Holly & Maple + Twins, Rory and Marc = perfect planter match?

Waste bins upcycled with artificial turf

Holly and Maple needed to grow, whilst identical twins, Rory and Marc needed to smarten up. ReFresh RePurpose gave the twins a ReStyle and got the four together. See how these stylish grass covered garden planters were put together.

Feeling restricted

Holly, a 3/4 standard prickle-free tree, and Maple, a pot-bound Purple Acer, were both feeling restricted and needed to spread their roots. But not for them the tawdry and downright expensive planters available in the local DIY stores. Their chic style deserved a more elegantly proportioned container and right here, is the where, when and how they came to team up with Rory and Marc.


You could have been forgiven for thinking that Rory and Marc, both identical twins of the other, were pretty humdrum black plastic bins, bought for £3.98 each from Homebase, because that is exactly correct. Here they are if you don’t believe it http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/57l-rubbish-bin-374418

However, you should not write them off as butt ugly or even has-beens. They were not destined to live out their lives alternately gorging upon and disgorging waste. They, had potential.

With some time, energy, and a disproportionately expensive stretch of artificial grass, they have been fully transformed into bright and stylish planters for Holly and Maple.

ReFresh – ReBirth

Rory was up first. His lid had to go, it was simply not needed.  Then his handles were cut off with a hand saw. This left Rory about as naked as he was the day he came out of the mould.  But he wasn’t to stay that way for long.

Noting that Rory and Marc were neither of them the tallest of bins, they needed a boost in height. This was achieved with some off-cuts of pallet, screwed to the bottom.  This served a dual purpose of increasing their height, making them less short and allowing excess water to drain away more easily. The mechanics of the draining away was simply achieved by drilling holes in the bottom of Rory and Marc. Neither minded. It was either this, or a life of rotting rubbish.

Get Taller

Rory’s platforms

Next action: a length of artificial grass was purchased from a specialist artificial grass supplier, an offcut, that was estimated to cost about £10, but in fact cost £40 (down from £55).  Not the cheap-planter cheap that had been hoped for, but it was potentially going to cover both the twins, so the show must go on.  [Since this purchase, similar artificial grass material has been spied at The Range for about £30 for a 4x1m piece, long enough to have easily done both bins.]


A tube of clear adhesive from Wicks, Ronseal Sticks Like, was purchased for £7.99, but the price may vary http://www.wickes.co.uk/Sticks-Like-Clear-Adhesive-290-ml/p/137680

Armed with a new blade for a Stanley-style generic non-branded craft knife handle, the simple tailoring for Rory’s new coat began in earnest. Ernest protested, but his partner Eric stepped up to the Marc, who convinced Rory to lay down. Laying Rory down on top of the flipped-over astrojacket-to-be, he was rolled about a bit and the ends of the roll flopped over to meet each other. There was about 4 inches, or 4 inches converted into metric if you prefer, of an overlap.


Generous blobs of adhesive were applied all over the bin, save the section where the two ends would meet.  Rory was then trussed-up like a giant beef-brisket, only made of a plastic bin and artificial turf.


He stayed like that for the whole of the afternoon and through the night, without so much as a murmur of discontent. An admirable quality in a bin.

By the next day, he was ready to be trimmed; overlap, top and bottom and glued down, leaving a barely perceptible join.


TOP TIP: Leave a longer edge than Rory here had; 4cm would be better.
The top edge was nicked every 3 to 4cm to create tabs that were then glued and weighted down and left overnight to set.

Having witnessed his brother’s less than gentle treatment, it was no surprise that Marc cared not one jot what happened to him. Same thing, basically.

By the time they were both ready for planting, Holly and Maple were more than ready too.


In went the girls to their respective planters, along with sufficient compost to achieve an appropriate level just below the rim.  A generous watering and the transformation was complete.

Twins, Rory and Marc are completely unrecognisable and totally energised by the bold use of colour. How will Holly and Maple feel?

Stepping out


Holly and Maple are suitably impressed with the boys. They are completeley made up and stepping out in style.