Home » Home » Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor

Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor

I love the makeovers, the flower garden tours and the tips, but my favorite posts to share are the ones showing off my garden vignettes using vintage items and junk that I’ve picked up at flea markets, estate sales, thrift stores and garage sales. I’m so excited to show you more flower garden vignettes using Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor.

I realize this type of garden decor isn’t for everyone. I think there’s a fine line between adding some whimsy and making things look to junkie. For me, I draw the line at using bathroom pieces or car parts. Haha! Really though, everyone has their own style and as long as it includes flowers, I love it! Creating these fun little vignettes brings out my creative side and I like to see what I can come up with and how I can change things up from year to year.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on
one of the links and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission
at no additional cost to you. See full disclosure here.

I have lots to show you, so let’s dive right in. Up first is this sweet grouping featuring a replica of an old vintage gate. I looked and looked for a real vintage gate like this one, but the prices were ridiculous, so I settled for a replica and I love it. My daughter and I made the sign from an old piece of cedar fencing. The milk can and the galvanized watering can were flea market finds. I usually pick up wicker baskets for use in my gardens at thrift stores.

Image of an Old Garden Gate with flowers and vintage items

I purchased this old chair several years ago at an antiques store. The salesperson was so shocked that I wanted it even though it didn’t have a seat. I think I paid two or three dollars for it. I’ve used it every year in my gardens, but this year it got spiffed up a bit with a paint job. 

The plants in the galvanized container include caladium, impatiens and creeping jenny. The plants around the bottom of the chair include; Ivory Halo Dogwood, Coleus, Pulmonaria (lungwort) and Foxgloves (I wish they were blooming, maybe next year.) I started all of the caladium plants, in this post, indoors in March. The Creeping Jenny plant is actually a perennial in Zone 4, so I dig it out of all my planters and plant it in the ground in the fall, and then I don’t have to buy new plants in the spring.

Vintage Chair in the Garden

And because I love it so much, here is the same chair in my gardens another year. I added a cute sign and some faux birdhouse stakes from my decor collection.  

Image of an old chair, faux birdhouse stakes and a sign in a garden.

Love these ideas? Save them to Pinterest for Later.

Add Character to Your Garden

This next grouping is a great example of how you can use junk in your yard to make garden decor. Logs come in very handy if you need to add height to a container, or to use as a table.  My hubby made the ladder out of limbs that have fallen or have been trimmed off our trees. If you’d like to learn how to make your own wood ladder from tree limbs, check out Easy DIY Garden Decor Using Tree Branches

Garden Vignette with Ladder Made from Tree Limbs

My old ladder is another one of my favorite upcycled vintage garden decor pieces. I picked this ladder up at an estate sale several years ago and have used it in my garden every summer. Wicker baskets can always be picked up cheaply at garage sales and thrift shops, and they make great containers for plants. I just style the ladder with small plants and small garden knick-knacks that I have in my stash.

Vintage Ladder in the Garden

This little step ladder used to be my Dad’s and I love using it on my tiny front porch to add some welcoming charm.

Image of step ladder decorated with flowers

And another flea market find that I’ve had for several years is this vintage milk can. I find a place for it in my gardens every year.

Vintage Milk Can as a Flower Planter

The old, blue milk can is getting chippy, but that just adds to its character. In the photo below, it holds a pot of lantana.

Old blue milk can holding a pot of lantana flowers

Old bicycles make such a statement in a flower garden. Talk about charm. This sweet ride  was found on Craigslist. The lady I purchased it from thought I was going to ride it, so she told me where I could get the tires aired up. Little did she know… I dreamed about this very vignette ever since we moved to this house and this year I was finally able to make it happen. This area is an extension of the Shade Garden bed that I recently shared a makeover on.

Vintage Bicycle in the Garden

It’s so cute I can hardly stand it. Every year it leans up against this tree, just as I imagined. Here the bike is again a few years later with the perennials filling in nicely.

Vintage Bike in a Garden

The old galvanized washtub was picked up at a flea market many years ago and it makes an awesome flower pot. The pump is another flea market find and it underwent a spray paint makeover.  In the photo below, it’s sitting in a vintage galvanized wash tub along with some verbena, marguerite daisies, calibrachoa, sweet potato vine and a big corn looking plant. We recently turned a galvanized washtub and this vintage pump into a water feature.

Galvanized Tub with Flowers and a Vintage Pump - Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor

Another year the washtub was used as a planter to cover a tree stump in one of our new gardens. Again, hubs made the super cute faux birdhouse stakes from fallen limbs in our yard.

Vintage Washtub Planter

While I’m on the topic of old vintage washtubs, my neighbor is letting me share her washtub hanging on a shepherd’s hook. I love it and someday I want to try doing this with my old washtub.

Vintage Washtub Planter on Shepherd's Hook

Old wheelbarrows make the best planters. Plants just go crazy in it. This year I planted coleus, impatiens, vinca vine, a fern (that’s hidden), a pink begonia (that’s really yellow) and caladium.

Uncycled Vintage Wheelbarrow Used as a Planter

It’s so full that it’s hard to tell it’s a wheelbarrow.

Wheelbarrow Used as a Planter - Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor

Nothing vintage about this next little vignette, but I think it’s cute and I did buy the little yellow watering can at a thrift store.

Watering Can with Cosmos and Gazanias

I hope you enjoyed all of my Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor vignettes. Perhaps you’re walking away with some ideas to add some whimsy and character to your own gardens. If you’d like to see more of my junk garden decor, check out Garden Vignettes Using Flea Market Finds and Garden Decor (Lots of Creative Ideas for Your Garden).

If you made it this far, you’re a champ and I love you. Now, would you please do me a huge favor and scroll back up and pin (hover in the upper right hand corner) some of your favorite pictures. There are also some pinnable collages below. Thanks a bunch – you’re the best!

Happy gardening,

Follow Gingham Gardens on Pinterest for lots of great gardening ideas and tons of gardener’s eye candy.

Shop the look:

Share on Pinterest:

Image of Old garden gate in a flower garden with text overlay - Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor

Image of a Bicycle in a Garden with text overlay - Upcycled Vintage Garden Decor


  1. I love all your unique ideas
    So creative thx for sharing
    I really enjoy gardening and it’s kind of Therappy for me
    My only problem is lack of time but with busy life I go to my front and back yard everyday even for few minutes it gives me energy and inspiration

    1. Hi there – thanks for stopping by Gingham Gardens to check out our upcycled vintage garden decor. We have lots of garden art ideas using vintage items. Stop back soon! Happy gardening, Joanna

    1. Hi Ruth, thanks for stopping by Gingham Gardens. I plant directly in my wheelbarrow and washtubs, and they have lasted for many, many years. You will need to drill holes for drainage in the bottom of your items though. Good luck and happy gardening, Joanna

  2. Joanna,
    Love looking at all you beautiful gardens! You really inspire me to be more creative in my back yard. Little by little I’m getting there this spread kinda hard to get the flowers I wanted. That’s when you become creative, it’s been fun!

  3. Love, Love, Love your ideas. I started a garden this year as a tribute to my mother. She had the prettiest garden ever and people came over all the time to admire and she’d give them a tour. I have added some whimsy but just got inspired to do more. Thanks for all the great ideas!!!

  4. Did you put a flower pot with flowers on top of your milk can? Mine has a rounded top with a handle which are hard to come by. I could remove the top, but dont want the inside of the milk can to get rusty. Just recently found your blog through pinterest and love your beautiful garden!! Am just now starting on my backyard as we recently moved and am getting so confused!!!!

    1. Hi Jeannie – I’m so happy you found Gingham Gardens. For my big blue milk can I sit a planter right inside the opening. I’m not too worried about rust. I’ve had my for about 6 or 7 years and it’s solid and holding up fine with minimal rust. In order to get a pot to stay sitting on top of the milk can, you’d have to think it through and get creative. As far as your backyard goes start with one area and focus on that instead of looking at the entire yard and becoming overwhelmed. Even if you aren’t a beginner gardener, there are some great tips in https://ginghamgardens.com/flower-gardening-101/
      Start small and have fun. And just remember with gardening, if you don’t like where you planted something, you can always move it. Stop back soon and happy gardening! Joanna

    2. Hi Jeannie:
      Maybe you could build the top of the can up so it would be level enough to sit a pot on. Just a suggestion. I have a can but it is flat on top.

      1. Try a saucer that is
        Big enough to sit on top and then put a pot in the saucer! No water in and saucer catches the excess❤️

        1. That’s exactly what I do with mine. Helps also keep plant wet from the sauce. Plus the tops on my milk cans are on hard. Thankfully mine are in pristine condition. I have them outside now so we’ll see! You have some great ideas. Thanks for ideas for next year.

          1. Hi Patti – thanks for stopping by Gingham Gardens. The idea of using a saucer on top of your vintage milk can works really well. Stop back soon. Happy gardening, Joanna

  5. Pingback: 35+ Charming Bicycle Planter Ideas For Your Backyard You'll Love
  6. Love your garden. Thanks so much for sharing at the To Grandma’s House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link Party! Pinned this! Hope to see you link up again this Wednesday!

  7. I just love all your vintage garden vignettes! Lots of good ideas and inspiration. I too finally got a bicycle for my garden in my favorite color, aqua.

  8. Joanna, Your garden is so interesting with conversation pieces everywhere. How fun to collect and add to it frequently. I need some whimsy in my garden. My problem is when I like something I get disappointed when things rot or fall apart. I want things to last forever.I’ve repainted and replaced the slats on my benches two or three times already.
    Inspiring post.

    1. Thanks, Bonnie. Some of my old stuff will last forever. That old milk can is heavy steel. My ladder, on the other hand, is starting to rot on the bottom of the legs. Oh well. Happy gardening!

  9. Joanna, I always look forward to seeing what vintage pieces you have added to your garden. You really are a master at adding just the right “stuff”. I love the ladder your hubby made, and the old milk can. The pop of color on the chair is perfect. The vintage bicycle is a great addition to your lovely garden space. Every salvaged piece is just right for your gardens. Thank you for sharing at Gardens Galore!

  10. Joanna – I love it all, especially the bicycle. I have an old ladder like yours that I pick up along the road, it was out for the trash. I used it for a while and the past few years it hasn’t come out. You have given me renewed inspiration for it. Thank you for that and for a great post! Visiting was a treat!

    1. Sandra, thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind comments. I’m always happy to inspire. Happy gardening and junking.

    1. Hi Trisha – thanks for stopping by! Isn’t it so fun – gardening and getting creative with the decor. I love it! Happy gardening and happy junking!

  11. I love the red bike! I just did one yellow this summer too. One of my favorite reasons to look out and admire my backyard. I like the chair and buckets and barrels and wheel barrow. You’ve done a lot of great pieces and should be very proud of your work!Very inspiring to keep working even on the super hot days.

    1. Hi there and thanks for stopping by. I took a peek at your yellow bicycle and it’s super cute. Thanks again and happy gardening (and crafting).

      1. Joanna your gardens are lovely. I have added a few accessories to my garden and have more to add. Just wish our summers were longer. I have a red bike and a blue bike. The blue and white bike is my original bike from when I did not drive. The red one was my brother-in-laws and we are both in our late seventies and late eighties. They were made when things were made to last. Not plastic.
        You do a wonderful job at decorating. Thanks for all the lovely pictures and for inspiring me to keep going on my flower and veggie gardens.
        Think my next plant will be the strawberry candy reblooming daylily. I am like you I love lilies. There are so many beautiful flowers. Thanks again for all you do and for sharing.

  12. Good afternoon, There is something special & romantic about a bicycle in the garden. The old style ladies bicycles ,like yours, with fenders , chain guard & original paint look terrific. The basket of flowers is the perfect accessory. I have my wife’s 1960’s era bicycle & I am going to try to emulate your design.
    Thank you for your post & good luck, Joe

    1. Hi there, Joe. I think that’s a great idea! Your wife’s bicycle would pair perfectly with your cottage garden style. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Oh my goodness I love your garden! I think you really would have enjoyed my vintage garden tour too! We seem to like a lot of the same things! Found you via Feathered Nest Fridays. You are always welcome to come link up your posts at Thursday Favorite Things too. The party goes live every Thursday morning at 9:00-Saturday at midnight. Hope you can join us!

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Hi Amber, I’m happy you found me. Yes, I loved the vintage garden tour you hosted a few weeks ago. I visited all the various gardens, including yours and even left you a comment. I love gardening and junking, and it’s so fun to intertwine the two. Thanks for stopping by and happy gardening!

  14. I may just need to pick up an old bicycle the next time I visit the flea market, assuming I get get my husband on board. He’s always worried about junking up the garden too much.

    1. Hi Rebecca – most of my junk gardening is in our back yard. My hubby is fine with it, but I do joke sometimes that I’m going to put a toilet in the front yard and fill it with flowers. Start slow with some galvanized buckets, and then maybe a wheelbarrow, you’ll win him over. Happy gardening and junking!

  15. I love it ALL!!! I love to use different items throughout my garden as well. Thanks you have given me some great ideas!

    1. Wow, what a compliment, Shelly! I’m happy to inspire you. Thanks for stopping by and happy gardening!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.