Monday, 10 August 2015

5 creative ways with ladders in the garden

The humble set of ladders, an ancient invention - shown in cave paintings, mentioned in the Bible and then the step ladder was invented in 1862.  We have a set at home, gifted by family many years ago and they are absolutely invaluable for our DIY projects from painting to hanging curtains. But how about in the garden? Aside from using for outside maintenance, how can you use a set of ladders creatively?

1. Showing off flower pots
Vintage ladders showcasing your pots of seasonal flowers are really pretty. Look out for old step ladders at junk shops and car boot sales, paint up in a nice shade and use each step as a shelf for quaint terracotta pots. Have you have ever seen an auricula theatre; shelves that exhibit the glamorous relative of the primula, equally a step ladder also makes an interesting tiered display of them.
Auricula theatre on step ladders
Auricula theatre, image source The Magic Garden
Collect different pots, containers, jugs, wooden boxes, dishes, enamelware,  plant up a cottage garden style feature for a sheltered spot on the patio or a quiet corner of the garden. Using ladders creates a one-off look and could brighten an otherwise dull wall or outbuilding. Handy tip - screw the posts to the ladder so they don't get knocked off by waggy dog's tails or children!Vintage pots on old ladders

2. Outdoor entertaining
Summer evenings equal drinks and entertainment in the garden, re-purpose a ladder and place some jars and bottle of flowers on with some tealights and other pretty trinkets. Atmospheric for a small party.

Fill with carved pumpkins at Halloween or in winter have lanterns positioned on it for a seasonal vignette. 
old step ladders as decoration
Image source: Wedding Ideas Magazine
3. Ladders as trellis for climbing plants
Rustic charm can be created by using old ladders for rambling and climbing plants or vegetables to clamber their way up. Pumpkins and squashes love space and will romp across a plot but using a support gives them the extra vertical space and it make a nice feature too, especially in a small garden. Some of the daintier varieties, munchkin, sweet dumpling or ornamental gourds are best for training up a ladder support as they are not too weighty - not one for the huge Atlantic Giants!

Runner beans and French beans are perfect too, with crimson and white flowers, twining around the ladder it will add structure and interest to a garden border.
growing vegetables up old ladders
Image source: Quick and easy veg gardening

4. Light fantastic
For a fabulous whimsical look wrap fairy lights around a vintage ladder. Suspend over an outdoor seating area and hang lanterns and jam jars filled with candles or battery lights and flowers. Magical for a summer BBQ.
repurposed ladder with lights and lanterns
Image source; Funky Junk Interiors
5. Garden ladder art
 Make an arty garden feature, hang vintage tool collections  or bright painted watering cans from wooden ladders. Make creations combining junk, upcycle, craft and have a unique piece of art for your garden. Old ladders can be painted up and used a base to fashion your own junkaholics sculpture like I saw last week at the garden festival.  
Ladder garden art
Image source: Finding Secret Treasure
*Collaborative post, words are my own*


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