Tag Archive for Recycling

A Winter’s Day

This winter has been long already. We seem to have been getting rain, snow and/or ice almost every other day, oddly interspersed with days close to sixty degrees. On those nice days you know where I’ve been! The garden calls me. I’ve been trying to get a jump on freshening up all the garden beds by getting rid of winter weeds and stirring up the existing mulch, and as luck would have it, the county park at the top of my neighborhood just had a delivery of compost. My favorite! LOL!

I’ve already managed to bring home six car loads to amend the soil. What a difference it makes. In the spring when the grass starts growing again, I will add some additional clippings and stir it all in. This makes the absolutely perfect soil for flowers, veggie gardens, and young foundation transplants. I highly encourage you to check with your local county office and inquire if they also have a compost/mulch program. Some even will deliver to your home for a small fee. Ours here in Fairfax County doesn’t offer that, so I collect my own in large flower pots. They are easy to fill, and not too heavy to carry to wherever I’m spreading it in the garden. A two to three inch layer is perfect. Aside from dressing up the garden and providing nutrients, finely composted leaves stay in place better than the bark mulch on hillsides. So if you have a yard with terrain, it’s perfect.

Just look at that beautiful compost! It is very popular with all the gardeners and disappears fast, so I keep an eye out for the deliveries. This is created from the leaves that are picked up in the fall on yard waste collection days. I’ve found that it is the best quality, and because it’s from local trees, it’s a great recycling effort. And did I mention – FREE!

In between the snow and ice storms I’ve already gotten quite a bit done in my garden prep for spring. I still need to cut back the big grasses, liriope and sedums, but spreading the compost makes it look fresh again.

I even use the compost in my large flower pots. These cabbages were from my fall display, but I have them back on the front porch to brighten things up now that the Christmas decorations are packed away. I love to fill them out with additional magnolia leaves, where the mums were originally. Anywhere you would ordinarily use potting soil, you can use compost.

Here we go again with another ice storm! Back and forth weather like this can be very hard on plants. If your plants get covered with ice like this it’s best to let Mother Nature melt it on her own time. Knocking snow and ice off can break branches if you are not careful. Also, that nice compost I just spread around the garden will insulate the roots to prevent them from heaving due to freezing and thawing.

One more thing to do now that the trees are dormant: Take a good look from all sides, and see if there are any branches in need of pruning. This is the perfect time to do that, before they come back to leaf in the spring.

Another snow! If your garden borders the road like mine does, you might want to define the edge of your yard with large rocks or taller reflector stakes. That way drivers of snowplows will know where their boundaries are.

That’s all for this time! From our snow covered home to yours, remember that spring is just around the corner.

Recycled Garden Art

A wall of rescued tile turned into Art.

A wall of rescued tile turned into Art.

I don’t know about you, but I love to craft, and especially with recycled items. I have been on a recent trip to Philadelphia and while there went to an amazing place called the Magic Garden. It’s filled with mosaics covering pretty much everything. There are about 150 properties in and around the city with mosaics from this prolific artist and it really got my creative juices flowing. I definitely have a mosaic or two in my future — maybe a birdbath or a garden table. What a fun way to show your own personality in a garden!

Made from worn out gardening tools, this chair is a definite for my garden.

Made from worn out gardening tools, this chair is a definite for my garden.


I like the idea of having useful items that double as Art. The internet is an amazing place for inspiration. I have become a huge fan of Pinterest for craft ideas. I think this chair from Pinterest is so terrific. Anything that I can make with rescued, or broken-beyond-repair things is high on my list! I love the ability to switch things around, so small projects, like a birdbath or a pretty flower pot with shells glued on, are fun to create and fill in gaps when the flowers are not in season.


Great "Kid" project- rocks painted like candy.

Great “Kid” project- rocks painted like candy.



There are such cute things for every level and age of artist/gardener. I saw these cute little rocks painted up like M&M’s, (again on Pinterest,) and thought what a great project for kids! It’s always nice to have some ideas that really can’t be done wrong to make even the most timid feel like an artist!




These topiary forms are made with harvested vines and branches.

These topiary forms are made with harvested vines and branches.




Another useful art project that I very much want to make are a few of these topiary forms, made with harvested vines and a few branches. The more natural the better in my garden! I love creating ivy topiaries, but you can grow any number of things on them — small gourds, cucumbers, clematis — sky’s the limit!


Made with small stones, what a fun Fairie house-

Made with small stones, what a fun Fairy house!




For those who like to attract garden fairies into your life, how about a charming little dwelling on the side of a garden path?  I think I’d take it one step further and disguise a light inside to mark the edge of the pathway at night.



Tin man made from old cans- add a hose, and he becomes a built in helper!

Tin man made from old cans. Add a hose, and he becomes a built in helper!



It seems there are so many great ways to recycle cans these days. I love this tin man! And if he can help with the watering, then I’d really like to have him in my garden!

So much inspiration, and I’d love to credit to the creative people who made these items, but it’s impossible to trace the originator on photos that don’t have a watermark. These (except the top picture, which I took) are all from Pinterest. Well — I think I have enough winter projects to keep me busy for a long time. I love to recycle! What projects do you have in store?

Sharing Buttons by Linksku