The hiking boot flower pot

Published 31 May 2011

Sign saying 'Please remove your boots'

I recently retired yet another pair of hiking boots. I’d barely had them two years but in that time I reckon I’d done 800 miles in them, and done some pretty big stuff.

The South Downs Way, Coast to Coast, Dales Way, most of the Ridgeway and recently the Glynd┼Ár’s Way were all done in my pair of Berghaus Explorer Ridge boots. They went through good conditions, they went through bad. They even got to do all the things you shouldn’t do with leather boots, like get put in very hot places to dry out. Given the terrain they went over and the pressure I put on them, 800 miles doesn’t seem too bad.

Hiking boots used as flower pots

And now they’ll have retirement to look forward to. This pair won’t be sitting in Carlisle City Council’s rubbish dump unlike my last pair. No, these ones will be plant pots on my balcony.

I did this by simply filling the boot with compost (in this case peat-free compost) and shoving some bedding plants in. I used petunias, forget me nots and two other things I’ve forgotten – two plants to a boot. Hopefully they won’t be too crowded.

I can’t say the idea is particularly original. I first saw old boots used this way in a cafe in Switzerland.

Old hiking boots used as flower pots at Kirk Yetholm, near the end of the Pennine Way

And at the end of the Pennine Way, a B&B has a collection of old boots, many with flowers in (although when the photo above was taken in April 2010, little was doing well besides the moss!)

Hiking boots used as flower pots

I also put an old pair of Brasher boots of Catherine’s to similar use last year and grew a lot of dwarf beans in them very successfully. This year they’ll be having flowers in them too – the dwarf beans tended to yield more when in a tub instead!

Hiking boots used as flower pots

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