To plant your own boot:
1.Find an old boot. Coax it away from its owner.
This was the hardest part of this project as Mr. Tanager is very attached to his boots-even old ones that have no mate. You may have better luck with this, just don't take a man's boots without asking. If you have a resistant boot-owner on your hands, try a two-part plan of attack and spread it out over a few days. Worked for me.
Me: "What are you going to do with those old boots out on the back porch?" (There were in fact two and a half pairs of old boots out there, but I figured I better start small.)
Mr. T: "I don't know, but don't get rid of any of them."
Me: "There's only one of those army boots."
Mr. T: "I'm sure the other one's around somewhere, probably in the basement. I'll find it, just don't throw any of them out."
a few days later...
Me: "I can't find that other boot anywhere. May I have this one?"
Mr. T: "What for?"
Me: " I want to plant flowers in it. It'll look cool and its a nice way to preserve your boot."
Mr. T: " I don't know what you're talking about, but yeah you can have it, just don't get rid of it."
a day later...
Me: "What do you think?"
Mr. T: "Arrgggg! You didn't tell me you were going to cut holes in it!"
2. Using a sharp knife, cut holes wherever you want flowers to stick out.
3.Fill with potting soil. You may want to add some gravel for stability and drainage.
4. Adjust the tongue and laces so that the boot holds your soil in well and tie.
5. Add your plants.
I used hens and chicks and a licorice plant but there are many options. Petunias are pretty and strawberries or herbs like oregano work well. And just about any footwear will work (okay, maybe not those strappy Manolo Blahnik's, but I don't imagine you'll want to use those anyway). Whatever's your thing. I've seen cute cowboy boots with lots of holes like a strawberry pot and I planted a pair of old Chucks once that I loved until some jacknut stole them.
The blooming boot has grown on Mr. Tanager, I think he may eventually let me have the rest of the boots to plant for our back stairs. In the meantime, I've been devising a strategy for an even tougher boot-owner I know.