Chimney pot planter: Our Time of Gifts, weeks 45 & 46

upcycled chimney pot

Ever wondered what to do with that old chimney pot of yours, which is just knocking around in your shed?

upcycled chimney pot

Ok, I know not everyone owns one of these terracotta delights. We were lucky enough to find one, two winters ago, when we converted the loft of our house into three new rooms.

The old chimney pots were taken down and replaced by new versions. D spotted these treasures in the skip outside our house; sadly, one had been irreversibly damaged when someone from the efficient building team flung it in, but we managed to rescue this old beauty.

Sine then, the chimney pot has been hanging around in our garden, waiting for someone to give it some attention.

Despite my best intentions, gardening always seems to creep down to the bottom of my to-do list, behind changing nappies and wiping countless spills off the floor. But, somehow, over the last fortnight I’ve managed to find some time to spend on digging, pruning and planting. The pot had been neglected for too long; I decided to set about turning it into something useful AND pretty.

I filled the base with large stones and gravel. I decided that it would look good tucked away, on a flowerbed that is mainly populated by shrubs and plants used to ‘screen’ the abandoned garden next door. Once it had been placed in its new home, I filled it with compost, including some of the squelchy, home-made sort.

Some hardy cyclamen, which had survived several winters at the north-facing front of our house, was perfect for this space, so I re-potted the flowers in this shady part of our otherwise sun-drenched back garden. To carve out a space for the chimney-turned-planter, and to make sure it did get at least a little bit of light, I cut back the shrubbery around the pot, as well as the many brambles thrusting their way through from next door.

2014-05-25 11.06.25cropI’d like to plant some flowers around the base. I was thinking that bluebells might look good. What do you think?

My gardening spree lead to the inevitable clear-out. Although the half-term rain meant I didn’t get as far ahead as I’d have liked with sprucing up the garden, we did manage to uproot a rampant poppy, to make way for more lawn.


take poppies

And I managed to wrest our old, too-small slide (itself a street find) away from the children, with the promise that a new, larger one was on its way. Despite their excitement about the new garden toy, Austin and Gwen still insisted on ‘giving the slide a hug’ before a passer-by took it for their own little ones to enjoy.

slide hug

So there we have it: a bit of work on our garden, and a couple of items to pass on to others. Sadly, nobody took the poppies, so it’s not been an exceptional fortnight for giving things away. But now they’re on our compost heap, so maybe they’ll end up helping fertilise the garden in years to come….a gift to our future selves, perhaps?

Do you have any upcycling tips for sprucing up your garden?


  • Michelle Twin Mum
    May 31, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Gardening always creeps down my list too, great use for your chimney pot. Mich x

  • Laura
    June 1, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    Your chimney pot looks great, it’s such a good upcycling idea. Wish I had something like that lurking in my shed or garage.

  • Frazzled Mum
    June 2, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    I love your chimney pot; I have one waiting in my shed ready to be planted up this summer. Again, I rescued it, along with a load of other things, from my builders. I’ve planted old wellies before which can look amazing hidden in a deep border and also old tyres. Gardens look so much more original with bits and bobs like this.

    • Nell
      June 2, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      Wellies!! What an amazing idea. I’ll have to give that a try some time….

  • Mammasaurus
    June 2, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    I LOVE chimney pot planters, my mum has some and I always try and smuggle one away in the car with me – alas they are too flipping heavy to move without arousing suspicion.
    Shame that the poppies didn’t find a new home – if there were more people like you the world would be a happier place.

    Thanks for joining in and sharing lovely x


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