Sunday, 11 March 2012

Make do and mend.

One of the most enjoyable things for me about having an allotment is that things only need to be functional; what matters is if things serve a purpose, looking good comes second. This means I have been able to indulge in another passion of mine, re-using or recycling things. When I've finished with something or when something breaks, before throwing it away I'm definitely one of those people who thinks carefully about whether there is another use for it or if it can be saved. In that sense the off-cuts of wood, bits of chicken wire, sheets of plastic from packaging and other similar items contained in my garage that "I may find a use for one day" are evidence that I am somewhat of a hoarder.
Another thing I tend to do is keep my eye out for things other people no longer want but which are useful to me. Both from my local 'Freecycle' group (an on-line community where people can advertise unwanted items to potential new owners, with the aim of reducing waste going to land-fill in particular) but also things that people have discarded or 'fly tipped' by the roadside. As well as feeling satisfaction at re-using or recycling things it also means my hobby costs less.

Now I should give you some examples: the tyres you see here were found thrown in a hedgerow but I'll use these for containers/raised beds. The black plastic membrane was given to me by a friend who had it left over after having a garden landscaped. The wire is just some of a bundle I found discarded in a lay-by among a pile of other rubbish (which looked like the remnants of a building project)and the corrugated plastic sheets were left over off-cuts from a project at my Dad's workplace which he passed to me as he thought they were too good to waste and he new I 'might be able to use them'. A few minutes work turned these sheets and lengths of wire into these cloches, perfect for sowing some salads and parsnips under later today.

Among the items I have been kindly given from local 'Freecyclers' are two black plastic compost bins. One of these was missing a lid so it now has an old green dustbin lid which by chance happened to fit. I was also given a set of tools, garden netting and the wheelbarrow by someone who was moving to a smaller property and my three water butts all came from people who no longer wanted them but wanted to pass them on to someone else to use. These butts are filled by guttering on my shed which is grey on one side and black on the other as this was what I could find, cost nothing and didn't need to match as they perform the job perfectly.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Wow you have done well making use of all those things-it’s amazing what some people throw out which can then get a second burst of life from someone else...

  2. Perfect way to do things :-). I am also a hoarder. And, I gladly use these in my garden only without caring about neighbors think :-). I would be really interested to know how you convert those tyres into flower beds. People do but I don't understand. Hopefully, you will do an article on that.

  3. Article ideas very clear . Your writing style is very unique. I very much appreciate the articles you write . Hope you continue to create the beautiful works.Thanks a lot for sharing. 

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