These large, galvanized containers caught my attention on a trip to Portland, OR in 2005. I didn't even know what they were called, but lots of online searching finally yielded my answer: stock tanks. Traditionally for livestock, they make amazing raised beds for vegetables, herbs and succulents.
A unique way to add some visual interest to your garden, cattle troughs can make a really beautiful statement. Stack them to create a cascade of succulents, put wheels on the bottom and line them up along your property line to grow a natural, movable wall with bamboo, add some beauty to a dull or neglected parking strip. Fill with water for lily pads or other aquatic plants or add a pump for a DIY water feature. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. Check out the links below for more photos and inspiration:
Shown above the jump from left to right:
1. Stock Tanks at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
2. Pam's Amazing Garden in Austin
3. Sweet Parking Strip Planters in Seattle
4. Danger Garden's Tropical Paradise
5. Restaurant Creates Bamboo Privacy Wall Using Stock Tanks