• Jeanie’s garden dresser drawers

    by  •  • Garden Vignettes, How to: Easy project ideas •  Comments


    How to plant a Flea Market dresser!

    Ideas spread from gardener to gardener quickly and this was one that really appealed to Jeanie Merritt.   Jeanie, lives and gardens near Columbus, Ohio.  Her found materials and fresh flowers are all done up like we like best, Flea Market Gardening style.

    Jeanie says, “After seeing a picture of a small chest, planted with flowers, I knew I had found a project that would be challenging for me, and interesting enough to make me stay with it!”

    Jeanie's dresser drawers

    Jeanie’s dresser drawers

    Jeanie says, “I had purchased this dresser at a yard sale, not even really needing it, but with the $10. price tag, I knew I could use it for something, right?”



    “That’s how the mind of a TRUE Flea Market Gardener works!  I had seen a picture on Flea Market Gardening Facebook of a kitchen island made from an old dresser, and I have to be honest, that was the direction my mind was going. However, I would then have to sell it because I have no room for a kitchen island!  EVERYTHING except the flowers in the drawers, including the pretties on top, were re-purposed from yard sales and flea markets.”


    Drawer knobs, painted to match

    Drawer knobs, painted to match

    “I drilled holes in the bottom of each drawer, and then lined them with dark colored trash bags which I poked holes in with a knife for drainage. After I was through painting, and the drawers were drilled and lined, I added potting soil and planted the wave petunias directly in the soil. I then gave them a good drink of my favorite “new plantings brew” which is 1 Tablespoon of Epsom salts to 1 gallon of water,”  Jeanie confides.


    Glass light shade is set on the vintage cloth

    Glass light shade is set on the vintage cloth and will go on top


    What to plant??  Blue Jean blue

    Jeanie says, “I have LOADS of hens and chicks…, like bunnies they just keep multiplying,…but….my original plan on paper for this project was to use my beloved Million Bells, Calibrachoa.   After going back over my pictures of previous years I liked how the petunias would spill over the drawer sides, exposing some of the white of the dresser.  The Million Bells are fuller and would not have given the same appearance.”


    Petunias peek out of the drawers, lined with plastic hidden from view

    Petunias peek out of the drawers, lined with plastic hidden from view.  Jeanie says, “Wave petunias were my second choice, and then became my first!”


    Planting the dresser is not enough!

    To transform this into a garden vignette, a little garden scene, you need some added details to complete the look. Jeanie was up for it..

    Jeanie's succulents 'scaled' down

    Jeanie’s succulents ‘scaled’ down


        • The vintage cloth on the dresser top is from a beloved aunt who liked vintage colors as much as me.
        • I added an old scale, a yard sale crock, two blown eggs  from my cousin’s chickens, and a plate from a friend.
        • The ” container’ for my alyssum is an old discarded light fixture…creamy white and drain holes already in it!

    Tip: That bottom drawer is very secure, although it doesn’t look like it is…I put bricks under it to hold the weight of the pots!

    Hens or chicks?

    Hens or chicks?

    Chalkboard was made from a framed sheet of glass.

    “What I am working on to hang ABOVE my dresser project.. 1 coat drying…2 to go…..”

    Garden Blackboard

    The chalkboard was an old picture frame bought at a yard sale!  I painted the frame with the same white as the dresser, but I only applied one coat, and did so sparingly to allow the original brown of the frame to show through a little to make it look old. I did not want it sparkly white and shiny. I painted the glass part with erasable chalkboard paint, so when company comes for dinner I can write “WELCOME” and then their names!  When my Grandchildren come for camp in July, I will put their names on it…and sometimes I will just use a quote about gardening.


    The chest of drawers on Jeanie's porch.

    The chest of drawers on Jeanie’s porch

    Jeanie says, “I left the top drawer closed because I wanted the white of the drawer and the lavender knobs to do a little show of their own. The dresser sits on my cement patio in a sheltered area right outside the kitchen. This is how I see it from my kitchen table…the mailbox has sedum in it and after a rain, I have to change that newspaper, but I do so willingly, I like the effect!!!  The rug, made of a heavy duty plastic, was found in a Kentucky nursery…it’s weather perfect, not slippery, and spruces up the cement.   As you can see, my galvanized is nearby…”


    Lovely Update: Two weeks later….

    "Purple wave petunias filling out my "drawers" nicely...,", Jeanie says.

    “Purple wave petunias filling out my “drawers” nicely…,”, Jeanie says.


    After a week or two, Jeanie's petunias are nicely spilling over the sides of the drawers

    After a week or two, Jeanie’s petunias are nicely spilling over the sides of the drawers


    Share and Enjoy


    Jeanie Merritt tells stories about her garden and bargain shopping with a warm and unique viewpoint. An imaginative story teller, she lives and gardens in central Ohio, garden zone 5b. She loves hosting “Mamaw Camp” for her six grandchildren, gardening, crafting and cooking. From the age of 22, she ran a restaurant called The Country Table and retired in 2010.