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Get thrifty



  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    dragons den I think, recycling to the max a must with this awful recession

  • Eddie JEddie J Posts: 108

    Here you go, this is recycling to the max.image 

    It just takes a bit of imagination and some free time. Very simple garden related projects can be created from pretty much any medium and to any scale. It's just a shame that more people don't give it a try,  preferring instead to shop for their garden features. Even a few discarded tin cans could look good if laid out to the right effect.

    Feature log stacks.

    Carved seat.

  • weejennyweejenny Posts: 386

    my son is a dry stone dyker he would be interested in these photos I wouldve sworn the top photo was stone. How big is your garden for all these projects?

  • OK, money saving ideas (we don't have much money to spare for the garden):

    Try growing most things from seeds, you can buy bumper packs (sometimes out of date) on internet auction sites, most of them, as long as they haven't been opened, will germinate.

    Keep the plastic packs that mini-treats like biscuits and mini-cupcakes come in, put some seed compost in the bottom, sow the seeds, water & close the lid.  Ideal mini-propagators that will fit on the windowsill.

    Keep any polystyrene packaging and put it in the bottom of large containers.  It makes the containers less heavy if you need to move them, and means you don't have to put as much compost in if you're buying it in.

    Keep an eye on auction sites for cheap containers, don't buy full price ones, as lots of sellers will keep putting them on as auctions (instead of buy it now), decide on a price you're willing to pay and bid up to that.  I have some great containers at a fraction of the price you'd normally pay.  You may have to wait weeks before you get something at a price you can afford, so don't  buy the plant before you've got the container.

    School fairs and local bazaars and church sales are a great source of seedlings.

    Empty mallows (marshmallow teacakes in some parts of the country) make brilliant containers for jiffy pellets, just put the pellet in the hole, add warm water, pop in the seeds, and find a 'lid' from clear plastic containers that fits, and you've another windowsill propagator.

    Keep packaging that's fairly robust for plant trays.  I find clear ones from prawn toasts make excellent propagator tops and they're strong enough to use as plant drip trays. 

    Yoghurt pots make great plant pots for seedlings.

    Make bigger plant pots and planters from the tubs that stain remover comes in.  I've got bright green ones and bright pink ones in my garden!

    Don't buy seeds for things like peppers and squashes.  I've grown most of mine this year from seeds from fruits brought in supermarkets (this won't work with tomatoes because of the coating they have, they have evolved to need to go through a host (human or bird) to remove this and be spread away from the original plant!

    Buy more items than you need (a lot of plant mail order places have offers on where the more you buy, the cheaper the item is).  Club together with others to get the best offers, and that way you won't need to pay postage.

    If you have tesco clubcard vouchers, don't pay for your shopping with them!  I've just ordered 3 climbing plants with a £5 clubcard voucher.  The offers change every couple of months, so keep checking to see if they have anything you need.

    The 'cheap supermarkets', and you know which ones they are!  Have some great offers with plants and equipment, you may need to be there at the start of the day to get what you want.

    Don't buy specialist 'garden' stuff.  Lots of things can be subsituted for things that don't cost as much, so substitute horticultural grit for sharp sand from a builder's merchant.  You can put this around plants to stop the slugs, around bulbs to stop them from being eaten, and as a soil improver into heavy clay soil for drainage.

    Baby food jars or potted meat jars make great twine holders if you drill a small hole in the top.  This keeps your string clean and dry and tangle free.

  • Water plants with diluted cold tea.

    Go to car boot sales and think laterally about the items there. Lidless teapots and handleless jugs make pretty planters.So do old wicker baskets. A multitude of items make seed trays, as detailed by others above. There are lots of old flower pots and planters for sale. An old household sieve under the pipe leading to a water butt strains the water. Some people sell their surplus plants there. There are second-hand garden tools. Old bubble-wrap insulates pots in winter. A discarded baby bath makes a veg planter with built-in drainage. An old dustbin pierced with holes makes a good potato planter. Woolly jumpers make hanging basket liners. An empty plastic container in the bottom of a hanging basket helps prevent it from drying out. I love boot sales!

  • Phil780Phil780 Posts: 1

    Daniel - loved some of the ideas!  I've had a very successful crop of sweet-peas (courtesy of the magazine) despite the rain.  Rather than purchase several new seeding pots I cut the top half-inch off used yoghurt-drink pots, bored holes in the bottoms and planted 3 seeds in each.  Under cloches made from empty Strawberry punnets, all that went in germinated successfully and were easily transplanted to the front border.

  • Chris9Chris9 Posts: 92

    WOW what a great thread for us newbie's off to the carboot sale for me!



  • If you have a water feature in your garden, solar or other, think about adding some food colouring.  I added bright pink to my blue water feature and it looked brill!!  Bubbles are good too imageimage


  • Eddie JEddie J Posts: 108
    weejenny wrote (see)

    You obviously love wood and have a great eye, just fantastic. Id love to see more photos of your work..

    weejenny wrote (see)

    You obviously love wood and have a great eye, just fantastic. Id love to see more photos of your work..


    weejenny wrote (see)

    my son is a dry stone dyker he would be interested in these photos I would've sworn the top photo was stone. How big is your garden for all these projects?

    I hope that your son earns good money. A very rewarding but back breaking job.

    The garden is approx 1 acre, but belongs to the mum in law, not me.

    I haven't had a great deal of time or enthusiasm of late, but here is the latest waste wood project

    As found



    And now






    It only takes imagination to save money and make something from nothing.




  • I use the little bottles of actimel as tops to bamboo canes. They dont fall off so easily and if they ever do you can see them plus you get to drink the actimel before hand. I always head to the sale tables in gardencentres, bought a beautiful dianthus for £2.50 which split into 3 really big plants.

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