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Turning a Bathtub into a Raised Garden Bed!

Bathtubs make great raised beds. They are deep and already come with a drain hole!

All you really need to do is fill them with soil and add plants…

The two galvanized tubs shown above look spectacular just as they are. It would be a shame to paint them or otherwise mask their antique charm.

If you are doing a renovation and have regular type tub, you might be more inclined to “dress it up” as was done in the project below.

This was all stuff we were preparing to discard after a bathroom reno. The chair was just something we didn’t need anymore, so it made the pile. It ended up in the garden as well and will show up in a later post. The hamper was used to make the flower tower project. You can check that project out here.

We simply backed the tub into a bank, edged old bricks around the sides and liked how it looked so much, decided to “terra cotta” the face of the tub as well. The old light globes were carefully filled with soil and planted as well and it did work out better than I thought, but being made of glass there was no drainage and the whole thing was a bit dangerous and dicey. A better use for them would be a gazing ball, which I also made and was much more relaxed about. I’ll show that later in this post.

I just used some construction adhesive suitable for outdoor use and ceramic tiling and then smashed up some tiles as well as a few terra cotta pots and whatever I had that matched, and glued them all on.

Once it was glued in place I made a “slurry” of mud and used that for grout. Bits of moss were pushed into the cracks. I had a mirror I had made that was similar in colour and even had a couple tiny terra cotta pots on it, so I stuck that to the tub as well.

I had a lot of fun sticking the small clay pots to the tub and then planting in them, though they did dry out ridiculously fast (as I should have expected). In following years I just left them empty, while some filled with moss, though perhaps succulents would have been happy there as well. Or maybe a few plastic plants for looks would be an option as well.

Here is another glass light globe carefully planted (something I wouldn’t do again). It didn’t break, but it always made me nervous that it would. Plus there was no drainage, so I always had to tip them over after a heavy rain. In the background is one that I glued bits of mirrored glass on to make a sort of gazing ball. I ended up doing that with the rest in later years. The opening was perfect for setting onto a post. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of those (or none that I can find) so you will have to use your imagination!

Through trial and error a lot can be done with things that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Some definitely could be considered “trashy looking” in your garden, but another word for that is “whimsical” or “character”!

And with a little more work and imagination a lot of things can turn out looking pretty darn spectacular. Besides, there is nothing you can use for a container that a cascading plant won’t soon hide. 🙂

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