Waste Not

CIMG2215Feeling  pretty  up-to-date with ‘real’ gardening jobs yesterday, I instead took the opportunity to fill the car and take accumulated bags of rubbish to the skip – mainly bags of spent mortar from The Wall project, but also waste timber from re-roofing the ‘bus shelter’ and some final trimmings from the Rector after tying in his wayward new shoots that will flower next year. It was my first visit to our new super duper waste disposal site, and what an improvement it is to the old one (for the public, that is, as when I asked the man who had been in charge at the previous site how he liked his new home, he said he didn’t – ” too much walking”…). One of the additions to the facilities was a community shop, selling stuff too potentially useful to scrap – like a permanent car boot sale but in a purpose built unit. I emptied my boot of rubbish, then filled it with this large (about 60cm diameter) and heavy ceramic bowl, a couple of chairs and a book for the Golfer.

CIMG2224The bowl will, of course, be another potential project – no drainage hole, so it could hold water – and it occurs to me that it is the same colour as all that leftover blue gravel… Hmm, something to ponder on…. Even if it takes as long to determine a use as it did the tank and sink on the right it CIMG2219will still prove an asset to the garden in the long run, I am sure. With the latter two, although their fortunes are now determined, waiting till the spring to be planted seems a sensible option. I love being able to find an alternative use for bargains like these, and with a fairly informal garden there is a lot of scope for placing these objets trouvés, like this pair of old taps in the woodland.

More people seem to be getting wise to the benefits of unwanted pallets for fences and other garden projects these days, and a local reclamation yard has great potential for a range of schemes even if they only require bricks, with reclaimed bricks or tiles always giving an instant aged look (below). Such yards will always have a range of chimney pots too although the one below came from a car boot sale and adds height and colour and substance to one of the hot borders throughout the year.

reuse1Sometimes thinking out of the box is necessary, like snapping up an urn that has a hole in the back of it, picking up a random bit of dumped rubbish in a car park (could be a thermostat probe according to the Golfer – looks more like a metal bullrush to me) or putting a range of scrap metal together to make a sculpture. I like a bit of a challenge, and today has been a day of review, rambling with a purpose, plotting and planning –  who knows what will appear in the garden next year other than the inevitable new plants?!

reuse2

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17 Responses to Waste Not

  1. Pauline says:

    Love your beautiful new bowl, that will look beautiful either as a water feature or planted up, it’s amazing what people throw away, I thought everyone was into recycling these days.

    • Cathy says:

      I think people are better at putting stuff out for recycling instead of putting it in their general waste, but generally we are still very much a throwaway society, more’s the pity 😦

  2. Anna says:

    Love the bowl 🙂

  3. Annette says:

    We also love picking up things others have thrown away. My mason can repair a lot of things and out of the other bits we make little artworks etc. Your blue bowl is very nice. As for the sunken container – I sank one into the gravel of our terrace and put in nice stones and water to create a birdbath. Birds and lizards come regularly to drink and have a bath. Lovely sight.

  4. There is nothing more wonderful than walking through a shop that is focused on salvage and repurposing. You have some great finds.

  5. croftgarden says:

    You must have the Midas touch, all I ever find when scavenging on the beach are plastic bottles, broken fish boxes, boat batteries, rubber gloves, battered creels and silage bale wrapping. If I’m really lucky there are old pallets (firewood), fishing nets and some interesting bones for the ossuary. I’m still trying to figure out a use for orange parachute material (courtesy of the MOD).
    It would be red letter day if I found a wonderful blue ceramic bowl!

    • Cathy says:

      Come come, Christine, didn’t your mother make you petticoats and hankies from parachutes? Perhaps orange will be an ‘in’ colour for underwear this year, although I rather suspect parachutes will not be made from silk these days 😦 And just think, you can make nice imitation stone troughs by covering the fish boxes with a mix of peat and cement. Get out of your box, woman! ps no messages in the bottles, I suppose?

    • Cathy says:

      Come come, Christine, didn’t your mother make you petticoats and hankies from parachutes? Perhaps orange will be an ‘in’ colour for underwear this year, although I rather suspect parachutes will not be made from silk these days 😦 And just think, you can make nice imitation stone troughs by covering the fish boxes with a mix of peat and cement. Get out of your box, woman! ps no messages in the bottles, I suppose?

  6. Great finds. I don’t think I’ll ever look at an old pair of taps in quite the same way. Wish I had your luck though. I never find anything exciting or perhaps my mind doesn’t quite work in the same way. Your scrap metal sculpture is smashing.

    • Cathy says:

      The taps were our own rejects, actually – just seemed a shame to throw them out. There is a similar sculpture of the Golfer too, both approx life size. I had to move them when I revamped the garden last year and they really need a better home than being propped up against the fence!

  7. hoehoegrow says:

    Nothing like a good reclamation yard to get the old imagination going ! Looks like you have some great ‘finds’ ! All totally unique which is very uplifting in these days of homogenous garden centres !

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed – and all the better for the imagination if I don’t have much of a clue what I am going to do with an item when I first take it home 😉 You may be interested to know that I now have a scheme for the blue bowl, so do drop in again to find out what it is!

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