Are you a scavenger? If you are, maybe you'll be lucky enough to find a Radio Flyer stuffed into a city trash bin, as we did. It was old and rusty and could barely move. We grabbed it.
If you're not a scavenger, you might want to hold on to some of your junk for your garden paths, patios and porches.
With the help of a garden center, the red wagon was transformed into a lavish garden centerpiece, filled with annuals, perennials and herbs.
You can personalize your garden with old junky items scavenged from basements, garage sales and flea markets. See what a little fresh paint, new blooms and even strawberries did to these old things.
Old wooden chair
1. Cut center out of chair seat so pot can rest on the frame.
2. Spray-paint chair and pot.
3. Plant large pot (we used a 12-inch clay pot plus smaller potted plants for the chair's ladder back) filled with yellow sweet potato vine, red verbena, "Tango Neon" purple geranium, Calibrachoa "Dreamsickle," Supertunia "Royal Velvet" and premium potting soil
Price: $55 for soil, flowers and spray paint
Designer/garden center: Wendy Doan, garden stylist at For The Garden, St. Louis, Mo.
Old metal strainers
1. Line large and small strainers with plastic grocery bags so the soil won't wash out of the holes.
2. Fill both strainers with soil.
3. Place an upside-down 5-inch clay pot into the back of the large strainer. Push it down until it is level with the rim of the strainer.
4. Place the small strainer on the upside-down pot and the back rim of the large strainer. (Naugle used a dragonfly pole pushed through the top strainer, through the pot and into the soil below to stabilize the top strainer).
5. Plant the smaller strainer with dianthus "Strawberry Parfait" and allysum "Snow Crystals."
6. Plant the larger strainer with strawberry plants. (Naugle used the ever-bearing variety).
Price: About $25 for flowers, strawberries, soil and dragonfly.
Designer/garden center: Pam Naugle, assistant general manager at Hartke Nursery, 1030 North Warson Road
Old metal watering can
1. Fill the bottom third of the can with crumpled plastic containers to improve drainage.
2. Fill the rest of the can with potting soil.
3. For height, plant a white caladium. For fullness, plant a dragon-wing begonia and Torenia "Blue Wave."
4. To soften the look, plant asparagus fern to drape over the edge.
5. After planting, spread a slow-release fertilizer, then cover the soil with sphagnum moss for a finished look.
Price: $25 for soil, flowers, plants and fertilizer.
Designer/garden center: Diane White, owner of White's Greenhouses, Godfrey, Mo.
A man's old boot
1. Remove the boot's steel toe (if it has one) and tongue. Cut a small hole in the toe area.
2. Drill holes through the sole near the ball of the foot and drill one hole in the inside arch through the leather.
3. Plant the small toe hole with spicy mix micro-greens, such as cabbage "Red Ace," mustard "Sawtooth" and radish "China Rose." Wrap the green tops in a rolled newspaper to prevent them from becoming damaged in the process of threading them through the boot and then into the small hole.
4. Line the back of the shoe and the tongue area with a scrap of coir liner. This liner is typical in hanging baskets. Add potting mix and time-release fertilizer.
5. Plant the boot with Lavandula stoechas "Blueberry Ruffles," pansy "Fizzy Lemonberry" and nemesia "Violet Ice."
6. Arrange the shoes' strings, and water thoroughly.
Price: $10 to $15 for flowers, fertilizer, potting mix and coir liner.
Designer/garden center: Leslie Sortino, sales associate at Bowood Farms, St. Louis
Radio Flyer wagon
1. Drill holes in the wagon for drainage. Line with pebbles for additional drainage.
2. Fill wagon ½ full to ¾ full with Miracle Gro potting mix containing Osmocote.
3. Select miniature plants, such as miniature conifers, pathway plants, herbs and small flowering perennials and annuals. Add fragrant flowers for bees and butterflies. Plants used: dwarf Alberta spruce, common juniper, Paul's dwarf mugo pine, digitalis "Goldcrest," English daisy, Sedum yunnanense, sweet alyssum, Scotch moss, ajuga "Chocolate Chip" and herniaria "Sea Foam."
4. Add accessories including a miniature cottage with a fence and gate, stones to terrace and create paths, and colored glass to create a stream. Other items used: a miniature garden bench, a chair, a wheelbarrow, a flower pot, a beehive, a birdhouse, a birdbath, miniature bees, butterflies, ladybugs, birds, a raccoon, a cat, a toad with a toadstool and, of course, fairies.
Price: $75 to $100, including soil, flowers, fairies and accessories.
Designer/garden center: Maria Mitchell, sales associate at Sugar Creek Gardens, St. Louis, Mo.