Post last updated: October 3rd, 2018

Meta is a long-time follower of my blog and we finally met in the sizzling heat of early July 2014. After her visit, I shared her wonderful idea of using clay pots to make a border for a pathway.

Even before meeting her I had shared her garden with a decorative fence built by her son.

More recently, I shared her lion’s tail growing in the compost pile. I now want to show you a few more of her tricks.

You’ve seen gardeners who paint an old wheelbarrow, fill it with showy flowers and roll it out to the front yard. Meta prefers to hide her old wheelbarrows in the back yard as plant nurseries. When two of her wheelbarrows rusted through, she painted one yellow and one green and her son put them on building blocks for height to save her gardener’s back.

For several years now, she has found the rusty holes in the wheelbarrow bed make them perfect for growing seeds, cuttings and seedlings. In the green wheelbarrow, most of those stringy plants are not green beans but future amaryllis bulbs. I gave her the seeds from my plants when she visited in 2014. She had absolutely no faith that those papery black seeds would sprout into anything so she put the seeds in pots and forgot about them. To her surprise, they sprouted and she sent me a photo. I suggested she put them in larger pots where the bulbs could easily grow larger and into the wheelbarrow nursery they went. As you can see, she stuck some flowers in to give the plantings some color for her photo. We gals just need to make things purty.

Meta two wheelbarrows-
Photo credit – Meta

According to Meta, the reddish/orange wheelbarrow in this next photo was given to her when a friend moved away. Look at the tires on it! She was hoping that leaving water in the wheelbarrow would help it rust some drainage holes for a new plant nursery but it hasn’t happened yet. Her son may need to help it along with a drill.

Meta three wheelbarrows-
Photo credit: Meta

Meta’s next idea is up there with the clay pot border for originality. I have never known of a gardener who recycled old metal shelves from the garage into a plant nursery by turning it on its side and filling it with soil. I can’t tell what that is on the front that she’s using to hold the soil in. I’m sure she’ll tell us in the Comments.

Meta shelf one-
Photo credit: Meta

Here’s the other end showing wooden stakes that are holding the shelves in place in the yard.

Meta shelf two-
Photo credit: Meta

Isn’t Meta a genius of a recycler?

12 thoughts on “META’S GARDENING IDEAS”

  1. I have known Meta for quite some time. We are long time friends and previous co-workers. I have always been very impressed by her knowledge on many aspects of gardening. I have learned so much from the various techniques she uses in the garden. And I agree this is a wonderful use of recycled materials.

    1. Anita – I’m planning a fall visit to her house and hope to see more of her ideas. Right now, I only know about what she mentions or shows me in photos. I just LOVED that clay pot pathway. Thanks for commenting.

  2. Way to go Mom!!! My mother (Meta) has always loved gardening and has the prettiest yard in the neighborhood. Strangers will stop her while she’s working in the yard and comment on how pretty everything is.

  3. Great ideas! I really like the idea of turning old shelves into a plant nursery. I also can see using that concept in the vegetable garden.

  4. Thanks for the comments. 🙂
    Linda, that piece in front of the metal shelves is a piece of galvanized sheet metal that David found while dumpster diving. He figured he would find a use for it and he did.
    And actually, I am totally useless as far as painting is concerned. David took his spray painting machine and spray painted the wheel barrows.
    The soil in the metal shelving unit and the wheel barrows came from my compost bins. A cheap way to get good soil.
    The plants that you see growing in the metal shelving nursery are the Daylilies that I have been growing from little baby plants. Those are for Linda when she comes to visit in the Fall.
    Thank you Linda for the nice write-up.


    1. A dumpster diver! A man after my own heart. I’ve never had much luck with composting. I’ve tried to do it the way that famous TV gardener/lifestyle guy with the blonde hair (his name escapes me at the moment) suggested — drill holes in a plastic garbage can and keep the lid on with bungie cords to keep animals out. He said you could roll it to circulate air and rotate the compost. Well, that’s easier said than done. And trying to sift it with a pitchfork is even funnier. I still put stuff in there but I don’t get compost in a few months … more like a few years. I think his name is Paul. He writes books, too.

  5. Great timing for this post because I have just drilled a couple of holes in a wheelbarrow and planted some things in it. Meta is very creative, and inspirational. I would like to use more recycled stuff.

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