Protect Your Plants with this Simple DIY Repurposing Project

I love my garden. And I love my dog. But the two are not always compatible. Though my dog, an energetic golden retriever, is well behaved and trained to stay out of the flowerbeds, it all goes out the window if there’s a squirrel in the yard. Before I can stop her, she’s crashing through the irises dashing my hopes of summer blooms. And heaven forbid a wayward ball lands among the lily of the valley!

Wire garden art protecting irisesI’ve strategically placed some statuary throughout the beds, but they take up space and don’t come cheap. The garden shops are full of a variety of wire supports for plants, but they’re usually not very aesthetic unless they’re artsy and thus expensive.

Last year, we decided to replace our cheap and rusting tomato cages with nicer, sturdier ones. As my husband was folding the old ones in upon themselves so they would fit in our recycle bin, we realized he had made the perfect plant support.

With some careful crimping and bending, the cages were transformed into abstract wire art, just right for pausing a pup in her tracks, without taking up too much of my precious garden space. Depending on just how you fold the cage, the final shape can be tall or squat, round or rectangular. It is a combination of forethought and serendipity—no two are alike. You can check out the video to see just how simple it is to create these works of art!

T-Cage Art lily of the valleyAt first we used them “as is,” since the perennials were beginning to emerge and the squirrels were investigating the bird feeders. This year, however, we took the time to paint them so they’d be more attractive and to keep them from rusting further. We used up a few cans of leftover Rustoleum spray paint on the first few, and purchased a can of metallic copper (cost about $6.00) to finish the rest. It ended up being my favorite of all the colors—especially when the sun glints off it. I’ll admit though the white photographs best.

T-Cage Art fernsSo far, they’re doing a great job. The dog seems respectful of them, and the plants can grow up through the wires. They are easy to move around as needed, and don’t take up too much room. All in all, they are an attractive and inexpensive solution to our dog and garden dilemma.