Have Fun and be Creative - Get the Look for Less


Article by: J T Taylor

Hands up all those who have visited a Garden , How to Grow Blueberries Centre or DIY Store looking for something to add that touch of 'wow' to the garden. , Mowing the Lawn Let's face it, what's on offer is not exactly going to be unique is it? So instead of running with the crowd, why not go for something different!

Go Green

Have fun and be creative. Salvaging and recycling can be so much more than just composting green , The Best Types Of Fish For Your Garden Pond waste. Think of all the other items that are cast aside in the throes of so many re-vamps and make-overs: brick, stone, , Winter Injury to Trees redundant furniture, , Mowing the Lawn old sinks, cast iron bathtubs, the list goes on.

Real Rubbish Garden! , House Name Plates

At Chelsea a few years ago, the RSPB's Real Rubbish garden , Add Value to Your Home - Landscaping designed by Claire Whitehouse demonstrated how reclaimed and re-usable materials could be incorporated in a contemporary garden. , Planting for Wildlife

Use some imagination

Salvaging is all about using your imagination. Rather than throwing out items without a second thought, stop a minute and apply a bit of lateral thinking.

Could it be recycled or re-used in other ways? We all make regular visits to our local tip , Create a Great Water Garden to dispose of rubbish. How often do you stop and look at items others have thrown out?

What treasures could you have missed? Plastic , Composting and Composters: A Basic Introduction coleslaw and salad pots , Using Annuals in Your Perrenial Garden make excellent seed , The Beauty of Basil storage containers. Old toilet-roll centres are perfect for starting off broad bean seeds , Rosemary whose deep roots , Planning Your Garden from Scratch - the Planting wont be disturbed when it comes to planting them out in their own bio-degradable cells. Old wooden , The Best Types Of Fish For Your Garden Pond pallets can be turned into the perfect compost , How To Keep Birds Off Of Your Patio Furniture bin (who says 'five into one, wont go!).

Even the most unlikely items can be reborn; an old lavatory pan becomes a witty planter; a discarded bath becomes a herb garden. , ing - Hibiscus Plant Care It's not really a new idea either. We all remember the ubiquitous white-washed split tyre planters that appeared everywhere in the seventies but it's not so easy to do the whole cut-and-turn thing since the advent of steel belting but a couple of worn-out tyres makes a useful container for any plant , Cactus Grafting: Lophophora Williamsii to Trichocereus Candicans as a Rapid Propagation Technique that's a bit thuggish and likes to muscle in on its neighbours. I use mine to corral an unruly spread of mint whereas at CAT (The Centre for Alternative Technology at Macynlleth in Wales) they use a tyre stack as a composter. , Planting for Wildlife Small but nonetheless efficient.

Create something different

It's surprising how many old wheelbarrows you will come across on a visit to your local , Using Annuals in Your Perrenial Garden Council Tip

A wheelbarrow provides plenty of scope for decorative planting and can usually be picked up for around a fiver. It'll be well-used and showing signs of age, which is perfect for the purpose. If you're feeling really industrious, you could give it a coat of 'Hammerite' to make it look pretty, otherwise just drill or punch some drainage holes, plant , Rosemary up and enjoy. And an added bonus with a wheeled planter is if you fancy a change , Porch Swing Places: Where to Put a Porch Swing of scenery, it's easy enough to move it around.

Need a piece of 'art' to create a focal point? An old push mower , Gardening - Hibiscus Plant Care or lawn , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (part 13) Oxygen roller takes on a sculptural quality when set against a dry-stone wall , William Baffin Climbing Rose and glimpsed through a blossom-clad arch. The same may be said for an old-fashioned horse-drawn ploughshare - make sure you have the space though.

Don't overlook old furniture , Stump Grinders - Use Stump Grinders Safely! either. You could pick up an old chest for a few pounds and with a lick of paint , All About Tulip Gardens it can be used to store hands tools, , Choosing Gardening s riddles, dibbers and the like and - with a bit of weather-proofing - even turned into a tiered display area.

When it comes to re-using and recycling we are only limited by our imagination.

Discover that elusive bargain

Having recently moved home , Cactus Grafting: Lophophora Williamsii to Trichocereus Candicans as a Rapid Propagation Technique and inherited a garden , William Baffin Climbing Rose that beckons contemplation, I decided it was necessary to procure some seating that befitted the task. Disappointed at the sameness of the choices on offer I decided to search for an alternative that I found in the shape of a rather handsome bent-wood rocker. All it needs is some slight attention to a loose splat and a bit of refinishing in order to withstand the elements. I'm looking forward to sitting it on the side lawn , Backyard Landscaping beneath the boughs of a knarled apple tree , Palm Care and shall inset some bricks (reclaimed of course) in the grass , Add Value to Your Home - Landscaping to avoid the rockers becoming entrenched. For £5.00 I've bought my own little oasis of calm and tranquillity.

Council Tips , All About Tulip Gardens are not the only places , Garden Swings Create an Enchanted Garden Setting to look of course. If you are looking for something with a bit of age and different Auction Houses , Caring for Bonsai plants and Salvage/Reclamation yards , Winter Injury to Trees are a good place , A Couple of Good s to Buy Lawnmowers to start you could find You'll only find new ones in shops.

There are reclamation and salvage yards, , Palm Tree Care second-hand stores and even auction houses , Skip The Pesticide And Use Natural Alternatives all of which are comparable to the fabled Aladdin's cave. Salvage and reclamation is pretty big business these days and it pays to shop around. If you have a project in mind, particularly if you live in a period property, , Mowing the Lawn there is no better place , Caring for Bonsai plants to scout around to find authentic and original every-day objects and architectural features , William Baffin Climbing Rose to breathe new life into your garden. , Create a Great Water Keep an eye out for weathered statuary and chimney pots , Stump Grinders - Use Stump Grinders Safely! that look terrific planted up or can be used as rhubarb forcers or celery blanchers.

Fancy a bog garden? A cast iron bath - and I'm not suggesting some exotic £400 French jobbie, cheap an' cheerful is the order of the day here - sunken into the ground (plug removed of course) is the perfect container. Most towns have an Auction house , Cactus Grafting: Lophophora Williamsii to Trichocereus Candicans as a Rapid Propagation Technique but be aware that there will be few bargains to be found on Antique or Collectable days. Sometimes you may find Specialist sales with a horticultural or agricultural bent and you may a find a bargain here but broadly speaking, a General Sale is your best bet.

General sale days are great fun because the range of goods on offer is so wide, everything from ceramics to furniture , All About Tulip Gardens and everything in between. Take advantage of the viewing opportunities and don't be afraid to ask the Saleroom Staff how much they think something might fetch and if they think it will be popular. With a bit of homework you may pick up a really bargain.

Whether it's an old wheelbarrow, planter, pot, , House Name Plates chair , How To Ensure Early Bulbs Bloom, Year After Year or statue; reclaimed and recycled items add a touch of individuality and character to a garden , Skip The Pesticide And Use Natural Alternatives and that's something you wont find on the shelves at any out-of-town mall.

What's in your garden?

When it comes to recycling in the garden, , Add Value to Your Home - Landscaping don't forget the plants , Backyard Landscaping themselves. That Rose , Garden Accessories of Sharon may be the bane of your herbaceous border but to someone else, it represents a brilliant bit of instant ground cover so dig it out, pot , Planning Your Garden from Scratch - the Planting it up and pass it on or even sell it at the Car Boot!

Recycling is all about sustainability, all about making the very most out of what we have. So get involved. Visit your local tip, , Your Step By Step Guide To Planting The Perfect Lawn look for items to recycle and re-use in the garden. , Growing and Preserving Cut Flowers Go round reclamation yards, , How To Ensure Early Bulbs Bloom, Year After Year auction houses , Gardening Vertically: Fad, Emerging Frontier or Long-Overlooked Art Form and even have another look in your own back yard. , The Beauty of Basil At worst, you'll save , Hydroponics Gardening - An Introduction To Hydroponics Gardening For Beginners (part 13) Oxygen some money and who knows, you may find a hidden gem. Whatever you do, have fun and rejoice in the fact that what you're doing is literally not 'costing the earth'.
Tim Taylor is a freelance writer and keen gardener.

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