Garden Photo of the Day

Repurposed Garden Decor

Rusted metal has another life decorating this garden

Today we’re visiting an unusual and beautiful garden in Idaho.

My name is Jeff, and I’m a landscaper in Boise, Idaho. I thought you might be interested in seeing some of my repurposed and reused gears and faucet handles and other rusty elements that I incorporate into the landscaping around our home.

Rusted gears and other metal parts are stacked to make little sculptures on a table in the garden.

Metal containers filled with plants complement the repurposed metal garden art.

Old faucet handles make a decorative, flower-like pattern on the arbor.

The rusted metal elements are integrated throughout the garden.

Boston ivyBoston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata, Zones 4–8) running up over a wall. See a little dog peeking out the window? That’s Hank!

The garden isn’t just repurposed metal art. This bed is a tapestry of contrasting textures and foliage colors.

An all-important place to sit and enjoy the garden.

Containers matching the color of the metal make a rust-colored trio.

Japanese maple in a potThe Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) has an unusual mulch of old mining bearings and cannonballs. The pots are sitting on iron tractor plowing disks.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    vanhatalosuomi 08/31/2020

    Hi Jeff, I like what you've done there. Rusty metal isn't my thing but because of how well you've showcased it in your own garden, I'm seeing it in a new light.
    Thank you for posting!

  2. sagebird52 08/31/2020

    Thank you - An interesting collection. Also I like the varying color and texture contrasts in the foliage that contrasts well with the rust.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/31/2020

    I'll bet you are a fun landscaper and give clients a new way to look at things. You obviously have a very creative and artistic eye and a natural talent for turning somebody else's else's junk into garden treasures. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Carolyn3134 08/31/2020

    So creative and beautiful at the same time!!

  5. User avater
    treasuresmom 08/31/2020

    Love your use of old/recycled metal but I just adore those faucet handles!

  6. Patchworkgardener 08/31/2020

    Hi Jeff....I LOVE IT! Would never have thought old rusty gears, especially large ones, would look so good as garden art. Also meets need for recycling. Great job!

  7. Sunshine111 08/31/2020

    Hi Jeff! Seeing your creations reminded me of a Garden that is local to me here in New Hampshire, Bedrock Gardens. The owners have gone to same route as you, creating garden art from various found objects. You might enjoy checking out their website, as well as subscribing to their Facebook page. They are posting new images from their garden almost daily! Enjoy!😊

  8. arboretum 08/31/2020

    jeff, in addition to the planters and fountain, i am psyched by your color/texture/height design sense, all seen so well in the tiger eye sumac photo.[ is that a row of rhamnus growing up towards hank?]
    you must have to bring in your potted japanese maple? my one concern for that pot is that those tree roots need to breathe, which they can't do with all that iron covering them...
    i hope you'll send in more photos. it's so great to see an fgpod garden design as complex and sophisticated as yours.

  9. NC_Yarden 08/31/2020

    Very clever. Great repurposing of material.

  10. btucker9675 08/31/2020

    There is nothing about this garden that I don't love! So creative and beautiful and the meandering row of faucet handles is especially wonderful. Thank you for sharing - my mind is racing!

  11. User avater
    simplesue 08/31/2020

    I love foliage gardens, and yours is fabulous. I've seen people use odds and ends in gardens before but never as perfectly has you tasteful and artistic. Love the colors you limited it to- again perfection! So natural and relaxing. Also love the dog up in the window!

  12. sheila_schultz 08/31/2020

    Jeff, your eye for design is thoughtful and creative. I love rusty objects and I am more than envious of your incredible collection of very cool 'stuff'! The faucet handle 'mural' made my jaw drop. I love it!

  13. nwphillygardener 08/31/2020

    You really have showcased so many ways that the inclusion of some rusted elements can set themselves so naturally in a garden. Whether blending with similar hued ceramic glazes or contrasting with a group of galvanized surfaces, and accented with glass orbs, your garden vignettes are all quite settled…. soothing yet whimsical.
    Now I'd love to stroll through an see how all these vignettes interconnect in your garden.

  14. JohnsonofMillCreek 08/31/2020

    You have a great eye! Love what you've done in your garden. It's beautiful and natural looking. Thank you for sharing!

  15. SWFLgardener 08/31/2020

    I love your style! I Would Love to incorporate more hardscape & artwork but just haven’t found what clicks for me. Your design is perfect. Love all the foliage with the metal work it is the right balance. Loved the birch tree log in the grouping.

  16. cheryl_c 08/31/2020

    What a delightful tour we have this morning! Your plant choices and garden art put a smile on my face. Thanks so much for sharing, and please consider sending more photos soon. I'd love to see the rusted objects as we get more into autumnal colors.

  17. Musette1 08/31/2020

    omgosh! Hank! Adorable! Also love the faucet handles - they do look floral!
    I'm in the process of liquidating and clearing out my custom machine shop and have found a number of possible pieces for my own garden - seeing how well you've incorporated them into yours is really inspiring. Thanks for sharing - and give Hank a smooch for me!

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