That old, useless stump in your yard has become an eyesore. While you can't stand to look at it, you can't stand the idea of paying someone to pull it up, either. This is the perfect time to get creative. Old stumps make excellent rustic planters. With a little elbow grease, you can change that eyesore into something beautiful.
Using your chisel and hammer, work in a circular pattern and hollow out the stump. Leave approximately two inches of wood between the hole and the bark edge of the stump. Chisel down as deeply as you can to maximize the growing space for your plants. If you break through the stump bottom, do not worry. The break will serve as a drainage hole. This is the most labor-intensive part of the project. For safety, use gloves and goggles while you are chiseling.
Fill the stump with potting soil. Use a high quality, well draining potting soil, as your plants will not have access to the nutrients of the ground beneath the stump. You can also fill in a layer of gravel to help with drainage before you add the potting soil, although this is not necessary.
Fill the stump with plants the same as you would a pot or other container. Water the plants thoroughly, and add some fertilizer. Annuals are excellent selections for stump planters, as they typically grow for only one season and are subsequently discarded. Smaller perennials may also work, but often, perennials grow back larger year after year, which could cause harm or even death to the plants.
Maintain your planter stump. Check the plants often for water and feedings. Treat the planter stump the same way you would treat a plant in another container. The plants are restricted from water and nutrients, and will require assistance from you to thrive.