We’ve been stripping out our old kitchen units to make way for the new ones my partner, Chris, is making (with a friend’s help). The refit is long overdue and I’m delighted to see it go, but I’m loath to say goodbye entirely. What was past its best in the house still has a lot of potential in and around the garden.
While I love Christmas, making use of waste at a very wasteful time of year feels especially relevant. The brown patterned wall tiles will be enthusiastically smashed up into small pieces to add a welcome splash of colour to some of my existing slate and stone pathways. They’ll blend in nicely amongst the broken-up toilet, damaged pots and cracked vase I’ve already added in.
Then the really ugly laminate work surface will become useful (and loved again) when it becomes a hard-wearing new surface cover for my potting bench. The wood from the cupboards and drawers has been stored away to make cold frames with. As for the unbearably twee glass lampshades, they’ll make very useful cloches come the spring.
I’ve tried out many things over the years with my efforts togarden for free, and now I actively go in search of junk (aka potentially useful materials) to use all over the garden. Where I may at first have felt a bit embarrassed, now I’m just pleased when I make good use of something that would otherwise be taken to landfill.
There are limits of course, and I want anything I use to look nice, but many unloved items can – with just a little thought and effort – be salvaged and transformed into something very handy indeed. If you can overcome the idea that you’re working with rubbish and instead see it as raw materials for a new project, a plethora of opportunities open up. It can even be glamorous: with a little creative effort, so-called junk can be upcycled into some of the most fantastic garden art.
With just a little imagination, everything from an old toilet, a chest of drawers and drainpipes can be planted into and made to look all shabby-chic charming and new. Old glass is often thrown away, yet windows in particular can be incredibly useful and used to make everything from a cold frame and garden table top through to being incorporated as part of a home-made greenhouse, if you’re feeling particularly flash.
Compost bags or old carpets and rugs can become an efficient weed-suppressing base for pathways and pallets (which can be obtained free from most builders’ merchants) are one of the most useful and versatile materials out there.
So before you throw something out in place of the new this festive season – I urge you to wrap up warm, have a little stroll around your garden, allotment or balcony and ponder whether it could come in useful in any way, shape or form. Be warned, it’s addictive, this upcycling malarkey, but in the increasingly bonkers world in which we live, it’s a simple yet satisfying addiction I wholeheartedly recommend starting.[Source:- The Gurdian]