Sunday, February 5, 2012

Seventeen Recycled Garden Things

Thought for a bit of fun I'd post some recycled things I'm using in the garden today.

1. Drawer Planter Boxes
These drawers were destined for the hard rubbish but now they're housing some flowers underneath my clothes line.

2. Clothes Airer Vine Support
Not sure that I'll have any success with my pumpkins this year again. I think I planted them in the wrong spot - not enough sun. They haven't grown much so it's probably too late in the season. But they have started to climb up the corrugated iron fence with a bit of assistance from my old clothes airer.

3. Old Tin Drum Planters
 And here's another. And beside it...

4. Tree Stump Bench Seats
Now don't ask me what the flowers are 'cos I confess to being not so interested in flowers unless they are particularly beneficial to the veggies or in this case quite pretty. Beside the flowers is a bench seat. I've got a few of these about the place. I don't know where the tree stump came from or the planks of wood I've propped on top. I just found them in Monkey Man's timber stash.

5. Chicken Coop
Built by Monkey Man using recycled materials. The roof was give to us by a friend leftover from a  kids' cubby house. You can't see it in the picture but the nesting area is an old drawer that's been covered in. We did have to buy some hinges and extra chicken wire.

6. Laundry Trough Planter
You might remember this post when I was getting myself in a frizz about the peeling lead paint from this old laundry trough. Well I scraped most of it off and painted over it and it now houses some flowers in front of the chook shed. 

7. Kids' Security Fence Chook Run
Aaaah it seems aeons ago now but once we had to baby-proof the house. I remember getting quite anxious about all the dangers lurking about. Table corners got plastic covers, bookshelves were screwed into the wall, breakables packed away. Of course, the real dangers came from sleep-deprived parents. We dropped Eldest Monkey boy once. Monkey Man passed him to me. I thought he had him, he thought I did and poor little monkey got dropped splat to the ground. Shudder.

Anyway, once we got to the crawling stage I thought it necessary to purchase an overpriced security fence to keep little fingers out of the kitchen. Luckily, it has later proved very handy in the garden. It is movable and has a gate and makes a perfect fence for the chicken run.

8. Old Washer Water Feature
This one's my favourite. It's an old washing machine that was in the laundry when Monkey Man bought the house (along with the cement troughs I've made into planters). I mosaiced it over winter, filled it with water and popped in some water plants. Pretty cool huh?

9. Teapot Planter
Now I have to confess that this teapot has been hanging in my garden for about a year now without a plant. And I cheated today by quickly potting up some baby tears in it just to impress you! Unfortunately, now that I'm looking at the photo I see that the plant is very unimpressive and I needn't have bothered.

10. Door Frame Veggie Patch Border
It's hard to see amidst the foliage but this I think was once our back screen door. I found it on one of  Monkey Man's junk piles of course. Now it marks the border between one veggie patch and the next and I use it to grow veggies up. At the moment it's helping along the tomatoes. I've attached a few interesting bits to it too - a mobile and ribbon with mirrors and a little lantern that's lost it's glass.
11. Ladder Plant Shelf
I had imagined a ladder bursting with colour and herbs and such but I'm afraid this one's been a bit of a failure so far. The steps are not very wide so it needs small pots which I've managed to dry out. And over summer it's shaded by the fig tree so everything seems to be dying. I tried to grow some cucumber up it but no luck so far. Maybe in a few months I'll manage to make it look a bit better.

12. Pallet Chook Fence
A couple of pallets were dumped outside our back fence after some building was done by the neighbours. For a couple of years I covered them with a board and made a stage for the monkeys' backyard concerts. Now they're serving as a fence to stop the chooks escaping to the veggie patch.

13. CD Rack Garden Art
A few years ago I used a mini disk recorder in my drama class and at the end a parent came up to me like it was a museum piece and laughed. Well I sure did feel uncool! (See I am so uncool I still use the word "uncool"). Nowadays, I have progressed to the digital world. But some of you may be able to cast your minds back to the olden days when we had CDs. This was a rack for storing the CDs in. Only it is big and a bit creepy and my monkeys were frightened of it so I decided to put it in the garden for a bit of added interest. And I think he will scare away the birds - a modern-ish scarecrow. 

14. Screen Door Fence
Yep, another one. But this door was out the front. I've covered it with chicken wire and it is serving as a gate for Wokee the puppy's outdoor run. And as you can see from the picture I still haven't moved Monkey Man's junk pile or planted anything down there. 

15. Dead Tree Arbour
I had been looking around for an arbour for this spot in the garden. But everything I saw was a bit twee. Then a tree on our nature strip died and Monkey Man suggested these branches. I was hoping it would be like a gateway from one section of the garden to the next but it doesn't quite work. Yet. I have tried to grow things up it but with no success. I think there are a lot of snails or earwigs or something around there. But I haven't given up.

16. Bamboo Teepees
Someone I read recently blogged about bamboo and how terrific and sustainable and lovely it is. I tried in vain to find the post and who it was so apologies but I just can't remember where I read it. Anyway, they had some lovely pics of bamboo being used for all sorts of wonderful things. And I was tempted to comment, but I would have just been spoiling the lovely post. Because I hate bamboo. Only because we had a nasty big patch of it down our back fence. The non-clumping variety that spreads and spreads until one day you have nothing but a big bamboo jungle in your yard and you lose your children in it. So I set to work chopping it out to make way for the chook shed. And it took all of my summer holidays and was bloody hard work for a wimp like me. And then I realised that chopping it down would not do much good because it just kept sprouting up from the cut stumps. So I set Monkey Man to work digging it out. Phew. He wasn't at all impressed with that job. You can see a bit of what was involved here

Anyway, the good thing is that now we have a lifetime supply of bamboo stakes for the garden. And so do my friends and neighbours.

17. Nappy Dishcloths
OK, they're not strictly speaking garden things but they were hanging on the line when I was photographing. And I like the picture so indulge me. Old nappies are very useful. I've chopped most of mine up and use them as kitchen dishclothes.

I'd love to know what things you've recycled in your garden.


  1. What a great post of interesting recycled 'stuff' all looks great, those flowers are petunias, and a lovely tin of them too........thanks for showing us around..

  2. I'm just catching up with your last few posts because for some reason they haven't been coming up on my reading list.

    I love all your recycling especially the CD holder scarecrow.

    Well done on your first avocados! (I didn't know they grew on trees)

  3. I love!

    And I LOVE your avocados...I couldn't comment on your last post. Dunno why.

  4. awesommmmme, you know how to make re-use look good in the garden :)
    we are about to move into house with only a court yard to house my garden, so i'm gonna have to take a leaf out of your book!

  5. Really enjoyable post - except looking at those flowers you couldn't identify I had a Wiggles song come into my head "petuna's oh so good", actually that may not be the correct lyric but its the one that's been annoying me ever since. I love your washer very much and also the door frame veggie border. In fact the whole lot is ace! Is ace still used? I think it should be....

  6. Some classic examples of "re-purposing". One man's junk is another man's treasure, eh? My first compost bin was made with planks from an old garden shed. And I have two large tubs made from a water-butt cut in half. Oh, and also some plant stakes made from the arms of a defunct rotary clothes-line, and, and, and...

  7. What a great post!!!! I loved all your recycling but particularly the teapot, the airer and the washing machine (mosaic is on my list of things to try and your washer will be an inspiration!). Here in SA they recycle old tyres quite alot and you can buy stunning planters altho I don't have one yet! I have recycled some old wood to make the kids a couple of swings and various things to use as stakes but nothing on your scale!!! Good on ya!!! lol x

  8. Really interesting post - would you believe I finally started a mosaic - bought the sheet of marine ply but using broken crockery only to make something to hide our ugly fence - thanks for inspiring me! I too have an old concrete laundry trough that I have lugged about from two houses - just need to work out wear to put it - luckily no lead paint so i might mosaic it too. I love the teapot - i remember seeing a great pic ages ago on someone's blog showing a tree covered in teapots - so next time I was at my favourite Op shop i asked a woman if they had any teapots with missing lids and she looked at me as if I was mad and told me they would throw them out if they had : ( - i must try and get to a tip shop. I would like to get hold of some old timber drawers and attach them to my fence like shelves with little pots - maybe succulents as I guess they wouldn't get much water. My other recycling project is an old stool in the garden - still working on an idea but I love having all different bits in the garden. Did you see this? - just wish i had the room and the bed!!

  9. Some nice things there. It all looks good but I love the CD holder.


  10. Hello!!! Just thought I'd let you know that I've given you the Versatile Blogger Award today!!! Pop over and collect it (and the rules) when you have a minute! lol xxx

  11. These recycled ideas are fantastic. I am going to steal some of them. I am new to gardening, thus not much recycled use. I am also into vegetable gardening, but right now nothing is growing in this freezing climate except some in the greenhouse. You have a nice blog - going to follow it.

  12. Love the water feature, especially the mosaic work.

    You have been tagged!, the rules are on my blog if you want to play along :)

  13. THe Empress of Dirt posted about your washing machine - terrific job. I have an older galvazined steel wringer washing that I just got and what to convert into a planter. At most I will paint the washing machine - not as talented as you. I also have a double laundry tub in the basement that I would love to put in the garden. HOw many people did it take to move yours??

  14. Hi Louise. I love the Empress of Dirt and all the stuff she's done. I hope you do move your laundry tub and do something with it. But they are hard to move. Just today I implored Monkey Man to move ours to a better spot in the garden. We have a trolley so it really just needs him to wheel and me to make sure the wringer doesn't wack him in the face. Mind you it was hard work and there was a bit of shouting and snipping at each other!


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