My parents donated a wine barrel to us when we moved in to our home, to help start our "beer garden" patio dream. Because we know people who know people, we were able to get some new ones to stick in the patio and use the old one (which is much darker in colour than the others) in the garden. Kym jigsawed the barrel in half while I rolled it toward him (no safety precautions spared....) and voila! Two magical planters. We've used one for a kaffir lime tree and the other for some of the neglected succulents featured in the 12 Days of a Camera Christmas challenge. We've put them along the retaining wall in the backyard, as a step toward beautifying our garden.
I don't have a before photo of the wine barrel, but I figure you'll get the idea! Here are the after shots: