Being a Landscape designer, I am often specc'ing products into my clients gardens that I can rarely afford myself. One of my big loves is rusted steel planter boxes. I custom design these to fit into particular spaces, and they take up a lot less room than building in a brick version. The offer a great contrast to other surfaces around them and the thin nature of them means more soil and space for the plants.
When I purchased my little town house with its tiny courtyard, I knew I wanted to plant bamboo, to provide a little privacy, but also to block out the ugly walls of the two storey townhouses. I wanted the bamboo to be in planters so there was no fear of them getting out of hand, or growing into neighbouring gardens. So of course steel planters were the perfect solutions. But there was no way I could afford the outlay to purchase the number required to put around the perimeter of the garden.
Pinterest to the rescue! I was scrolling through one day and spotted an old filing cabinet that had been spray painted a bright colour and it was filled with home grown veggies.....yum.
So off to the tip I went, and purchased 3 x 4 drawer cabinets and 1 x 3 drawer cabinet for under $100. Then to Bunnings and purchased some Crommelins Blackseal and spray paint in a hammered brown finish (2 cans per cabinet)
First, I removed and discarded the rails etc, then drilled a heap of holes in the bottom for drainage.
Painted the insides with 2 coats of Crommelins Blackseal to slow down any rusting from the inside out, following the manufacturers instructions.
Once that is dry, then comes the fun part. Using your chosen colour of spray paint, coat the outside of the cabinets several times. Make sure you get a good even coverage to all exposed areas, again to help protect it from surface rust.
I then added my drip irrigation. This was fed through one of the holes in the base.
Locate your planters where you want them. Once the soil is in, they will be impossible to move!
Use a good quality potting mix and add your plants. These are Slender Weavers Bamboo (Bambusa textiles gracilis) which are fast growing, grow well in narrow spaces and get to a height of around 3m.
Today (2 years later) some of the canes easily reach 3-4 metres. The Liriope gigantia is going gangbusters and the pots are standing up strong. They could all use a little touch up paint, but rusting is not a problem yet.