Almost every gardener has seen or made a wagon wheel herb or flower garden, and that is still a great use for an old wheel, but there are a number of other creative ways to use them in the landscape. It is not necessary to use them only as planters--think vertically as well as horizontally, and you will discover all sorts of new ways to use them in your yard and garden.
Put a wagon wheel on either side of a wooden garden gate and finish the fence with rustic split rails. Plant tall, airy wildflowers and native grasses in the "zig-zags" for an old-fashioned prairie look. If you have an extra wheel or two, consider cutting one in half to flank either side of the sidewalk leading to the gate. Paint your house number on the outsides so people can find you.
Keep your garden hoses handy without the unsightliness of utility hangers. Hang a wooden wagon wheel in front of an ordinary hose reel to make it decorative. If you drill into the face of the rim just below each spoke, you can glue wooden pegs in to hold a garden hat, rain poncho; rake, shovel or other tools for further usefulness and decorative affect.
Outdoor Wall Decor
Hang a wheel on your garden shed or wall of the house facing into the garden. Plant a climbing rose in the ground beneath and let it twine up the wheel for a pretty, rustic trellis. Wheels also make interesting view "windows" incorporated into a high stone or brick wall as it is built.
Erect a sturdy metal pipe in the ground (anchor with concrete). Put a pipe flange on another larger or smaller diameter piece of pipe (depending upon the inside diameter of your wagon wheel hub) and drop it down through the hub and inside (or over) the in-ground pipe. With the wheel on top of the pole you can suspend hanging pots from the spokes.
Use a large diameter wagon wheel as the back for a rustic landscape bench (smaller wheels for chairs). They can be whole (standing on the ground) and fastened behind the seat, or cut in half and incorporated into the furniture design. Alternatively, fasten a heavy plank between two smaller wheels (one on each end) to make a bench with curved armrests. You will need to partially bury the bottom of each wheel (or add a straight board across the bottom) to prevent the bench tipping over.