Small Recycled Planter

I’ve always been partial to salvaged metal pieces used as garden art.  I’ve seen old farm implements, culvert pipes, tools, gears, and wheels–just to name a few–used as sculpture or as containers in gardens (sometimes in very upscale gardens), and I usually like the way these pieces look.

So early yesterday morning, I decided to take a slightly different route while walking my dogs. Altering my path by just one block led me to find something I like a lot.

In short, I stumbled upon part of a gutter’s downspout in the road. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Really, you got all excited about a piece of gutter?”

Well, yes.  ~Grin.~

In the past, I’ve saved gutter parts from the aluminum gutters installed at my former house. Those parts pretty much sat untouched in the shed for years.  I was sure I might need them someday, so I never threw them away.  Turns out I never used them for anything, and they stayed in the shed when I sold the house.  Maybe the new owner had the guts to throw them in the rubbish bin?  Or maybe, if she was the creative sort, she made something out of them?  I’ll never know.

So why now, when I’ve never used gutter pieces for any project, would I want a piece of gutter?

Answer:  Probably because this piece of gutter was absolutely cool.  It’s made of copper and has a wonderful patina; the kind of patina that takes years to appear naturally.

Although I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to do with it, you can be sure this metal scrap came home with me.

After lightly cleaning the gutter piece at home, I wasn’t happy that someone had cut the downspout off on the diagonal. I thought it ruined it.  However, as it turned out, that slanted cut and even the fact that it’s a bit uneven adds character and, in my opinion, gives it a jaunty look.  Judge for yourself in the photos below.

Because I didn’t want the gutter piece sitting around my house collecting dust for months, I came up with a quick solution. I made it into a planter, and it took me all of 45 minutes.



In the box where I store my wire, was a short piece of copper tubing that went to an old space heater. I’d recently contemplated throwing the tubing away.–SO glad I didn’t!

IMG_1675 (2)

The copper tubing became a handle and fortunately for me, I had a bit of copper wire to attach the handle.  (The copper wire will eventually oxidize to a brown color.)  I used all of this, along with a small piece of perforated aluminum sheet metal, to make a hanging planter.


Above: Scrap of perforated sheet metal.

I think the planter is cute, and I plan to put a succulent or possibly a small hanging plant in it. Possible locations for hanging it are either on the fence or beneath the deck railing.


Above: Perforated sheet metal wedged inside of gutter to hold soil.

If my homemade planter isn’t your style, that’s okay.  We all have different tastes.

For other ideas using metal in your garden (salvaged or otherwise), feel free to look at the following links (some are blog posts from other gardeners):

Hope your day is a good one!



5 thoughts on “Small Recycled Planter

  1. I think that your planter now looks like a vintage container from a farm. I really like it. You are lucky salvage people did not get to the guttering first. They would sell it for the copper. Here copper piping is stolen from vacant buildings so it’s good that you kept your old pipe. A pale green succulent would contrast with the brown and match the green patina. A great job of repurposing an otherwise useless object.

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  2. COOL!!! I can’t blame you for grabbing the piece of gutter, I would have done the same. It looks GREAT! Back in the 1980’s a friend f mine and I removed an old coal fired furnace from the basement of an elderly couple. The old cast iron part I brought home and I still use it as a planter. Even after 30 years, since I moved away in 1987, it is still here where I put it back then. The Sempervivum ‘Killer’ and Cylindropuntia imbricata are in it now. I love old stuff like that! Great post!

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  3. I love your planter creation. I was thinking (before I saw you write it) that it would be perfect for hanging on a fence! When I moved into my last house, in NH, I found a piece (like half) of a cement birdbath with two decorative birds which must have originally been in the center of the bowl. I set it upright as an accent piece in my garden. So I know what you mean about adding items (that seem unuseful) to the garden / yard as accent pieces. I love this type of repurposed decorating!

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  4. I bet your birdbath was pretty. I like taking things no wants and making them into something that has value and/or is pretty. Of course, it’s not possible to do that with everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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