July 26, 2013

Repurposed Planter: A New Home For our Habaneros

Last weekend we made a pretty cool little plant display that's holding this year's habanero peppers. It was a really quick little project that used up some of the things we've had lying around in storage — which is always a good feeling when you finally put something to use you've been meaning to get to.

Here's the story. Mary's mom had salvaged and brought us this antique wash stand from our cousin who lives down on the river near her.

 It would have had a basin in the center, cup holder underneath, and the extending bar would have held a towel, similar to something like this:

French metal wash stand, via Oh So Vintage

You can see ours is on its last leg and was otherwise headed for the junk yard unless we wanted it. Rusty pieces of history like this are right up our alley, so we gladly held onto it while thinking of ways to repurpose it for future use.

She'd also brought us this little habanero starter plant (knowing I love everything spicy) at another point back in the season — and as you can see, it was getting to the point where it needed transplanting into a larger container:

So you can probably see where this is going, yes? We decided to make turn the old wash stand into a plant stand that would hold our peppers on display!

The stand needed a little attitude adjustment to make sure it could even stand up properly and while we love the look of the rust, we gave it a good scrubbing to rub off all the rough parts:

And the habanero plant was a perfect fit for a larger plastic container with drainage holes stacked inside one of the more rustic looking planters we'd scored at a neighborhood sale last fall.

Did you catch that warning written across the container of this plant? These are dangerously hot.

We transplanted the pepper by loosening the root ball and massaging the roots out of their conformed shape to help encourage growth in the new, bigger pot:

Then just gently stacked the planter inside the wash bin:

We love the new look and hope the plant is feeling a little roomier in its new digs too. We ended up moving it out front and after a few healthy waterings, things are looking much better:

Now these peppers can continue to get hotter and hotter while looking stylish at the same time.

While I wait for them to get more orange and ready to pick, I've been thinking of the kinds of sauces and seasonings that might be fun to try making. Here's how they're looking almost a full week after the transplant:

Nice and happy, right? One thing's for sure — we won't be eating these guys straight from the plant. If you have a use for habaneros be sure to drop me a line!

What are you excited about in your garden this year? Repurposed anything laying around into a planter or other creative new use?


  1. *sigh* if only my little container garden was so successful... your efforts inspire me to keep trying (but those pesky flies keep thwarting me at every turn). Not to mention that my plants shrivel at the sight of me...
    Really enjoy the DIYs that you guys do, so thanks for all the tips!

    1. Thanks Heather and just know we certainly have our failures as well. Just keep at it! Thanks again for the kind words and for following along in our little world.

  2. Love your blog and hearing about your adventures and exploits, so thanks for including us in them! One of my family's favorite habanero-based treats is habanero jelly (even better is raspberry or blackberry habanero jelly). We don't make it ourselves, but buy it from our local farmers market vendors. We love to have it over artizan crackers (like Leslie Stowe Raincoast Crisps), topped with goat cheese or Phillidelphia Roasted Red Pepper Cream Cheese. It makes a great appy, with a little kick to it. We also like to glaze chicken, pork, ham and even bacon with it. We love the Rothschild Roasted Pineapple and Habanero Sauce and have come across a knock-off recipe on the internet that seems very easy to make, but we haven't tried it yet. That sauce makes a great marinade/glaze for chicken, pork/ham, fish (SO good on BBQ'd salmon), great on pizza, and just as a snack, pour it over plain cream cheese eat with taco chips or crackers. Can't wait to hear about what you make with them! :-)

    1. Wow, I (Tim here) have heard of jalapeno jelly but never habanero jelly and I am intrigued! If you have any recipes I would love to try one! Please stay in touch and thanks for the great comment!

  3. Love that planter - it looks amazing! I just recently incorporated an old towel rack as a trellis for my pumpkins.

    1. Carolyn that sounds wonderful! Shoot us an email with a picture we would love to see!

  4. I can't wait to start planting chillis! I just purchased some seeds, and even though I'm allergic to them I'm sure my boyfriend will appreciate them! These are awesome!


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