Salvaged ! The 32 Shutter Challenge ~ repurposing shutters in the garden

Shutter Challenge

Salvaged! The 32 Shutter Challenge

I had pretty much given up hope on pulling ivy in part of our back garden and resigned myself to just making it look halfway decent with garden accents. Then, last year a neighbor gave me ten shutters and I made two raised garden beds from them. It really worked, a way to garden even in a fifty-year-old ivy bed! I was hooked! So, last fall the whole area was weed whacked and smothered in mulched fall leaves from the mower. This spring, the ivy was mostly at bay and I started to dream of another garden. Serendipity! Another neighbor offered me their thirty-two old wooden shutters and The 32 Shutter Challenge began.

Raised Beds for Free

Raised Beds For Free! The first two raised beds in The Shutter Garden. (click the picture for directions)

  We built a raised garden bed from wood and corrugated metal roofing panels. Eight feet wide and long, this garden eliminates the problem of tree roots and poor soil! Click on the raised bed to get all the particulars.

Raised Garden Bed

Raised Garden Bed (click the picture for directions)

Three shutters now function as the garden arbor entrance. Click on the arbor to get more information on its construction!

Salvaged Shutter Arbor

Painted Shutter Arbor (click the picture for directions)

Fourteen of the shutters became The Shutter Garden’s fence. To see how it was put together, just click on the picture below!

Salvaged Shutter Fence

Dress the fence with birdhouses, garden tools and planted containers!

The finishing touch was putting together a potting bench using four of the shutters. Click on the picture to get more details and see how it was made!

Potting Bench Made From Shutters

Painted and ready to use ~ Shutter Potting Bench (click the picture for directions)

Here’s the “Before” picture, a huge patch of English ivy and the first two raised beds repurposed from shutters.

The "Before" picture!

The “Before” picture ~ a huge patch of English ivy!

And, the “After” picture! Here’s The Shutter Garden with all the pieces put together!  From a huge bed of ivy to a vegetable garden!

The Shutter Garden

The Shutter Garden

The Shutter Garden

The Shutter Garden

Birdhouse Ladders

Birdhouse Ladders dressed up with vines & flowers!

The Garden Lady

The Garden Lady tends The Shutter Garden

Playing In the Garden

A wonderful sign painted by a dear friend says it all!

Planted Heart Basket

Planted Heart Basket


The Head Gardener

The Head Gardener!

Repurposed Shutter Garden

Garden sign and wheelbarrow at the ready!

28 Responses so far.

  1. Love, Love , Love all of it!!

    Great job with the shutters!! So much inspiration!!


  2. Judy A Muche says:

    Red, white, & blue, just in time for the Fourth…Looks great Barb!

  3. Helen Malandrakis says:


  4. Christine says:

    I love the pop of blue shutters in the background! I wish I had neighbors that threw good stuff out! They look great….good job!

    • Barb says:

      It was great that most of the shutters were already blue, Christine! I had leftover exterior paint from painting our house last year that almost matched! I love a bit of blue in the garden.

  5. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Your garden is chock full of charm and whimsy! And what an impressive collection of shutter projects! I hope it makes you smile every day!

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Sharon! I am enjoying my new Shutter Garden very much! It was a thrill to get rid of all that ivy, too!

  6. I’m with the garden lady on this one and smiling just as wide! Love that shutter wall – lucky you to get hold of all those shutters!

    • Barb says:

      I am quickly getting the reputation of neighborhood “Junk Lady”, Kelly! Folks call me up to offer cast-offs and tell me about something put out on the curb! That many shutters at once was amazing!

  7. Patti says:

    Wow, you’ve been busy. Great use of the shutters. I especially love the blue fence.
    Happy 4th!

    • Barb says:

      Thanks for stopping in, Patti! Yes, this was the big project of the summer (I hope!). My hubby says I have “visions”. Hope I get to rest up before the next one! : )

  8. chris aka monkey says:

    barb i am grinning from ear to ear from looking at your whimsical garden love it xx

  9. Cecilia says:

    Wow, it looks great! I love all of your ideas – the fence, raised beds, the potting bench, the arbor! Want to come transform my space? :D

    • Barb says:

      Glad you like it all! I did most of it in 90+ degree weather and need a break! You wouldn’t believe how many offers like that I get! :)

  10. Margaret says:

    This is fantastic!!

  11. I love your creativity! Some people see junk – you saw a whole new garden! Excellent repurposing for those shutters Barb. Keep up the good gardening! And thanks for sharing!

    • Barb says:

      HA!HA! My hubby says I have “visions”, Linda! This was a lot of fun to dream up and do. I actually have a few more ideas I could do with shutters …

  12. Isabella says:

    I love what you do with all the recycled items.

    • Barb says:

      Thanks, Isabella! It is a lot of fun thinking up ways to repurpose items to keep them out of the landfill!

  13. Linda says:

    What fabulous art!! How do you keep the plants on the ladders from the wind blowing them down.
    I have used my Dad’s old step ladder in my veg. garden for years with a bird house I built on the top. I hold the ladder by stakes to keep the wind from taking it.

    • Barb says:

      Hi, Linda! The pots are screwed onto the ladder steps to keep them from blowing off! Sneaky, Huh?? My ladders are staked as well.

  14. lisa says:

    Barb, wonderful! I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but from me you’ll have to settle for envy. Alas , I live in an apartment and my patio is full of my container garden. But , after seeing all your great projects I’m convinced I have to add some shutters. I loved your garden before and didn’t think it needed improvement but our gardens are never really finished are they? Yours is wonderful and I think I’ll drop buy for a spot of tea, in my mind that is. Blessed be. lisa

    • Barb says:

      What a sweet note, Lisa! You are welcome to come by any time and see what’s new in the garden! Gardens are like people, constantly changing and getting better : )


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