Some­thing old, some­thing new

Putting waste ma­te­rial to use can save money – and the en­vi­ron­ment

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODGARDENING -

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.

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