I have just returned from a week long trip to Florida which for this Seattle-ite was pure horticultural eye candy! (I was speaking on the HGTV designer stage at the Epcot International Garden and Flower Festival for three days) . Everywhere I looked there were houseplants – growing as hedges or clambering up trees! Even that old fashioned polka dot plant (Hypoestes)  that I struggle to keep alive on a windowsill was a groundcover to the point of being a nuisance in one garden I visited.

I’ll share some of my tropical plant flavors soon but I just had to show you these fun veggie gardening ideas that I spotted in a display at Epcot.

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If you have a small garden or patio you know how frustrating it can be when the sun moves during the day and suddenly your micro-veggie patch or herb garden is in shade. Well here are a few fun solutions.

Wheelbarrow planter

The more I looked at this the more I loved it. Just think – you can move your veggies easily into the sun during the day or to a shadier spot of it gets too hot. Just make sure your wheelbarrow has drainage holes. Plastic wheelbarrows are fairly inexpensive or perhaps you have an old metal one that could add a rustic flair? Or maybe give it a coat of paint in a fun color?

The orange wheelbarrow above combines ornamental and edible plants including variegated tapioca, taro and carrots.

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This yellow wheelbarrow is positively exploding with color! A big silver leaved cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)  takes pride of place in the center with a field of basil behind it (by my standards anyway) and colorful annuals in front. I love the way it is nestled within a meadow of yellow daisies although I admit that does make moving it rather tricky.

Sitting pretty

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Have you got some old wooden chairs languishing in a dusty corner? Look what you can do with a little creativity and a coat of paint! The seats have been replaced with inexpensive plastic containers that are crammed full of edible and ornamental flowers. These will surely bring the pollinators into your garden but the idea could just as easily be adapted to create a handy herb garden by the kitchen door.

Packed into pallets

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The concept of pallet gardens has been around for a while and is a fun way to re-use those packing crates which everything from potting soil to appliances get delivered on. I like tidy rows in my vegetable garden so the idea of using pallets for growing small quantities is very appealing. Strawberries, parsley and cabbages are just a few of the many options tested here.

Just hanging around

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Why are some of the best ideas so obvious – and yet you just never thought of them? These galvanized buckets have been drilled and hung from fence rails – perfect for salad crops or perhaps strawberries. why hang them at head height – hang them where you can reach them!

A simple drip irrigation system keeps all these movable planters watered but a quick splash with a hose pipe would of course be easy.

Have you come up with a fun planter idea? Do share it!

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