If you think no creative gardening tips could possibly help with that old tree stump in the back yard, guess again.

Don’t look at the remnants of your once-beautiful tree as an eyesore. Instead, use a few creative gardening tips and tricks you can turn your old stump into a whimsical (and even practical) focal point.

Gardening Tips for Tree Stumps

No. 1: Display a Container Garden

Flatten the top of your tree stump, and you have a stable base for a container garden. Grab a decorative pot – or a few – and use the surface to display your favorite flowering plants, herbs or veggies. This is a perfect to keep them out of the dog’s reach, too.

No. 2: Use the Tree Stump as a Planter

Tree stumps also make excellent planting containers themselves. Hollow out the top, making a hole that is about four to eight inches deep and leaving a three-inch border. Drill a few drainage holes out the side and fill it with potting soil. Now, add some of your favorite annual or perennial flowering plants for a unique garden planter.

No. 3: Design a Tree Stump Fairy Garden

Bring a touch of whimsy and fantasy to your garden design by creating a magical tree stump fairy garden. After hollowing the top and adding soil, fill the surface with attractive rocks, miniature outdoor plants, and tiny decorative accessories. If you have little gardeners about, you could even make this a family project – or let the kids take it on as their own project.

No. 4: Create an Aged Moss Stump for a Dinosaur Garden

Moss was around during the age of the dinosaurs, so a moss-covered stump in a dark and humid spot can be a perfect focal point for a prehistoric dinosaur garden. Visit your local plant nursery for moss starters. Use wet mud to attach the moss to your stump, and the greenery will soon grow to cover the surface.

No. 5: Grow a Mushroom Garden

Do you like gourmet mushrooms? If your tree stump is in a shady area, you can grow your own. In a diamond or checkerboard pattern, drill holes that are about a quarter-inch deep and roughly 4 inches apart. Insert mushroom spawn plugs, seal with wax and keep the stump moist. In a few months, your garden design will feature an abundant source of fresh mushrooms.

No. 6: Build a Tree Stump Bird Bath

If you like bird-watching, why not provide a place for your feathered friends to take a bath? Flatten your stump, then place a wide, shallow container on top. Add an inch or two of water, then sit back and enjoy the view of your new bird bath.

No. 7: Use the Tree Stump as Garden Furniture

Tree stumps can also be functional features in your garden design. Flattened, they can be used as stools or tables. Or, hire a woodworker to carve your stump into a decorative, high-backed chair.

No. 8: Make a Board Game for the Kids

Outdoor games can make your garden design more kid-friendly. With a bit of paint, you can turn a tree stump into a permanent board game. Checkers or tic tac toe is an easy option – use painted rocks as markers for a unique touch.

No. 9: Plant a New Shade Tree

If you miss the dappled light and cool shade of your old tree, why not plant a new one? Stump removal isn’t as much of a pain as you think, especially if you hire someone to help (or handle it for you). Choose a fast-growing shade tree, or change things up and add an apple or cherry tree to your landscaping.

Or, you can always use your own creativity and imagination, and turn that old stump into something wonderful. If so, don’t forget to share pictures of your project with us!

Millcreek Gardens, northern Utah’s leading plant nursery, has everything you need to create an envy-worthy landscape. For expert help with your garden design, and all the gardening tips you’ll ever need, visit our Salt Lake City garden center today.