I had a bit of a wobbly moment when the delivery of materials arrived during the building of my first show garden at the Hampton Court Flower Show in back 2008.
Everyone else had shiny, plastic wrapped palettes of bricks, paving etc deposited at their sites. Whilst I had a pile of timber that looked like the contents of a skip …. and that’s because it almost was. It was from a timber recycling project in Brighton which I discovered on one of my regular visits there. They supplied the scaffold boards that I used as decking and all the timber for the garden
I love the idea of using timber that would have otherwise gone to land-fill, it’s cheaper and generally has a lot more character.
A lot of people are deterred from using recycled materials imagining that it’ll look messy and jumbled. I wanted to demonstrate that you can use recycled products and have a garden that looks smart and stylish.
Now this clearly isn’t a completely sustainable garden, I used shingle as groundcover, but I think if you take small, easy steps you can gradually garden in a more sustainable way, and every little step makes a difference.
And here’s the finished result, the R.H.S. liked the garden and awarded it a silver medal.
At the end of the Show the garden was rebuilt at a local primary school.
I hope you’ll be inspired to garden sustainably, here’s my 5 top tips to help you on your way:
- Re-use plants, trees and soil in your garden.
- Try not to take anything to land-fill.
- Advertise on freecycle to find new homes for things that you don’t want in your garden.
- Re-use bricks and paving to make paths or use as hard-core.
- Don’t buy plants that have been potted in peat.
The snappily named Brighton and Hove Wood Recycling Project are still going strong, you can find them here.
all images: Jill Anderson
apologies that these photos aren’t up to my usual standard, theye were taken before I got my super-duper digital SLR camera!