Container Gardening Ideas
Because we don't have the best soil (it's got a lot of clay in it), I've had to resort to a lot of container gardening in the last few years.  Just about any container will do as long as there is ample drainage in it.  Sometimes you might have to drill your own holes in the container and always put a drainage layer in the bottom of the container.  This can be rock, gravel, pieces of broken clay pots, etc.

We have an overabundance of old work boots around our house, so these have also been put to good use.  In the picture above, I decided to use artificial flowers, because I was worried that potting soil would dry out too quickly and the leather boots would rot or get moldy if they were damp all the time.

Another use for old work boots and tool pouches is to nail or hang them on tree trunks to use as wildlife feeders.
My angel puppies, Cassie and Boomer, always had time to stop and smell the flowers.
If you run your mouse over the picture above, you'll see two different versions of my wheelbarrow.  It had been sitting around rusting out, so I wirebrushed and repainted it, and put a layer of outdoor varnish on the handles, and it was good as new.
After we'd finally put 3 or 4 burners in our old gas grill, it was destined for the trash heap.  Since I hated to throw it away, it also got recycled as a planter.  (I've also seen where people have used them as a mobile planting table.)

On the bottom shelf is another recycled item, ye old fertilizer container.  If you use these, be sure to drill or poke some holes in the bottom to let excess water out.

By the way, one year I had some potting soil left over in the plastic bag it came in, so I rolled the edges of the bag down, put a couple of slits in the bottom, and planted flowers in it, too.  I don't have pictures of that one, but it turned out well also.

More container gardens 
For built-in container gardens on a deck, you need to find yourself a good sheet metal worker :-) to build inserts to keep the soil from leaking out.  When I built these inserts, I also put handles on the insides so they could be easily removed.
Another example where metal inserts are helpful.
Run your mouse over the picture above to see before and after shots of my favorite planter of all.  It just so happened that a car wash was being built behind our house, so the contractor said we could have all the black dirt we needed to fill this up.

For this project we bought an electric chain saw, and that tool ended up being the best tool a homeowner can buy for small home projects.  You don't ever have to worry if the darn thing will start, and there's no messing around with gas and tune-ups.

Something we would have done differently would be to find another kind of light fixture.  These shown had glass globes, and if you got within a mile of them with the lawn mower, they'd shatter.  You'll see what I mean when the picture changes.
Perennials do well in raised beds with only a little extra care.  They will need water more often than their counterparts in the ground, and in winter, a blanket of straw or mulch will assure that the plants come back to visit in the spring.

Pictured here are hosta, jack-in-the-pulpit, and bleeding hearts.
We hope you've had a nice visit to our garden.  Please feel free to return or visit my other pages, some of which are listed below.