Do I keep it, throw it away or recycle it? Well, unfortunately most of us keep way too many things as my husband likes to tell me! But in recent years a few things have found their way to my garden. They call it upcycling, a buzzword I only heard a few years ago. It means a renewed interest in the three R´s….reduce, reuse, recycle and it´s popping up everywhere, including our gardens. But the truth be told, I have been recycling for years and have seen some pretty amazing things in other gardens from metal headboards as trellises for vines or for fencing, ponds or strawberry patches from old, large satellite dishes and broken pots used as garden borders, and the list goes on. Recycled clear glass for totem poles, old army boots for planters and flowers stakes made from tin cans…taking ordinary items and transforming them into garden masterpieces.
Growing flowers are not the only way to add color and interest to your garden. Garden ornaments add another dimension to your landscape and can give it year-round appeal. It can affect how it feels when you´re in it by directing the eye to turn here, look up, slow down. They can also give a garden a finished look. The trick is to not overdo it. And remember a finished garden doesn’t have to look too perfect. Decorating your garden with old and new items is much more than an afterthought…the goal is to add discovery and charm to your garden.
A garden friend, Linda Cobb, Master Gardener, writer, lecturer from Spartanburg likes to call it Garden Jewelry and is a master at adding charm to her garden. The picture of the garden gate, entrance to her backyard, is full of recycled pots and flowers including an old, clay-fired rooster that sets the mood for an incredible walk along her garden paths. And if that is not enough, she has the most beautiful fairy garden I have ever seen with probably a fairy or two at large! In the past her garden has been opened for tours the 2nd Saturday in May. Look up Linda Cobb´s website for more information and be sure to take a friend or two.
Another friend, Jerre who lives just around the corner from Simpsonville takes your breath away with her small yard full of flowers and vintage charm. Old tools, heavy chains, old patio table with chicken wire and moss made into a large planter, homemade items and so much more keeps you moving around her paths anticipating another garden discovery. The kitty-cat statue pictured here was made from terra cotta pots and begins her garden tour.
I had the opportunity to recycle or upcycle old monkey bars found in the field behind our house. A little sanding, painting and adding pvc pipe to rusted legs to extend the bars added a trellis and sitting area to our front yard. And of course, wine bottles add style and color to any garden especially when used for a bottle tree. See the article on Bottle Trees in the December 2018 issue of the Simpsonville Sentinel.
Bird baths and fountains are wonderful focal points in any garden. Just ask Bob and Connie at the Simpsonville Sentinel about a unique water feature in their backyard. It was made from Connie’s grandfather, Daddy Boyd´s old watering tub used for his cows and horses. Now hang a chandelier from a tree and a tractor seat on the swing-deck and you have old-world charm. Of course, chimes and spinners add sound and motion to any garden.
These are just a few things that can be used in a garden. With winter approaching you have more time to think about creating a destination(s) in your garden with more than just flowers but garden ornaments, too. Take a chance and place something unexpected in a hidden nook that .will delight upon discovery…make your garden a journey of discovery♦