Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Trash to Treasure

You can decorate your garden on a shoestring with re purposed furniture and other items found at garage sales, thrift stores, and, heaven forbid, even dumpster diving. I purchased the three wheel bicycle many years ago with the intent on planting the baskets with flowers. When we moved here and started my lavender gardens, I finally got around to planting the baskets and painting the bicycle just before it was destined to be taken to the dump. It now greets visitors to my garden.I've had this garden gilder for a long time. Originally it had peeling black paint. Now that we have painted the glider a nice color green it really lights up a dark spot under the willow trees. I planted this discarded wheelbarrow with gazanias and chrysanthemums and placed it near my vegetable bins. So when I water my vegetables I can easily give those flowers a drink too. In my garden there is a garden pond made from an old claw foot bathtub just before you reach the bicycle. The bathtub island looks much better in person. Many people pass the pond by without even knowing it's there. I"m glad because it means the pond blends into the landscape. The sculpture is a copper float I found in our barn and attached it to a rusty post to grace the pond.

We dragged the tub to the parking area and placed it in the center. We attached a PVC pipe to the drain in case we ever wanted to drain the tub. We then mounded soil around the whole bathtub up to the rim. Then we gathered rocks and placed them around the soil to keep it from sloughing off. Then we filled the pond up to the very top. I planted some shrubs like bottle brush, burgundy yucca, and cotoneaster to shade the pond. Keeping a pond in less than six hours of sunlight a day helps reduce the buildup of algae in the summer.I added bricks in the pond and set water plants on the bricks. About a month later I went to a discount store and purchased two gold fish and two bottom feeders and put them in the pond. They started out about 1.5 inches long and now, three years later, they are about 5 inches long. Even on the hottest days of summer, the water in the pond stays cool. This year I plan on getting a solar pump, I have been adding water each day to aerate the pond and the water plants add oxygen to the water too. I feed the fish a freeze dried fish food once a day. Now I see quail and lizards going to the pond to take a drink each day.This double washtub is perfect for a table near my vegetable bins. I can bring the tomatoes and peppers there to sort them into various sizes without bending over. Inside the tubs I can store containers, tools or flower heads to dry for seeds.

Have you turned some junk into a jewel for your garden or your home? I'd love to hear about your trash to treasure creations.