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Sounds of the Southwest with Musical Planters

I have a new garden bed which has a South West Focal point as a seating area and I have carried the colors of turquoise and terra cotta through the garden with both accent pieces, planters and plants themselves.  These musical planters are a whimsical way for me to ring in the sounds of the South West.Ring in the Sounds of the seasons with these musical planters. So whimsical and fun to make!

These Musical Planters Ring in the Sounds of the Southwest in my Garden.

I am always on the lookout for new and unusual ideas for eco-friendly planters. Today we will be recycling old musical instruments into unique garden planters.

I was a music major when I attended college and have always loved instrumental music.  My husband loves bargains (as in free) and came home one day with a box full of dilapidated old musical instruments.  He said “I think you can use them in your garden” with a big grin and happy look on his face.musical instrumentsSince they are free (which I must admit I also love) and since they were nostalgic for me, I set about turning them in to some whimsical musical garden planters.

The instruments were in pretty bad shape, both for the instruments themselves and the cases they came in.  Some real creativity was going to be needed to turn them into anything but an eyesore.

case of musical instrumentsThere were two trumpets that I knew were large enough to hold at least a single plant with its soil.  I will use them to give height to the musical setting. All they will need is a spray of color and they will do just fine.

trumpetsThe clarinet was a bit harder to figure out what to do with.  I had seen overturned planters with plants spilling out of them and wanted to incorporate this idea, but the clarinet was too long. The case it came in had really seen better days.  I decided to cut the clarinet down so it would fit into the larger case.

clarinetThe smell coming from the case was just an awful blend of mildew and mold.  I stripped out all of the insert and saved just one prop of wood to hold the clarinet up.  I had to let it dry out in the sun for 4 days before I could stand to be around it.

carry caseA coat of rust colored paint after it was dry made it into a somewhat manageable planter and base for my “spilling over” clarinet idea.  I don’t expect it to last long but I should get a season out of it.

painted music caseThe next step was a trip to the Farmer’s market.  There is a lady there who has made it her mission to undercut every seller at the market and she had 3″ pots of annuals marked down to rock bottom prices.  I got a whole tray of 10 plants for $10.  You can’t beat that price.  There are vincas, spotted polka dot plants and zinnias of all colors.

annuals for plantersNext came a coat of color for the trumpets and clarinet.  I chose turquoise for the clarinet and the trumpets got painted both turquoise and the rust color.  One small piece of the other clarinet gave me another tiny planter for a small succulent and it, too, got a blast of the turquoise. I stood them in two plant pots filled with wet soil to dry.Painted instruments

Now that everything was painted and matched the colors I have chosen for my garden bed, it was time to plant and arrange them.  I added soil to the inside of the carry case, placed the piece of wood prop and laid the clarinet on its side with one tiny plant spilling out of it into the mulch.  Flowering plants and small coleus plants that came from cuttings that I recently did filled out the case around the clarinet.planted carry case

The trumpets got planted with colorful flowering plants and the extra clarinet has a string of pearls flowing out over the top of it. These were inserted into the ground with the mouthpieces in the dirt about 6 inches so only the top of the instruments show.Planted instruments

I dug down into the earth and used a rubber mallet to push the instruments down and arranged it all for a cohesive look.  The long clarinet was placed in the carry case with some polka dot plant flowing out of the horn end.  It will root into the ground and make it easier to water.Musical planters

The whimsical look of the planters is just perfect in my new garden bed.  The colors tie in with all my other accent pieces and the hose guides I made earlier this week.  It makes a great addition to my garden and makes me smile every time I walk by them.Musical planters add a touch of whimsy to my garden bedAll together, this set of worn out musical instruments are ready to ring in the sounds of the Southwest.  I love the look!  What do you think of them?

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Friday 5th of June 2015

I love them! I know some people will maybe give you heck for ransacking the beautiful (!) instruments, but I say go for it!


Saturday 14th of March 2020

I love the idea of upcyclung the musical instruments. You just gave a beautiful idea for my garden. Thank you for sharing. New ways to upcycle


Friday 5th of June 2015

They were in horrible shape when I got them. No way were they still musical instruments! The smell in them was unreal. (and I am a music lover...)


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