Upcycle a Vintage Cast Iron Claw-foot tub for the garden
No matter the condition of the bathtub, you can transform it into a conversation piece planter that is as practical as it is funky. How much would it cost you to buy, much less plant up a planter this size? A LOT! I’ll show you all the tricks we used to transform this one from tacky to terrific!
Take a rusty dirty claw-foot tub…
First of all, claw foot tubs are dang heavy! You need help to acquire one once you find one. We live on what was once an old goat farm and this tub had been used as a watering trough. It also had been engulfed by this old manzanita bush. I needed Tractor Man! One day he saw someone’s posted picture of an old tub, filled with growing strawberries! That same day, he fired up the tractor and headed up the hill to the old goat shed. “What? I thought???” I better go after him to supervise. Let’s go!
I was cheerleader as I watched Tractor Man do his work, attaching tie straps and pulling the tub out with gentle tugs until it was pried out of the bush. Yippee! We found out at this time that the tub had no feet! I felt good then about letting it live as a planter in the garden.
I quickly had to figure out where I wanted this to go as well,…you’re pretty much going to leave it once it’s placed. With the decision made to settle it by the Ranch Gate garden, I started collecting my saved Folger’s coffee cans…can you guess why?
Tub garden makeover: From Tacky To terrific
Some space in the 18″ deep tub displaced with sealed plastic coffee cans, six or eight of them! I had them filled with kitchen scraps, saved just for filling the bottoms of my largest planting containers. I emptied the contents and set the cans in themselves to fill up some of the space in the tub.
Then, I gathered up the materials to do the fun part,…planting! Soil, and plants and tools. Tractor Man headed down to find a big scoop of good topsoil from under a tree somewhere. That plus the coffee cans helped with the total cost of the project, under $15.00!
The top soil completely covered the kitchen scraps, eliminating any odor that would attract animals. That would decompose adding nutrition to the flowers to be planted.
Soaking up Style
Besides the Black-eyed Susans, Rudbeckia hirta yet to bloom, there are wildflowers…the native Common white yarrow, Achillea millefolium transplanted from the meadow area and California poppies and ‘Farewell to Spring’, Clarkia cylindrica.
Drip water is provided with the last bit of the soaker hose that also waters the vegetable garden. What is planted here is very drought tolerant and needs little water. Now I’ll start a few plant around the tub to further settle it into the landscape. It sits near a path and we’ll enjoy walking our Corgi Maggie by to see the progress over the summer.