Imagination is the key when it comes to designing planters for your garden. As a matter of fact, anything goes. If you have an old wheelbarrow, a tire or even an old watering can, you can convert them into effective garden containers that add a sense of whimsical, unique style to your garden. Gardeners can also make containers from scratch using old or new lumber in a variety of woods, from pine to oak to redwood.
Design and create a splash or pop of color in your garden using traditional garden containers like terra cotta pots or make your own, using what you have lying around the house or yard, such as an old bicycle basket, an old tractor tire or that old bookshelf that's been sitting in your garage for ages, or empty shipping crates.
Create an old-fashioned look using tin objects like watering cans or containers. Metal and galvanized tins can be found in local nurseries or home centers and are ideal for smaller herb collections or bursts of color from your favorite flower.
Drill drainage holes into the bottom your container so that water has a place to drain, preventing root rot. Make sure the container you choose has plenty of room for roots to grow and spread. Drill holes for drainage, making holes at least 3/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter. For larger containers, poking holes or adding a layer of broken glass, marbles or stones to the bottom of the pot or container will encourage drainage as well.
Cure stone or cement troughs, cinder blocks or other items with a thin coat of latex paint on the inside to create a water-retaining seal. This is necessary to prevent water from absorbing into the sides of the stone or cement instead your plant roots. Use a neutral color so that the seal won't be visible at a glance. Remember also that metal conducts heat and cold, so line the inside of tin or metal pots with bubble wrap or plastic sheeting to offer insulation against the weather. If your new garden trough is made of cement, you need to 'neutralize' the chemicals in the cement so they don't leach into your plant's root system. You can do this by soaking or 'painting' the cement with a mixture of one part of swimming pool acid with four parts of water.