Think outside the box when you find rusty and rustic salvage, old roots, thrift store finds and embellish those treasures with twigs, roots, pine cones and other natural materials scrounged from your xeric garden.
Being creative adds so much charm and character to otherwise boring same old, same old garden art.
Keep your eyes open for driftwood, bark and aged and weathered barnboard to make into rustic crafts.
Look for natural found items to embellish other salvaged art and rustic crafts to display or use in your garden.
You can use seedpods, twigs and other gifts from Mother Nature like the bark from many types of trees to make neat and unique rustic crafts.
Hypertufa, the magical mixture of concrete powder, peat moss and perlite, makes unusual containers resembling rock.
Hypertufa Pinch Pots
Twig Handled Hypertufa Basket
Moss and Lichen
Rustic Potting Bench
Containers for Succulents
Best Succulent Containers
Look for amazing natural things to use as unique and funky accents in your garden, like old gnarled stumps and weather-beaten driftwood roots made into root planters.
Planted with a special collection of Jovibarba, the other Hens and Chicks plant, they are exquisite. Keep your eyes open for finds like these!
Remember to ask permission if there are items you want in someone’s yard. It doesn't look good to have trespassing on your record.
I’ve used the stumps from trees cleared to make room for a vegetable garden and greenhouse to make a stump fence.
This makes a great wildlife habitat, as well as being a unique boundary marker. A wire fence above this makes it almost impossible for neighborhood dogs and deer to visit.
I've seen a grotto made from old stumps, which was a jaw dropping display at Chelsea Garden Show a few years ago; it went by the intriguing name of The Stumpery.
A twig fence made from twigs collected from your garden or roadside tree prunings is a great project to beautify your garden, and keep out uninvited visitors.
I try and match the project to the twigs – let the trimmings tell you how to use them.
I love hand crafted twig furniture made with native willows or other types of twigs and rustic twig gazebos or arbors. I've been lucky enough to live in areas where these fast growing shrubs produce amazing growth in just one season - up to two meters (6-7 feet) or more in one summer.
Add a rustic archway to your twig fence and entwine Clematis or grapevines around it to create a unique entryway. These are easy to make with rebar bent in an arch and then disguised with twigs and smothered in vines. You can find out more about using rebar for crafts on my rustic crafts site Blue Fox Farm.
Making a twig fan trellis gives you a vertical support for vines and climbing plants.
Embellishing barnboard nest boxes and other barnboard crafts, bird feeders, wreaths and twig furniture and gates are some of the ways you can use twigs and seedpods.
I find twisted and contorted twigs to make handles for twig handled trugs and gates, or making a plain door or gate more interesting with pieces of twigs cut to make a pattern.
Some of my favorite things to look for are bird cages; metal ones are thrown on the bonfire to get rid of any paint or other finishes, then I let them go rusty, which I prefer.
Plastic ones can be painted with special rust paint to look vintage.
I use them to protect seedlings from squirrels or birds in my garden, or just to display as garden art. Sometimes they need a new handle, so I wire a twig onto them.
Sometimes a certain special twig has to wait for just the right project before you use it. I just keep adding to my collection of twigs so I have a good selection to choose from.
I collect anything made of wire and accent it with twigs, bark or grapevines to make planters or gates.
Thinking outside the box can inspire you to find uses for many things you might have overlooked, such as parts from a metal couch to use for a gate, woven with grapevines or slender twigs.
Keep your eyes open at flea markets or the recycle center for glass balls from light fixtures to put on top of twig obelisks, and other salvaged light fixtures to make into rustic salvaged art.
Salvaging items from the waste stream, especially those that aren't commonly recycled can provide some interesting crafts such as a Styrofoam trough made out of a cooler or shipping box. There's a reason my new motto is 'Trash to Treasure'.
Take some clean food cans, throw them on the fire to make them go rusty, and find a weathered barnboard to attach them to.
I nail the cans on to the board, find a twisty twig handle, and plant with a wide variety of hardy succulents.
Display them where they’re out of the full sun as the metal will get hot and burn the roots.
Barn board or old weathered shingles, well aged siding or other wood can be used to make interesting barnboard crafts such as planters, window boxes, a potting bench, barnboard hook boards or funky rustic signs.
Join me for the Succulent Crafts E-Course, coming soon:
This online course is an immersion into all things succulent; whether your focus is on making a mosaic, or some great topiary, or some other really unique garden crafts, this course will cover it all.
Click on the picture for more information:
Xeric gardens, due to the fact that at times the plants look a little tired of never being watered, benefit from really unique focal points to take the eye away from the bedraggled plants.
Here are a few rustic crafts that I showcase my succulents in:
One of my favorite crafts of all time is Hypertufa - the mysterious mixture of concrete, perlite and peat moss that you can make into so many unique fabulous containers for your succulent plants...
Rustic salvage gives you the opportunity to save something from a fate worse than death in the landfill - look out for thrift store finds that you can use to plant succulents in...
Find out more here: