12 ideas for greening your garden

St. Louis Post-DispatchMay 2, 2013 

So much of what we trash can find a second home in the garden. Going green in the garden is not only about planting trees and flowers, but it's also about using natural and organic products. It's finding natural ways to solve traditional garden issues such as pests or disease. It's also a way to make a beautiful and safe garden to enjoy.

Tree stumps, twigs and branches are just a few of the natural items that you can reuse to make your garden appear more rustic.

Here are a few of our favorite recycling ideas:

1. Don't trash that old baby crib. Use the crib rails to make a trellis.

2. When the kids grow out of their rain boots, reuse them for planters.

3. Fill old dresser drawers with dirt and soil. Add your favorite annuals and greenery.

4. Repurpose an old tire as a planter. Spray paint the tire. Add dirt and soil. Plant your favorite annuals for a colorful display. For instructions on painting a tire, visit ehow.com and search "how to paint a tire."

5. An old wooden ladder can become shelves for small potted plants.

6. Plant a fairy garden in an old washtub or birdbath.

7. Turn an old six-cup metal muffin pan into a bird feeder. Drill holes in the four corners and slide string or a thin chain through the holes. Fill cups with bird seed and hang from a tree branch.

8. Don't throw out your old wooden windows. They can make an eye-popping display. Place your garden pots on the window pane.

9. Reuse empty vegetable cans and coffee cans. Spray paint them with an exterior rustproof paint, poke a few holes in the bottom of the cans and fill with soil and annuals.

10. Don't get rid of that old school desk with a flip-top lid. You can create a fairy garden inside the desk top filled with fairy garden furniture, fairies, gravel, blue sea glass (to create a water scene), mini animals and miniature ground covers. Add spring annuals for color.

11. Recycled oak wine barrels make good planters because they are deep and sturdy.

12. Reuse wine corks, stuck through wooden skewers, to label herbs in your garden.

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