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How to Repurpose an Old Swingset For a Swingin’ Arbor

Trash to treasure

Cathy Wanderaas of Montana was looking for a new idea to landscape a part of her backyard. She was also looking for a new use for a swing set her children have outgrown.

She ended up creating a fantastical ‘doorway’ that leads from one side of her garden to the other. Now, she is getting compliments from Flea Market Gardening! I know I’d like to see what’s beyond Cathy’s path, don’t you?

Cathy's arbor from an old swing set.

Cathy’s arbor from an old swing set

Inspired recycling

Cathy says, “This is the arbor that I made from our old swing set. I removed most of the rust and painted it cream and hunter green. Chicken wire is attached to each end from about 2 feet from the ground up.

I drilled holes in the middle of three 40 inch 1 x 3 boards and attached them crosswise to the top rail with eye bolts and nuts. I used the pre-drilled holes already in the swing set! The chicken wire covering made a canopy and makes it easy to hang planters.

I planted two Virginia Creepers at each end and gave them free reign. A hail storm one year pretty much destroyed the foliage and it isn’t as lush this year as I have seen it, but it’s coming back.

If I ever re-do it, I will probably place the chicken wire lower to the ground. It would then keep other plants from invading the main area

Creative details

With a paver ‘floor’, hanging pots with a bit of blue and the addition of plant stands and container plants make a lush garden focal point for Cathy. The old swing set now makes a lovely wide ‘gate’ that leads you into the garden. Transforming something useless into something priceless is our favorite thing to do and Cathy is really with it,…hip and swingin’! ~~ Sue

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