Wheelbarrow planters have become a fixture in modern gardens. They offer a touch of nostalgia and an opportunity to upcycle a piece of your family’s history. We’ve put together an inspiring cooked collection of wheelbarrow planter ideas for you.
If you don’t have an old wheelbarrow, try looking at garage sales, flea markets, Craigslist, or take a drive through your neighborhood on trash day. If you enjoy woodworking, there are plans available online for you to make it yourself.
It’s easy to turn a wheelbarrow into a planter. Remove any rust or chipping paint. Depending on the extent of the rust, you may have to upgrade from a brush to an angle grinder.
Drill holes in the tray for drainage. Laying fiber mesh over the bottom prevents soil from dropping through. Set up the wheelbarrow in place before adding anything. You want it to be level and stable. If it’s going to be resting in soil, you may want to bury the wheel and back support brace. When you’re satisfied that it’s level and secure, add your favorite potting mix and plants.
You can paint it with any outdoor spray paint. Seal wood to prevent rot from ruining all your work.
What can you plant in a wheelbarrow planter? The size of the tray will be the biggest factor, but generally, anything you can put in a hanging planter or wooden planter box should do fine.
1. Custom Painted Garden Wheelbarrow Planter
A smaller wheelbarrow that’s close to the ground is a great home for a collection of primrose. Paint your wheelbarrow any color that suits your yard.
The handle frame and metal wheel are painted in the same contrasting color.
2. Small Wheelbarrows Make a Big Impact
Wheelbarrows have become such a popular garden decoration, they’re now built specifically as planters. Delicate blooms such as Garden Cress and even herbs can thrive in a small garden planter.
They’re less likely to be mistaken for weeds when mowing, too.
3. Build Custom Wood Wheelbarrow Planters
A tray full of geraniums settles into this custom made planter.
The plans for this garden planter are sold online. You can choose the color or finish that works best in your garden.
4. Wheelbarrow Planter Is Great Woodworking Project
Petunias fill a handcrafted wheelbarrow planter. The wooden wheel is fixed to the handle frame, so make sure it’s where you want it, because it won’t be rolling anywhere.
5. Weathered Wheelbarrow Matches Stone Wall
Geraniums fill this vintage, angular wheelbarrow. Leaving the wood in its original weathered state matches the stone retaining wall.
Be sure and treat an old wood wheelbarrow with a sealant to slow down the wear and tear.
6. Stone Carved Planter Has Look of Wheelbarrow
Get a wheelbarrow look without hunting through flea markets and garage sales. This planter is made to look like a wheelbarrow.
7. Upcycled Wheelbarrow Does Double Duty
A collection of marigolds turns a wheelbarrow into a beautiful garden tool organizer.
If the flowers are set in individual pots, the wheelbarrow can still be used to transport mulch and soil.
8. Antique Wooden Wheelbarrow Looks Right at Home
A vintage wooden wheelbarrow looks right at home. It’s set up on the grass near a path as if it was left there for years.
9. Deep Tray in Wheelbarrow Holds Colorful Flowers
Old construction wheelbarrows had large trays.
This allows them to be filled with plenty of soil for a large garden bed. This old rust tray was reimagined to become a beautiful bouquet.
10. Petunias Make Old Wheelbarrow Look Beautiful
Classic petunias turn a dilapidated old wheelbarrow into a delightful planter.
The secret is planting the flowers close together. Their abundant beauty outshines everything else.
11. Rust Wheelbarrow Holds Sand for Succulents
Hens and Chicks succulents look right at home in a rusted wheelbarrow next to a weathered fence.
Succulents can thrive in sandy soil as long as the tray has effective drainage.
12. All Black Wheelbarrow Is Backdrop for Pansies
You can spray paint the wheelbarrow to suit your taste. Painting this wheelbarrow all black allows the white and purple pansies to take center stage.
13. Vines and Flowers Coexist in a Wheelbarrow
Petunias and Sweet Potato Vine look comfortable nestled in a large flower bed.
14. Wheelbarrows Add Height to Your Garden
A small wheelbarrow full of blooms adds another dimension to gardening. This mid-height planter fits right between the taller Sedum and a small container of blooms.
15. Build a Big Garden in a Wheelbarrow
A vintage wheelbarrow gets new life with flowers from an English garden. This wheelbarrow is anchored as the wheel is somewhat buried.
It was also positioned on gravel for stability and to keep it level.
16. Wooden Wheelbarrow Becomes Flower Box
A simple wooden wheelbarrow can either be used as a flower planter with soil, or it can be used to hold several traditional planters.
The wheelbarrow will last longer if the dirt is held away from the sides of the bin.
17. A Wheelbarrow Substitutes for Trellis
Hanging plants like petunias and begonias work well with wheelbarrows. Their trailing nature gives the flowers a cascading effect.
This wheelbarrow is one example of an old market-style transporter.
18. Small Wheelbarrow Looks Like Flower Bouquet
Add a mini garden to your deck with a small wheelbarrow planter filled with pansies and ornamental grasses.
19. Add Garden Ornaments to Your Wheelbarrow Garden
A wheelbarrow planter is a fun place to add enchantment to your garden.
A gnome decided to hitch a ride in the middle of this little garden.
20. Mix and Match Planters Inside Wheelbarrow
Vintage pieces may not need much upcycling. The wood on this wheelbarrow was left alone.
The most significant upgrade was removing rust from the metal wheel. By adding plants in terracotta pots, the wood will last much longer.
21. Make Statement Using Single Flowering Species
This wider type of vintage wheelbarrow could have been used for bringing fruits and vegetables to market.
Today, it sees new life as a planter for blooms such as geraniums.
22. Garden Wheelbarrow Looks Unique With Marigolds
You can get an ornamental wheelbarrow planter like this one online and at many nurseries.
The advantage here is the planter is already level and treated with an environmentally friendly finish.
23. A Well-Balanced Wheelbarrow Holds More Flowers
It’s important to ensure your wheelbarrow is level before filling it with flowers. A wheelbarrow that leans will subject plants to over and under watering.
The wide frame on this wheelbarrow is well suited for handling the weight of a garden planter.
via Faire Garden
24. Wheelbarrow Overflows With Beautiful Blooms
Any type of wheelbarrow can be used as a planter as long as it’s treated properly.
Removing rust from the tray and lining it with plastic will go a long way in extending its life.
25. Blooming Wheelbarrow Fits on Your Porch
Posies and forget-me-nots create a delightful bouquet.
This medium-sized wheelbarrow will fit in with a cottage or ranch style home.
26. Water-Wise Plants Thrive in Old Wheelbarrow
A wider tray is a great way to display a miniature garden.
Metal can be painted over or the old finish can be sealed with a clear coat to prevent further rusting while persevering the antique look.
via Carol J Michel
27. Grow Succulents in Small Shallow Wheelbarrow
Succulents are a natural choice for wheelbarrows. Their brown sandy soil blends with a rusty tray.
Check out how deep the front tire is buried in the sand. The cart is buried deep to prevent it from toppling over.
28. Reddish Orange Wheelbarrow Holds Trailing Flowers
A red wheelbarrow is the perfect backdrop for these hanging plants.
It can work to hide bulging tree roots.
29. Yellow Blooms Shine in Old Brown Wheelbarrows
Daylilies, yellow pansies, and impatiens are just a few of the yellow flowers that will glow in an old wheelbarrow.
30. Roses Fill Antique Market Cart
A variety of roses were planted in a whitewashed wheelbarrow, instantly creating a classic piece.
31. Garden Ornament Wheelbarrow Impresses on Patio
Baby’s breath fills this ornamental wheelbarrow, bringing height to a patio filled with planters.
32. Group Vintage Finds Together With Flowers
This wheelbarrow and flowers balance out the height of the large wheel.
via Yard Share
33. Get Waterfall of Blooms With Ground Cover
Get this look by planting a ground cover like white creeping thyme, snowflake phlox or clematis.
34. All White Wheelbarrow Makes Florals Pop
A deeper tray will support taller flowers or even a dwarf shrub, such as azaleas.
35. Find Vintage Planters at Yard Sales
This vintage wheelbarrow was picked up at an estate sale and filled with flowers that attract hummingbirds.
via Vintage Diana