14 ingenious ideas for creative gardeners
According to Mac Griswold – acclaimed cultural landscape historian and author – “gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.” It’s also one of the most rewarding forms of creative expression. Where else can you spend all day in your beds without it feeling a bit wrong?
So, we’ve put together a collection of gardening projects that are sure to spark your imagination. Some ideas are old, some new, all equally relevant for the well-seasoned gardener and the green-fingered newbie.
Oh, and it doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a sprawling cottage lawn, a modest backyard, an urban balcony or window box, it’s time to play in the dirt.
On your marks, get set, grow!
1. Have fun planning and learning before you plant 🌱
First up, think about the kind of garden you’re going for. Even if it’s a grow-bag of Geraniums and a bucket of home-grown spuds, it’s always worth reading up on when, where and how best to plant your ideas.
We learned recently that a huge percentage of plants die because they’ve been planted badly or in the wrong place. Give your plants the best start in life by doing a little learning first. The RHS website is a fantastic resource. We love their plant finder, where you can search by variety, colour, soil type or sunlight level.
YouTube is your friend here too. For all of us who want to learn how to take care of our plants, there are lovely people out there who want to teach us.
Patch Plants has a really great selection of short and snappy how-to videos.
2. Customise your tools with Sugru for comfort 🍃
Make sure you’ve got the right tools for the job. But, should you find your hands aching after a few hours clipping and digging, it’s probably down to the one-size-fits-all tool design. Sugru is brilliant for adding grips and texture to help your tools last longer and work better for you. See How To Make Your Own Customised Tools.
Our Sugru Fix of the Month for June goes to Phillip from the UK. 💥
He says, “Swiss Grip, Japanese Steel!” after modifying his beloved Japanese secateurs and loving the comfort of the result.
3. Grow some fruit and veg, it’s easier than you think 🥑🍓🍆🥕🥒
Maybe you’re considering a kitchen garden of home-grown fruit and vegetables. It’s one of the biggest gardening trends right now and is so rewarding!
If you’ve not started yet or you’re tight for space, begin with some young cherry tomato plants that you can pick up from most local hardware or garden stores. These will even grow well on a sunny windowsill as long as you keep them well watered and feed them once a week over the summer. There’s nothing as tasty as a sweet home-grown tomato!
When you’re ready to branch out, we recommend this great book from Paul Matson and Lucy Anna Scott.
4. Fix & hack your watering kit to make it work better 💦
Sugru is completely waterproof so you can use it to patch up dripping hose-pipes and, if you’ve got any left over, try making a floral feature around the spray gun.
In fact, Sugru is the perfect gardening tool for most jobs as it bonds to lots of surfaces, setting strong, durable and weatherproof. So, don’t even think about replacing a leaking watering can. Worn metal or plastic, Sugru will rescue it. Learn How to fix your watering can.
5. Plant a vertical garden 🎢
If space is limited, try your hand at a vertical garden. You can build your own stand-alone structures. Alternatively, hang wire mesh or wooden trellises on walls and fences. Vertical planting gives you so much creative freedom, using all kinds of recycled materials. You can also use Sugru to build, mount and hang your garden. It will bond pretty much anything to anything.
See how Sugru-er and garden designer extraordinaire Peter Donnegan made his here.
6. Green your walls by making your own garden trellis 🌿
Speaking of vertical planting, here’s a really simple, no-drill method to make your own garden trellis without panels. This is such an easy and inexpensive way to hang and train plants to climb. Check out how to make a DIY no-drill trellis with eye hooks and a little Sugru.
7. Mount DIY vases to walls 🌷
If you don’t fancy planting but want to add some life to unused walls, try this lovely Sugru project using copper pipes and magnets. It’s off the wall! How to make DIY vases for your backyard.
8. Upcycle things to give your garden a unique and fun character ⤴️
Found objects like tyres make great planters, and even low tables and seating. Washing machine drums become fab fire pits. Sugru-er Max McMurdo is an outdoor upcycling guru and makes amazing use of everything from old doors to sinks, baths, and furniture.
If you’re feeling really ambitious, take a look at this natural DIY Log Lounger.
9. Make your favourite furniture and ceramics last longer with Sugru and some TLC 🚑
If you’ve already got your outdoor furniture but it’s looking a little worse for wear, no problem, Sugru is ideal for any outdoor fix. The corners of this Rattan garden sofa were worn down to the metal. A touch of Black Sugru soon sorted it.
Before & After
This fix was shared with us by Sugru community member Jenny from Southend on Sea in the UK. Sugru comes in 10 colours so you can choose to make your fix invisible like this one...
… or stand out like this great ceramic bird feeder fix.
10. Build a bug hotel 🐝
Creepy crawlies often struggle to find homes, especially in urban environments, and they never get to go on holiday. Build a bug hotel, and you’re not only helping the local ecosystem, but you also get to recycle stuff.
1 x wooden box
1 x tin can
1 x bamboo cane
1 x nail
1 x D-hook
Some tree bark
A few strips of wood
2 packs of Sugru
Use Sugru to stick the tin can into the box. Chop the bamboo into similar lengths and place inside the tin securing with Sugru.
Roll a thin sausage of Sugru and stick it around the inside of the box
Stuff the box full of bamboo lengths, bits of wood, twigs, bark or anything natural you can find. Then hammer the nail into the back of the box.
Smudge a piece of Sugru onto the wall or wherever you want to hang your bug hotel.
Stick the D-hook into the Sugru smudge and leave everything to cure for 24 hours.
Hang the box onto the wall using the nail and D-hook, and there you have it: The Grand Bug Hotel.
11. Bring your garden indoors 🏠
Indoor jungles are making a lot of people drool these days and there are some gorgeous new plant shops popping up. Check these out. Flora Grubb in San Francisco. Conservatory Archives in East London. Tula in Brooklyn.
You don’t even have to own a garden to let your green fingers do the talking. There are some really helpful Sugru tips for indoor gardening here, including a step-by-step project guide on how to make an indoor herb garden.
12. Where would we gardeners be without wellies? 💧
It was Arthur Wellesly, the first Duke of Wellington, who gave us the wellington boots we know and love. He instructed his London shoemaker to hack the 18th century Hessian boot into a soft, fabricated, hardwearing leather version that stopped at mid-calf.
By the early 19th century the boots became all the rage among the British aristocracy. Then, in 1853, Hiram Hutchinson, an American-British industrialist founded a rubber company in France to make footwear, and the rest is splishy-splashy history.
Luckily, Sugru bonds beautifully to wellington boots, it’s strong, waterproof, and stays flexible when set. So it’s perfect for patching up the leaks or simply having fun with your footwear. See how to fix your boots.
13. It’s a bug’s life 🐛
How about some plant ties with leftover Sugru.
Or protect your furniture from scratchy pot marks.
Even add a little character.
14. Topiary anyone? 🐩
Have fun with your garden shears.
A well-trimmed bush may make your lawn look bigger, but no garden is complete without somewhere to sit and admire it. Are you feeling inspired to get started?
You’ll need some Sugru then.
Buy some Sugru