Funnel planters and garden art
We can’t explain why funnels are so appealing once they are rusty and discarded. Our Flea Market gardeners just love to search’ them out, take them home to plant in and create garden art. Maybe it’s the easy drainage??? Or we remember how fun it was to stack successively larger objects, one on top of the other like Fisher Price toys.
We think the cone shape is universally attractive you know,…anything that hold dirt…. See what we’ve been funnin’ with, 12 ideas and 3 How Tos!
Jeanne Sammons “These are some of my blue wave petunias I had planted in my tipsy buckets just awhile back…well, I guess the ‘wild bunnies’ like ‘blue,’ too …they ate off the big bottom tub, filled with these beauties. So…I moved the plants ‘up’ in the world…and planted one nearby in my funnel container! That’ll show ’em!”
Shirley Keen’s fun funnels decorate her raised beds.She mounted them on rebar stakes. You can stuff the bottoms with pebbles, or bits of landscape fabric to hold the soil in.
Funnel How To:
Marie Niemann tells us how she assembled her hanging funnel planter:
These are easy to make, all you need is an old funnel, a drill with a 1/8” bit, three small “S” hooks and two larger ones, and approximately 4’ of small linked chain.
- Drill three holes evenly spaced just below the rim of the funnel.
- Decide how long you want the chain, and cut into three equal lengths.
- Attach chain pieces to the funnel using the small “S” hooks, give each one a pinch with pliers to secure.
- Use a larger “S” hook to hold all three ends of the chain together at the top, pinch to secure.
- If you want the chain to rust you can treat it first with salt water and vinegar to speed up the process.
- Be sure your funnel is clean and oil free before you plant it.
- Some funnels already have a mesh screen in the bottom, or you can fill the bottom with some small stones for good drainage.
- Metal containers can get pretty hot in direct sunlight, and they tend to dry out rather quickly depending on the size of the funnel.
Marie: “It’s Rita Time anytime as far as I’m concerned! I wish my Mother had named me Margarita! My kids gave me this cute rustic sign for Mother’s Day. Do they know me or what?
The Million Bells are just hanging out in one of my favorite funnel planters. And look how happy my cucumber is? I didn’t think much about coordinating colors at the time I planted these, but the cuke also has pretty yellow blossoms and apparently loves rust and galvanized too!”
Billie Hayman’s adorable rooster painted cone planter. She says, “I bought this yesterday for this container. Perfect!”
Carlene Blair “My upside down galvanized funnel painted with a red stripe and with a broken broom handle standpost.”
Where do funnels come from?
Drum funnels, like Carlene’s above, were used to make it easy to fill large drums and barrels with liquids and granular products like fuel, chemicals, detergents. These are the large squarish shaped ones you see here. The rest are rusty funnels for simple pouring, usually from the garage. Kitchen funnels stay silver-colored from galvanized steel.
Cone shaped planters have also been popular, usually found with a hoop wire hanger. These are made from copper, steel or even basket material.
Dandi Gentry “A fancy hook hold a fun funnel planter, planted with pink verbena.”
Jeanne Sammons “I bought another funnel the other day because I love my first funnel planted and still bloomin’ with an annual called ‘Blue Daze’ Evolvulus. Here it is hanging from an old gate in the garden shed garden. This plant has done well in a couple other container plantings, too and tolerates poor soil, heat and drought. I’ll be buying it again next year!”
Laurie Davis “I managed to get one of the old milk strainer’s from the milk barn….it’s now a hanging planter at my back door… I love it!”
To make her funnels hover over the flower beds, Myra Glandon mounted them on metal pipes at various heights. Then she stuffed them with colorful Petunias and Lobelia. Then she added a third, below.
Nancy K. Meyer “Here’s my funnel tree I put together this morning, with goodies found in on a junking trip to South Dakota. I used terracotta pots as spacers between the funnels, all just slips together and apart. I’m still trying to figure out how to finish the top. This is to be out all winter, for some “interest” when plants are not growing.”
Nancy’s funnel in winter after all her other flowers have faded and gone away.
Marie Niemann tells us, “Here’s my lampshade frame, rusty pipe, funnel, rusty springs all planted with Creeping Jenny. I pounded a 1″ piece of conduit pipe into the ground and used a water hose clamp underneath so it would secure the funnel once in place and not slip down.
I slid old bed springs over the post to not only conceal the post, but to use them for a trellis with a climbing Scarlet Runner Bean vine. Then, I slid the funnel over the post and filled the hole inside the funnel with small pebbles for drainage then added good soil and then planted it.
The ‘J’ is a piece found in the desert, used on the rail road to hold the ties in place… The cool arrow rusty piece is from the military surplus that was used as a tent stake. Then I added some Creepiing Jenny and a lampshade frame.”
Marie Niemann says, “Here’s another beautiful creation by Becky Norris! She gives me credit for inspiring her because of my funnel planters. But believe me she is the one that has inspired me and so many of you with her beautiful artistic talents! This is part of an old cream separator that she planted with petunias, blooming moss and vinca. I really admire Becky, she never procrastinates on a project she wants to do and gets right on an idea and doesn’t stop until it’s completed. She made two of these to hang on her porch, when they fill in a little more this summer we’ll post a picture of the two of them.”
Becky Norris “I planted up some of my galvanized buckets this year to hang on the super huge bird house I designed. I know the birds will never build in something this big but I like the way it looks.
I would almost be scared of the big bird that used this as their nest! It is in the shade most of the time except for morning sun so it does not get hot. I had the guy who welded this for me put the bike pedal rods on it just for this use. I love it and it will look much nicer when the ivy and the sweet potato vines start trailing.
This was made using a galvanized funnel and the top of a 55 gallon barrel. Not sure what the pole came from. Miscellaneous pieces were welded to the base of the funnel. Just a rusty junk creation.”
Sue Jordan’s old funnel has a more practical purpose, used for garden twines…..
Marie Niemann says, “One of our regular contributors and talented artists here at Flea Market Gardening, Annie Steen shared her recent creation. She says… “TaDa!!~ My Funnel tree is done! The bottom is a bunt pan then an old berry masher/juicer that I put rice lights in. Then a nice tin funnel topped with two sweet little agate funnels.”