If there's an old swing set cluttering up your yard that you're on the verge of scrapping, pause a moment before you decide to get rid of it. What may appear to be an eyesore now can be turned into an attractive holder for your hanging plants. Not only will you save a bit of space in a landfill, you'll also be proud of the plant hanger you've created.
Move to the Best Light
Just because the swing is in a particular spot in the yard, you don't have to leave it there when you transform it into a hanging plant holder. The swing may have been placed in an area where the children liked to play or where you and your spouse would sit and swing quietly in the evening. That doesn't mean it's the ideal spot for your hanging plants. Consider the sunlight requirements of the plants you plan to hang on it and place the swing frame accordingly in sunlight or shade.
New Use, New Decor
While the swing frame may suit you as it is, consider painting it or altering its appearance in another way to embrace its new use. For example, repaint the swing frame forest green and stencil it with brightly colored flowers in red, yellow or orange. Alternatively, paint a delicately lacy design on it in white or cream to create a pattern that's pleasing to the eye. If you prefer a touch of bling, glue sparkly faux gemstones onto the frame that will catch a glint of sunlight as the sun rises or sets.
Add Color and Motion
While you can hang any type of potted plants from the swing frame, some plants create a particularly pleasing visual effect. Use trailing plants such as greater periwinkles (Vinca major), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 9. Be aware that this is an invasive species in some areas, and long vines may anchor and grow aggressively in the ground. Lobelia (Lobelia erinus), often grown as an annual but perennial in USDA zones 9 to 10, will dangle delicately over the edges of hanging pots and blow gently in the breeze. For a cheerful splash of color, opt for yellow Dahlberg daisies (Thymophylla tenuiloba), annual in many regions and perennial in USDA zones 9 to 10, or impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), a bright shade annual that is a hardy in USDA zones 10 to 11, which blossoms in a variety of different colors.
Hanging Out in Style
Once your plants are in baskets, hanging them from the repurposed swing frame is easy. Simply leave the hooks that held the swings in place and that were formerly part of the frame. If you find you need additional hooks, insert hooks that screw in for a wooden frame or drill holes in a metal frame to insert additional hooks. Other options include baskets that come with wire hangers already installed, macrame hangers and rope hangers to hold the baskets in place.
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- Missouri Botanical Garden: Vinca Major
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- Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images