more! traditional! gardens! with! a! focal! point! and! a! conversation! starter,! says! Australian! gardener! Anne! Gibson,!who!runs!the!website!The!Micro!Gardener.! The! main! requirements! for! repurposed! containers! are! that! they! can! hold! potting! soil! and! that! they! won’t! fall! apart! when! the! plants! in! them! are! watered.! There! are! a! few! caveats,! however:! Stansel!says!woven!baskets!can!be!great!planters,!so! long! as! they’re! lined! —! plus,! they! can! be! tossed! in! the! compost! pile! if! they! do! start! to! disintegrate! —! and! Gibson! recommends! metal! containers! be! reserved!for!succulents!such!as!cacti.!! “Whilst! not! wanting! to! dampen! your! enthusiasm! for! gardening! in! repurposed! planters,! I! encourage! you! to! do! your! due! diligence! when! choosing!that!perfect!container,”!she!says.! That! due! diligence! includes! considering! size,! shape,!material!and!color!of!containers.!

February 2016 agriCULTURE Magazine  

Georgia agriculture meets Southern culture: In this issue, we're celebrating Valentine's Day with art and chocolate. Meet an Augusta chocola...

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