TRASH TO TREASURE: Reclaimed Bureau Planter


This bureau works great as a pretty herb garden and raised bed. We’ve got lemongrass, tarragon, green pepper, carrots, flowers and a tomato growing in this chest of drawers!

It was simple to score this “Trash to Treasure Chest” – I just looked across the street. My neighbors were cleaning house, stacking tons of useable material on the curb.

I hesitated at first, timidly peering into the containers and hills of stuff – perfectly good golf bags, chairs, holiday wrapping paper and a weathered wheelbarrow!  The cart had a crack just in the right place for drainage.

Then I got a rush of adrenaline, a feeling better than spotting the perfect pair of shoes – that’s a good sign at this point in my thrify life!

It was like I was back in college in Brooklyn, scrounging up anything I could find to make my city apartment homey.

When the Garden Bulb Goes Off!

There was an old bureau that I immediately pictured on its side with herbs or plants growing out of it. But I didn’t take it at first. I waited a bit and after mentioning it to my skeptical husband, I ran across the street and grabbed it before it could be put to use by a normal person.

I also scored a giant stack of unused paper protectors. These came in handy for signs at a booth I ran recently for Home Grown Fun.

Learning from my scrounging ways, my sweet neighbor, owner of the bureau, took her drawers back and used them for window boxes!

I am now an influential Garden Garbage Picker!

In order to convert this glorified t-shirt holder into a raised bed we took the drawers out, the backing off and positioned it on it’s side. The very bottom of the bureau had metal screening and we left that on to hold the soil in. We filled it with very clean fill dirt and top notch compost, leaving a few inches of space from the top.

We even started seed directly in the planter by taking advantage of the framing and wrapping recycked plastic sheets over the slats to keep the seeds warm at night. It worked!


Our kids tried to return the cash they found in the bureau but in the end we’ll end up sharing our harvest with my friends across the street!

Using an Old Bureau as a Planter for Creative Raised Bed Gardening

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