How to Decorate With a Rusty Old Wagon

Written by cheryl munson
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How to Decorate With a Rusty Old Wagon
Paint your wagon or leave it "as is" to create a rustic garden container. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Turn your rusty old wagon into a whimsical and charming landmark for your front yard. Use the wagon as a container to plant flowers, foliage and herbs. Change the design as the seasons change. Add vintage garden statuary and holiday accent pieces. Show off your creativity and turn that wagon into the talk of the neighbourhood.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flowers for all seasons
  • Garden statues and ornaments
  • Holiday decorative accents
  • Landscaping rocks

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  1. 1

    Use a seasonal approach in decorating the wagon. Put miniature, cold-tolerant evergreen Christmas trees inside the wagon during December. Add a sign that says "Happy New Year" in January. When February hits, make red hearts with posterboard and use rocks to keep them steady inside the wagon. Add a sign that says "Happy Valentine's Day."

  2. 2

    Change the flowers to celebrate spring's arrival beginning in March. Plant crocus, tulips, daffodils and hyacinth bulbs in containers and place them inside the wagon. Add garden statuary featuring animals like rabbits, birds and frogs to symbolise that spring is on its way. Place them around the wagon on the ground to create a thematic look. If you live in a warm climate, include a few bulbs that are already in bloom so, by the time the bulbs bloom, the wagon will be covered with lovely spring flowers. Add ornamental grass in containers to celebrate Easter and use branches to decorate the wagon with an egg tree.

  3. 3

    Take bulbs out the containers when their blooming period ends and store them away in a dark and cool place for next spring. Clean out the flower containers and get them ready to give the wagon a summer look. Add cheery summer flowers such as asters, dahlias and gerber daisies and impatiens. Plant trailing petunias around the perimeter of the wagon so the colour spills over.

  4. 4

    Add herbs such as rosemary, basil and mint. When the weather gets hot, plant sunflowers into the ground surrounding the wagon to add height and draw attention to the wagon.

  5. 5

    Welcome autumn with an array of garden mums. Use a variety of colours from yellow to purple, orange and red. Flank the area surrounding the wagon with bales of hay. Keep adding elements such as a scarecrow. As October draws near, place gourds and pumpkins on the bales of hay. You can keep the fall theme going straight through the end of November when Thanksgiving rolls around.

  6. 6

    Set aside the hay in December and get your wagon hitched up for Christmas. Get several small evergreens and stage them inside the wagon. Use breeze blocks or bricks to create different heights. Decorate the trees with ornaments. Add tiny white Christmas lights or hang retro-styled multicoloured bulbs from the 1950s and 1960s to make the wagon a focal point in your yard during Christmas.

Tips and warnings

  • Take advantage of after-holiday sales to stock up on seasonal items like flags for the Fourth of July to decorate the wagon. Look for garden ornaments at vintage stores and yard sales.
  • Use rocks and boulders to decorate the grounds surrounding the wagon. Consider planting annuals and perennials in the ground to define the area as a theme garden. Use the wagon as the centrepiece, with colours that coordinate with seasonal themes and decorations.

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