According to the National Wooden Pallet & Container Association, their are more than 1.8 billion pallets in service in the United States every day, with millions more in use internationally. The $11.5 billion wood pallet industry is growing, but what happens to these pallets when they aren't needed anymore, or when they become too damaged to ship goods safely? Wood is a renewable, recyclable, and reusable product, with many possibilities for garden use. Not only are upcycled products made with wood pallets environmentally friendly, they are often cheap or free for the flower gardener.
Gates and Fences
Whether you need to exclude a digging dog, or you just want a little bit of privacy in your blooming spaces, a pallet can yield the cheapest fencing materials for your flower garden. It's even possible to erect a very sturdy flower garden fence without driving posts, as Realeyes Homestead demonstrates. If you demand something that more closely resembles a high-quality picket fence, pallets can do that do, as you can see in Backwoods Home Magazine. Just add some angled supports as Blue Roof Cabin did, and complete your pallet fence with an attractive gate.
The trend toward vertical and space-saving flower gardens isn't going away, as evidenced by high-end, high-dollar wall planters sold in many home improvement catalogs. Achieve the vertical garden style without the expense by making a DIY pallet planter like Creative Homemaking did. Her Tool Box reveals a planter box made with pallets designed to show off your cascading flowers like petunias and million bells. All you need is one pallet to act as a background upon which to anchor your flowerpots, like the one on This Abundant Life.
Heavy feeders like roses and dahlias need abundant compost to keep blooming throughout the season. The open, yet sturdy construction of wood pallets is ideal for home composting. You can use heavy gauge wire or screws to attach three pallets together, as seen in J Peterson Garden Design, for an open bin that accepts large volumes of leaves and garden debris in the fall. Expand your composting with a side-by-side three bin design, which requires seven pallets. Line the bins with hardware cloth if desired, to keep smaller pieces of your black gold from drifting away.
If the perfect garden bench has always eluded you, perhaps it's time to fashion your own. It's not as dowdy as it sounds! Upcycled Ugly proves it. When the flower garden needs more seating than a simple garden bench can provide, consider making a complete sofa and table set similar to the ones seen in Cute DIY Projects. Complete your relaxation zone with a swinging pallet hammock like the one featured in The Merrythought.
Who needs raised beds? Any flower gardener who doesn't enjoy digging in compacted soil, but does appreciate soil that warms up early in the spring for quicker blooms. A raised bed built of pallets like the one on DIY Network can become the beginning of a love affair with lasagna gardening.
A garden path isn't just a way to get from one part of the landscape to the next; paths are an essential way to keep pedestrians off wet spring soil, which can become hopelessly compacted by foot traffic. Funky Junk Interiors displays a lovely wood pallet path that has been surprisingly rot-resistant in the garden.