Look! Car Parts as Planters at Flora Grubb

We always love the incongruous beauty of industrial elements in the garden. So last week, when we stopped by Flora Grubb Gardens, we were completely wowed by these little potted landscapes installed in repurposed car parts. Click through for close-ups and to learn some tips for replicating this project on your own…

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Jim Kumiega, the man behind these beauties, recommends using lots of small plants and mounding up the soil, then covering the surface of the soil with rocks, washers, or other small pieces of metal or stone. Jim used a couple of old spark plugs here, as well as bits of demolished concrete. This kind of “mulch” will keep the soil from spilling out when you water, and the grayish color makes the green of the plants really pop.

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While these two little gardens are destined for Luscious Garage, a local hybrid mechanic (and the prettiest auto shop we’ve ever seen), the idea wouldn’t be hard to replicate at home. Save your old tires, punch drainage holes in the rubber before planting, and balance the finished product on a wide-mouthed pot.

We've seen lots of creative substitutes for pottery in the garden: old bathtubs, sinks, and even toilets; vintage suitcases. What are some of your favorites?