As a landscape artist I am often challenged to solve problems. I welcome the opportunity since I have always loved puzzles. One challenge presented to me was to hide a utility pipe near the driveway. The pipe was one of the first things you saw when you approached the home and that was not very welcoming. You might think solving this problem was easy, but it wasn’t. There was very little space in front of the pipe so planting an evergreen to screen the view wasn’t an option. Also, access to the pipe was critical. The solution? A lovely millstone that enhanced the view, yet could be rolled out of the way when access was required. And I bet you thought the solution was going to be a plant!
A different challenge existed at a client site where a landscape bed needed a retaining wall of sorts and some definition. The answer here was to add art to the garden in the form of a natural fence. The best part of this solution was that it was free. Next time you are cursing the fallen branches in your yard, think differently. Likely, you can repurpose them into something beautiful and useful. What better way to recycle natural materials.
“Junk” can be repurposed too. A talented friend of mine, Eric Sternfels, is an expert at repurposing materials into garden art. Not only do his vignettes add charm, character and focal points to the garden, but they are budget friendly too.
I borrowed that line of thinking from Eric and recently had some birdhouses made with license plate roofs. If I hadn’t used the license plates, they likely would have made their way to the junkyard.
If you have a pile of items ready to be donated to charity, evaluate how they might be repurposed before you give them away. You might just find a unique use for something, while enhancing your garden space.
Beautiful home, CV. Nice to see you doing what you love! Well-written.
Thanks Tom, much appreciated!
By the way, the hanging chairs was my solution to hide a bland stockade fence in an area with very limited sun. Just raising the chairs off the ground in this location gave them an additional 45 min of direct sun!
Eric, I am adding ‘master problem solver’ to your list of amazing attributes!
Also, the pedestal for the pot of Violas is a repurposed terra cotta chimney cap, circa 1920’s
Love knowing that – way to re-purpose an antique!
Well written, great ideas here. Keep up the great work Carol (and Eric!).
Thanks Keith! Glad you enjoyed our collaborative article.
Fantastic what you do in your new job, Carol. Sooo creative! Your little “gardening – friend” from Germany loves it, too!
Thanks Ellen. I hope my gardening friends are going to stop by and see the garden this year. It’s changed so much since you saw it last.