Creating harmony, simplicity and peace in the landscape......

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help.

Gardening is an instrument of grace. " - May Sarton


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Repurposed and Recycled - Creative Ideas for Garden Design

Nothing like piano keys to liven up a garden space....(above photo from Stone Art Blog)

Recycling can be many things to many people...

or, in other words,  "One man's trash is another's man treasure"

This piano was placed here in the garden. Here is what Sunny Wieler of Stone Art Blog wrote about this:

"Besides being a passionate gardener, my dad is also a passionate piano player, so a few years back we got him a new piano for his birthday. So the old piano spent a while in the shed before he had the great idea to put it out in the garden..."

Little did Sunny's dad know that he was at the forefront of the conceptual art movement:...they would say something like this is a testament to the natural decomposing processes, a statement of the fragility of life, the impermanence of existence...

his dad would say, 'Hey, why not put it in the garden?"

photos of broken concrete from Bourget Bros website

Recycling nowadays has a much classier name in the design lexicon - Repurposing.... I guess Sunny's dad was repurposing his piano.

So with the aim of being 'green' and relevant, here are some creative ways people have dressed up their gardens with recycled items...this is a fun topic and I hope others will share photos of similar endeavors!

Recycled Broken Concrete

Using old concrete from sidewalks is a great way to recycle a common building material in the landscape. The aged look of broken concrete can add character and it doesn't even look like concrete when used in a mortared wall or upside down...

According to a designer interviewed in Sunset Magazine, "If concrete is used well, it looks rich. People respond to it, often without knowing what it is..."

Wall of Broken up Concrete Pieces

from everythinggardens website

So next time they are removing old sidewalks tell them they can deliver the dumpster of broken up concrete to your place. Here is what I found in the-artistic-garden website:

Using large chunks of concrete upside down - with the rough side showing - this paved driveway is one of a kind! and they got the concrete for free.....this could also be a great walk. What a wonderful example of 'green' landscaping.

Recycled Glass

Recycled glass has come a long way from bringing in the old coke bottles for a nickel...Glass chunks or slag can be used in a real knock out way and don't forget tumbled 'glass mulch'.

Hocker Design in Dallas, Texas used stainless steel mesh to contain recycled glass and made an amazing privacy wall / pool fence for a client. Illuminated from within, the glass wall glows at night! how cool.

photos from contemporist.con

glowing wall at bight (from garden beet)

Tumbled glass mulch can be bought in bags of varying can make colored glass squares, 'rivers', channels and more...

and imagine what you can do with bottles:

fiber-optics-lit wine bottles light up a concrete countertop -

And look at this! Wine bottle edging - hey why not? impervious...and you could put fiber optics in each one....what an effect.

Recycled Fencing

So imagine if you have a broken up concrete walk with glass bottle edging, an old piano off to the side and now maybe get some wire fencing to act as a table base like Jason Horvath did here...
 Fenced Modern Coffee Table by Jason Horvath

This fenced-in modern coffee table was made from repurposed cast-iron fence pieces. Designed by Jason Horvath, he stumbled upon a pile of discarded fencing in Red Hook, Brooklyn. A 1/2″ glass top sits on the blackened or powder coated base.

You may do the same thing but use a broken concrete slab on top!

There are so many ideas for recycling materials in a garden....I hope this got your creative juices flowing....