Being a fine art painter my friend Hazel has a creative mind and can see old things in a new way. She takes repurposing a step further when using found objects as garden decor.


At the foot of the steps to the deck is a collection of vintage watering cans and containers, most of which came with the house. The bucket is from some dog kennels on a friend’s farm. It was painted many years ago with green boat paint, the original owner was a barge worker and the green boat paint was used on pretty much everything. The oil can was salvaged from a dump at the back of the  property and was found with a metal detector.

For Hazel, container gardening enables her to bypass the limited sun, funky soil, slugs and voles. Velvety leaved coleus are used as a focal point to draw the eye along a path to a shady spot where a pot adds a drop of color too.


“The colors I like, blues, reds, yellows, white can all be put in a pot. The pots add a second level of height 15″or higher, you have a much more layered look to the garden.”


Salvaged from old screen doors, Hazel painted these aluminum panels and placed them in the flower garden.

“If I want purple there, I’ll put purple”


Several panels are combined inside a hand built wooden screen to frame a shady corner (below)


A scrap of periwinkle blue fence is under-planted with hostas to give it some visual weight (below). In the spring the flowers of the Double Flowering Japanese Kerria shrub are dots of yellow against the soft blue.


Recommended by Hazel –  Northern Dutchess Botanical Gardens for reasonable prices and awesome selection, especially Coleus.

For more on container gardening check out Container Gardening Tips with Bob Hyland at