The shabby chic trend isn't limited to home interiors; gardeners are discovering ways to recycle discards from the kitchen, closet, and bedroom for the flower garden. Whether you have a large rural property or just a windowsill, there's a way to incorporate salvage items into your garden.

cargarden.jpg - Photo © Michael Wheatley/All Canada Photos/Getty Images
Photo © Michael Wheatley/All Canada Photos/Getty Images

1.  Car

 Did your rural property come with a resident junker? If an antique car or truck is beyond restoring, give it a new lease on life as a focal point for a flower garden. Remove the hood and trunk, and fill with premium potting soil before adding a riot of colorful flowers like zinnias or day lilies. Plant the surrounding landscape with in-ground flowers, like the garden in this photo, to give the car-scape a more permanent feel. 

 
dressergarden.jpg - Photo © Peter Carlsson/Johner Images/Getty Images
Photo © Peter Carlsson/Johner Images/Getty Images

2.  Dresser

 Dress up a down-at-the-heels dresser with an assortment of flowers like lavender, verbena, or lobelia. Stagger the drawers so that the lowest drawer is open the most, followed by the drawers above it. A dresser filled with moist soil can become unstable, so you may want to secure it to a fence or wall, especially if the dresser is sitting on a soft soil surface. 

79093452.jpg - Photo © Lena Granefelt/Getty Images
Photo © Lena Granefelt/Getty Images

3.  Cans

 Some cans are too pretty to toss, so poke a few drainage holes in the bottom and plant with a six-pack of your favorite annuals, one per can. For a more unified look, you can paint the cans a single color or wrap them with decorative craft tape. Larger cans will also work as mini hanging baskets; just drill holes beneath the rim and hang with jute twine. 

 
bikegarden.jpg - Photo © Anne Green-Armytage/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Photo © Anne Green-Armytage/Photolibrary/Getty Images

4.  Bike

Make use of two items that always seem to languish at the thrift store: broken down bicycles, and ugly baskets. These two items, and perhaps a can of spray paint with primer in a cheerful periwinkle or lemon hue, will yield a colorful planter you can mount to a wooden fence or pose at the base of a tree. Fill with pelargoniums and impatiens for the look pictured here. For added fun, mount shoes to the pedals, and fill them with flowering plants as well!

bootgarden.jpg - Photo © Imagedepotpro/E+/Getty Images
Photo © Imagedepotpro/E+/Getty Images

5.  Boots

 One of the most accessible recycled container garden ideas centers on boots of all types. Any kind of boots work for planting flowers, including leather work boots, rubber rain boots, cowboy boots, and children's boots. Even a pair of infant boots can host miniature African violets or some sweet alyssum plants. To extend the life of boot planters when used outdoors, you can line them with plastic. Whether lined or unlined, pierce the soles several times for adequate drainage. If you like the whimsy of your flowering boot container, extend the idea with a high-heeled shoe planter or purse planted with flowers.  

 
chairgarden.jpg - Photo © Mark Turner/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Photo © Mark Turner/Photolibrary/Getty Images

6.  Chair

 When an old chair becomes to rickety to sit on safely, transform it with a can of spray paint and a container of marigolds, impatiens, or begonias. Alternatively, you can remove the seat of the chair, reinforce it with wire, fill with sphagnum moss, and plant with easy trailing flowers like nasturtiums or million bells

teacupgarden.jpg - Photo © Juliette Wade/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Photo © Juliette Wade/Photolibrary/Getty Images

7.  Teacup

 The overabundance of chipped but still charming vintage teacups available in thrift stores are just waiting for your floral touch. Before you plant, use a diamond-tip drill to make a drainage hole in the bottom of the cup. If you don't have the necessary drill, fill the bottom half of the cup with gravel to aid in drainage. Add a matching saucer to catch water. Plant with spreading annuals you can easily split apart, like petunias or portulacas. Tuck Spanish moss around the top to keep soil from splashing out of the cup. 

boatgarden.jpg - Photo © Martin Hospach/Getty Images
Photo © Martin Hospach/Getty Images

8.  Boat

An item as large as a boat should never end up in the landfill, so reduce, reuse, and recycle it as a new raised flowerbed. Even a small rowboat will require a large amount of soil to bring the flowers up to eye level, so order a truckload of compost to use as the majority of your back fill. A boat garden can accommodate most any perennial or annual flower, but you should take advantage of the raised surface to plant picky flowers that demand excellent drainage, like anemones.