The tub you choose will need to be able to stand on its own.

Ideas for Using a Bathtub for a Flower Bed

by Andrew Leahey

That old bathtub may no longer be welcome in your bathroom, but you might be able to grant it a second life as a garden planter. With a waterproof finish and good drainage, some old bathtubs will work for a flower bed. If you're considering putting your old tub in the garden, come up with a plan before you get started.

1. Tub Types

Many modern tubs are designed to sit surrounded three walls. These tubs are not finished on all sides, and won't work well in the garden unless you sink them in the soil. The tub you choose will also need to be installed in your garden so the drain hole is the lowest point, allowing for proper drainage.

2. Overturned Bathtub Garden

For a different look, consider laying your bathtub on its side and filling the tub and area around the tub with potting soil. Plant ornamentals in the tub and in front of the overturned tub to give the effect of a planter that has been overturned, spilling flowering plants in to your garden.

3. Bathtub Vines

A bathtub flowerbed filled with trailing vines, such as trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) can be an attractive focus for your garden. Woodbine honeysuckle grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Place your bathtub flowerbed filled with vines in full sun and allow the vines to trail over the sides of the tub and spread along the ground. Keep the vines pruned to keep it looking tidy. Honeysuckles can be poisonous if eaten, so keep children away if you decide to plant it.

4. Pots

Adding pots to the bathtub flowerbed can be a whimsical way to add some height to your ornamentals and make maintenance easier. Use plants in pots, along with overturned pots on the floor of your tub, to make your tub appear to be filled to the brim with flowers. Use decorative terra cotta or ceramic pots for the top layer to give your garden added appeal. Experiment with different heights and combinations to give your bathtub flower bed the illusion of bursting with life.

About the Author

Andrew Leahey has been a writer since 1999, covering topics as varied as technology how-to guides and the politics of genetically modified organisms to African food supplies. He is pursuing his J.D. while renovating an 1887 farmhouse located in the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

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