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Planting ideas for a rusty old incinerator bin

borgadrborgadr Posts: 570
I've got a rusty old incinerator bin which I was going to take to the tip, but I thought maybe I can plant something in it.  I tried googling the idea for inspiration but drew a blank.

I'm thinking something tall growing (could be a shrub or small tree, or could even be an annual like a canna) and something trailing that would trail down far enough to cover most of the ugliness.  I guess I could also plant through the holes in the side.  I can give it a fairly sunny spot or one in dappled shade.

No right or wrong answer, and no particular colour scheme it needs to respect. But I would be grateful for any ideas or inspiration!


  • As it's metal either put it in a shady place or maybe wrap eg rush matting round or we'll see a query about very dry plants, come the (hot) summer.
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 570
    edited March 2021
    Mrs-B that's a very good point about the metal heating up.  I guess then we've added a criterion to my appeal for inspiration - must be shade-tolerant!
  • How about adding a few holes round the side and making a strawberry planter. Just an idea.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,686
    how old and how rusty? 
    How long will it last before the rust wins and it collapses?
  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,431
    Hostas and other things that slugs normally destroy - they are usually not keen to cross metal, especially rusty metal.
    Could you lie it on its side to make a trough, so it collapses less dramatically?
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 570
    @Hostafan1 I don't think it's ready to collapse just yet, probably has a good few years in it (I don't know how old it is, it was here when I bought the house 6 months ago).  It's an eyesore but probably still serviceable as an incinerator; I just don't incinerate stuff - I compost what I can, otherwise I have 2 brown bins and any excess I can just cart off to the tip.  

  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 570
    Just has a brainwave pottering in my greenhouse. I've bunch of trailing nasturtium seedlings; I sowed them just because I had them, but I didn't have any particular plan for them.  Maybe they would do the job nicely?  (the hot orange flowers could complement the rust?).  Maybe with something else that's "hot" like Canna or Hedychium...

    The only question is that since both need sun, and that would heat the metal bin, would they go OK in morning sun + dappled afternoon shade? 
  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,149
    edited March 2021
    Nasturtiums will look great in your rusty incinerator. This one is in dappled shade.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,038
    Cannas will love it if you can keep well watered - I think the size of the container is on your side in terms of watering. But if you really want to keep watering down they'll be OK with sun in the morning and dappled shade for the afternoon. Hedychium would definitely be happy in semi shade.
  • StephenSouthwestStephenSouthwest Posts: 442
    edited March 2021
    You could line the inside (especially towards the top) with old padded envelopes or similar to help stop the soil heating and drying. 
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