Several years ago while I was on vacation, I saw a chair used as a planter. It was such a good idea that I wanted to make my own. Fortunately I just happened to have several old chairs waiting to be refinished and re-upholstered, so I selected one and went to work.

To complete this project, I chose chicken wire, but hardware cloth or other wire that is easy to cut and mold will work. I used needle-nose pliers to cut the wire and an electric staple gun to attach the wire.

The chair I selected is an old wooden chair with wooden arms. It was originally upholstered on the back and seat, and most of the finish is gone. I removed what was left of the padding so that only wood was exposed. I cut the wire, molded it into a bowl shape, and stapled it to the seat of the chair. My first attempt was too shallow and would not hold enough soil, so I started over. I made the second bowl much deeper, lined it with sphagnum moss, and filled it with potting soil. Total time to complete the project without any mistakes is probably about an hour. It is easy to do and quite inexpensive if you can find a bargain chair. You can decorate the chair. I chose to leave mine unfinished, so it will continue to weather.

I placed it by the garage door in full sun, so I selected purslane, which did very nicely and spread and spilled over the chair. I planted pansies in the fall, and the planter made a colorful addition to the landscape all winter long. I have star jasmine planted nearby, and it has adopted the chair, spreading over the back and growing in and out of the gaps.

It is fun to use ordinary things in the landscape. Many garage sales and junk stores have a wealth of possible planters and containers, birdbaths, and feeders.

Ann Kelley, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

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