Previously we’ve discussed making your garden organic and eco friendly. If you’re still stuck at home like me, let’s look at a few eco friendly garden projects. There are several cool ways you can update your yard this summer, without compromising on cost, or your carbon footprint. These DIY projects all rely on recycled materials, so you’ll even be able to reduce waste. Here are seven eco-friendly ideas to improve your outside space.
Log & Upcycled Planters
Use a hollowed-out log as a beautiful planter for your flowers. Find a new use for a fallen tree. If you’re going all out from start to finish, you’ll need to drill, stabilize, and cut out the wood. There’s a quick tutorial here online at Family Handyman.
Photo Family Handyman
Most woods will make a natural green container. Plant all your favorite flowers. Succulents work particularly well. If you’re starting completely from scratch you might need the tools to drill into the log first. You can find out about tools and read reviews of Milwaukee tools on their original site.
There are many household items you can also use as planters. If you’re looking to repurpose an old drawer or chair, this could be a quirky alternative to the log planter. You could even turn it into a little herb garden. If you get creative, the possibilities are endless. HGTV has a great article. Almost Free Outdoor Projects with many ideas. Use old furniture, shoes, kitchen items, and make an arrangement.
Upcycle Large Old Toys – Photo Toby & Roo
Air-Condition Cover & Pallet Ideas
If you’ve got a large unsightly AC unit in your yard, then when not cover it up? Try your hand a bit of beginner’s carpentry and build an attractive wooden cover for it from panels of planed wood. Here is a video tutorial from Backyard Scape to give you an idea. You could use wood scraps or re-use wood from other projects. DIY Craftsy has 11 DIY Air Condition Cover Ideas.
Photo Making Manzanita
Looking for old wood pallets you can repurpose can many times cost nothing. In fact, there are several other really cool DIY ideas at The Spruce for wooden pallets in the garden. This could cut out a few steps of the more difficult carpentry. I love the pallet planter from Creative Homemaking.
Pallet Wall Planter Photo Creative Homemaking
Succulent or Plant Fountain
Do you have an old stone fountain in your garden that doesn’t work or you simply don’t use it? Why not repurpose this into a succulent fountain. By using the bowl structure as a container garden, you can fill it with gorgeous succulents. Here are some tips for growing succulents to help you. Plant Care Today, has a great post How to Convert a Fountain to a Succulent Garden, with all the necessary information
Photo Succulents & Sunshine
Succulents are all the rage right now. Watch them grow and spill over the edge of your old fountain to turn it into a magical masterpiece. The more colors you can add the better. If you don’t want to use succulents, I suggest you use plants that will drape as they grow for a stunning look.
Spruce up your fence
Your fence is a great vertical space around your garden so you may as well make the most of it. Summer is the perfect time of year to give it a lick of paint and perhaps go shopping for some extra ornaments. A more dressed up fence will do wonders for your yard. Below is a photo of a fence in Oldsmar, Florida I shared several years ago. I wish I was a good painter who could replicate this. I could do the blue background but my clothes would not look like this!
I also saw this fabulous fence on Pixabay. Someone attached old garden implements to the metal garden gate. I’m guessing welding? Don’t think super glue would hold up. Far beyond me but I’m mad about it.
If you’re more experienced at DIY or just feeling adventurous, you could build a new fence. There are various inexpensive types of fence that anyone can build. Check out Rural Sprout’s 8 Inexpensive Fence Ideas Anyone Can Build. Again, I’m not that talented but I love the wattle fence. I’ve never seen anything like that in Florida. I bet the sun and rain would destroy it. So much bright sunshine and humidity seems to destroy wood and metal quickly.
Photo Rural Sprout
DIY vertical flower bed
If you want to cover up a particularly ugly or boring wall, you could consider a vertical flower bed. This is a super fun DIY project for the summer. It’s also great if you don’t have much space outside and want to make the most out of your yard.
There are several creative ways to plant a vertical flower bed. Country Living has several posts that are helpful including 35 DIY Vertical Garden Ideas. Even people living in tiny apartments are doing it. A vertical garden is a growing trend and would make a lovely addition to your home. Below is a balcony vertical garden using clay pots.
Another use for wooden pallets is a walkway. Deconstructed pallets laid out make a unique looking garden path that’s easy to build. It doesn’t take more than a day to build, depending on the length of your path. There is a great video with instructions and tips on how to build a pallet walkway. I love the wooden pallet walkway by Funky Junk Interiors.
Photo Funky Junk Interiors
A homemade garden path is both attractive and practical. You could even get creative and create stepping stones from old pieces of china or wood. It’s a lot of fun to work with what you’ve got lying around, not to mention eco-friendly.
Piping for Plant Protection
Make plant protection and support from recycled materials such as old piping or wood scraps . This actually works really well if you want to make low hoops for your edged beds for example. If you grow crops in your yard like beans or other climbers, you can also make arches for them to grow up from used water or gas pipe supported by wood or metal stakes. Blyther Farm has a how to video, How To Make a Low Hoop Tunnel. Mother Earth News provides great instructions with their post on low tunnel construction.
Photo Mother Earth News
These types of projects can change the function and look of your yard. The next time you are about to throw away an old or broken item, look at with fresh eyes. Is there a place in the yard or garden for it? Perhaps you can make something from nothing. If you’re looking for more help on how to grow vegetables or other plants, check out gardening tips for beginners.
This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.
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