Something old, something new
Putting waste material to use can save money – and the environment
MOST people believe that simply taking their paper and cans to the local recycling point is doing their bit for the environment.
This certainly does reduce the amount of waste ending up in our exceedingly overloaded municipal dumps. However, one can go one step further and try to reuse items. Reusing is, in fact, much better for the environment than putting something through recycling.
The Recycled Garden at the Garden World Spring Festival in Muldersdrift demonstrates how rusted metal objects collected from scrapyards can be used to enhance a garden. This may seem an unlikely choice of garden accessory, but just think how fashionable “rust-effect” urns and containers have been in recent years.
Designed and constructed by HP Plants in conjunction with do-ityourself expert Riaan Venter (TV’s Die Nutsman), The Recycled Garden also features stepping stones made from old ploughshares and multiple-tier planters made from old tyres.
In a time of economic recession, reusing items, rather than splashing out on new garden decor, makes good financial sense as well as being good for the environment.
Garden environmentalist Beverley Ballard-Tremeer offers ideas for your garden that will save money and help reduce waste.
Make a compost heap: All garden waste and most kitchen waste can be used to make your own nutrient-rich garden compost.
Old pallets: Use four pallets on their edges for the sides of a compost box. Tie them together with wire or strong plastic string. When the compost is ready, undo the string and take out the compost.
Old tyres: Use them to hold mulch in place around fruit and other trees, to make raised vegetable beds and to make a garden swing for children.
An old toolbox: Will make a great container garden. Punch holes in the bottom to create drainage.
Wine bottles: Use upside-down as an edging for a border, embed them in a garden wall as an artwork, create a glass bench or incorporate wine bottles into an imaginative water feature.
Plastic ice cream boxes or milk bottles: Cut them up to make labels for your seedling trays. Or punch holes in the bottom and use as seed trays.
Laddered pantyhose: Make into strips to tie up dahlias and other plants that need to be attached to stakes.
Egg boxes: Cardboard ones can be added to the compost heap or used as seed trays. Use plastic boxes to grow seeds – make sure to first punch a hole in the bottom of each indentation for drainage.
Egg shells: Add to the compost heap or crush and place around plants to ward off snails – snails loathe crawling over a rough surface.
Milk containers: Cut the bottom and top off and place the remaining section around seedlings.
RUST-IC EFFECT: A ‘recycled’ garden by do-it-yourself TV celebrity Rian Venter makes creative use of scrapyard items. The striking plants complement the boldness of the garden décor.