Spring is in the air and here at Watling Reclamation a new burst of creativity is blossoming. We’re full of ideas for DIY projects, garden design and spring planting. Reclaimed products, recycled as pots and planters, make a perfect pairing for cottage gardens and vintage loving gardeners. Try a selection of herbs if you’re keen to “grow your own” or if you’re looking to create a wildlife oasis, a mixed selection of wildflowers can be grown in pots and planters and will attract pollen-loving bees and butterflies.

We’ve been browsing Pinterest for ideas and are excited to share some of our favourites with you. We have many of these featured products in stock at the yard so come and visit us for more inspiration!

Reclaimed Chimney Pot Planters

Chimney pot planters look fantastic when used to add height to cottage borders, either side of doors or on patio areas. Instead of filling the whole pot with soil, you can lodge a plastic pot in the top to keep your arrangements interchangeable throughout the seasons.  We recommend trailing plants as they look lovely cascading down the pot.

Yorkstone Troughs

Yorkstone troughs make wonderful feature pieces on driveways and gardens. These are often deep enough to plant either vegetables or flowers, or for a classic french look and wonderful aroma fill them with lavender. Stone troughs can raised on stones to create legs, so that they can be used as a raised stone planter or can be made into charming water features when paired with an a reclaimed water pump.

Belfast Sinks

Belfast sinks make lovely cottage planters. They are a great size for growing a mini herb garden or you could try creating a pond in a pot as described the RHS here. You’ll need to make sure you include a ramp for frogs to get in and out. This would be a fantastic nature project for budding young scientists to watch, record, draw and study over the seasons.

Galvanised Buckets and Milk Churns

Galvanised buckets are a great size for using for pots, just make sure to put a hole in the bottom for drainage. They work particularly well in cottage gardens. Milk churns are another great option and look stunning with an abundant bloom of foliage and flowers exploding out of the top. They can also be painted for a colourful, artistic look.

Wooden crates

Wooden crates make very cheap, large wooden planters. They should be lined with moss or plastic sheeting (an old compost bag works well) to stop the soil from escaping through the cracks, and then protected from the elements with wood stain or paint. They make wonderful rustic herb gardens; you could even paint the names of the herbs on the side. They can also be stacked or have legs added to create raised beds, plant shelving and vertical growers. These are a really cost-effective and sustainable way to green up a small outdoor space. We have a number of wooden crates available to buy in the yard.


Reclaimed half barrels are perfect for larger shrubs and plants due to their generous size. They look lovely in all types of outdoor spaces, creating a bucolic impression in cottage gardens or a rustic and industrial appearance in more contemporary spaces. Full barrels can also be used as a pedestal for other pots to add height to planting areas.

Our Collection of Reclaimed Planters and Pots: