At first glance, these may look like your average hanging basket.

However, a closer look reveals the more inventive ways in which would-be gardeners are displaying their blooms.

Jill Thomas decided to grow melon plants in her old bras to send out a serious message about breast cancer.

The 42-year-old hairdresser said she wanted to make people smile as well as raising awareness about the disease.

Two of Mrs Thomas’s 34G bras are now hanging outside her house in Deeping St James, Lincolnshire, where she lives with retired police officer husband Richard, 52.

She said: ‘I wanted to send a message out that people should check their breasts regularly because of the risk of breast cancer.

‘I'm a hairdresser and I deal with lots of ladies who have had breast cancer and have gone through chemotherapy.

The mother-of-one was inspired by the East Midlands in Bloom competition which challenged villagers to find unusual containers.

The sewed a waterproof layer into the bottom of the cup before packing the plants in with soil.

Mrs Thomas said: ‘People stop outside the house and talk about them.

'They said they loved them and said they wished they had had the idea.’

And in Dartmouth, Devon, green-fingered police officers have created an arresting display of flowers – made in constable helmets.

The official items of uniform have been adapted into six suspended flower pots and are packed full of red geraniums.

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