Thursday 7 April 2016

Upcycling / downcycling / recycling?

As a breed, we gardeners tend to be ingenious and thrifty people. We always seem to be able to  "make something out of nothing" or at very least re-purpose it. Here's an example...

We are in the throes of converting what used to be my study (and prior to that, our younger daughter's bedroom) into a grandchildrens' guest room. Now that I have retired from work, all my work-related manuals, books, papers etc are being discarded, but we hope to see more of the grandchildren (and their parents). We have arranged for the room to be re-painted, re-carpeted and fitted with a bunk bed - all of which is happening in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I have the task of getting rid of the redundant furniture. One of the items was a desk, originally a flat-packed item from IKEA or somewhere similar. I have now disassembled it ready for disposal, but I have kept back the top of it, which has now become my potting-bench:

This contraption sits outside the back door to the garage, in a position that is very convenient, but also permanently exposed to the weather. The predecessor to this white desktop was a piece of worktop material left over from our last kitchen renovation - as indeed is the bottom part of the "potting-bench" (notice the plate-rack bars). The worktop had gradually disintegrated as water seeped into it, so it was in dire need of replacement. See what I mean? This is what people call serendipity, isn't it?

It is a fair while since our garage housed any cars, but it plays host to a multitude of useful bits and pieces which seem far too valuable to throw away. You never know when an item of "junk" becomes a vital component for some new garden scheme! Only yesterday I posted about making the square frames for my salad-growing arrangements. Notice, I did set-to and make the second one.

Now how would I have managed this if I had not had a stash of wood offcuts sitting in the garage awaiting their moment in the spotlight???


  1. We also have a tall, narrow bin (which itself was made from an old particle board desk that we took apart!) in the garage that houses off-cuts of lumber. Anything longer than a few inches gets tossed in there - it's not only convenient and cost efficient but environmentally friendly too :)

  2. Thanks for all the inspiration you give me, moved back to my parents old house with a big garden last year and now having so much fun planning my veggie patch. Greenhouse is full of seedlings waiting to be pricked out.

    1. "Big garden" sounds attractive, Cath! There are so many good things to grow...

  3. I wonder how many garages still house cars?

  4. Our allotment compost bays were made from 100% upcycled timbers - a shop round the corner was refitted and they threw out some excellent joists that we took from the skip with permission - and a load of chicken wire that one of the other plot holders chucked away. Total cost: 1 bag of netting nails.


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