5 Easy Garden Projects





Pull together one of our quick-and-easy garden projects to infuse your outdoor space with personal style.

1. Fanciful stakes

Recycle those doodads you've been saving for a good purpose by putting them on top of garden stakes. You'll have decorative stakes that can serve as garden art or be used to support veggies and vines.

What you'll need:
• Material for stakes, such as bamboo, wood dowels, plastic pipe or broom handles
• Nails, screws or epoxy glue
• Everyday objects to top your stakes, such as drawer knobs, fishing bobs, large wooden beads, plastic Christmas ornaments, doorknobs, or twists of copper wire strung with beads and stuck in a cork

2. DIY garden markers

Make your own garden markers.

What you'll need:
• Outdoor-safe clay (such as Sculpey Premo, available at crafts stores and online)
• Wax paper
• Rolling pin
• Cookie cutters
• Paint pens
• Wooden craft sticks

How to do it:
Knead clay to make it soft and pliable. Roll the clay on wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Form shapes with cooke cutters and bake in the oven per manufacturer's instructions. Decorate with paint pens. (We used metallic silver.) Hot-glue to wooden craft sticks, holding

3. Recycle a container

Scour your garage, basement or neighborhood yard sale for unusual items to hold potted plants.

What you'll need:
• Plants in various sizes of pots
• Salvaged containers such as buckets, wheelbarrows, wagons, bicycles with baskets, toy trucks, galvanized watering cans or weathered wooden crates
• Moss

How to do it:
Arrange potted plants inside the container and fill in between them with moss. Change them out seasonally for different looks. This flower cart holds elephant's ear, baby's tears, sweet potato vine and petunias.

4. Labels from leftovers

Mark your sprouts with these easy-to-make plant labels, using recycled stuff from around the house.

What you'll need:
• Canning lids or plastic plant pots
• 9-gauge aluminum wire
• Markers
• Polyurethane spray (optional)

How to do it:
Just pound a nail through a canning lid to create a hole. Label the lid with the plant name, using a permanent marker. Thread aluminum wire through the hole and poke into soil. To use the tag again next year, spray it with polyurethane. For plastic tags, cut any shape from last year's plant pots and mark with a silver marker if the plastic surface is dark.

5. Top-dress a pot

Add decorative materials to the top of containers. They'll not only look cool, the topping will also help retain soil moisture.

What you'll need:
• Container plant
• Your choice of soil toppers from garden centers, florist shops, crafts stores, even from around your home: shells, marbles, smooth stones, glass drops, quartz pebbles, sheet moss, pea gravel

How to do it:
Spread your creative "mulch" around the top of the soil in the pot. Use toppings that complement both the container and the plant. In our pot, seashells surround 'Elijah Blue' blue fescue (Festuca glauca).





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