Re-purposed Water Gardening

Published on September 1, 2013

backyard2 Have you noticed there is an ever growing trend towards recycling, re-using and re-purposing items? As a pond installer you probably already know the benefits to wildlife as well as to the environment of adding a water feature or pond to a yard. A pond reduces lawn area which in turn reduces the need for mowing, watering, fertilizing and adding weed control chemicals. It provides food, through plants and shelter to wildlife like frogs, birds, snails and fish. You can take sustainability one step further by adding re-purposed decorative items to your water feature installations.

What are the benefits of using re-purposed items? It will keep these items out of the landfills, will save your customer money and will provide a unique look that no one else has. You can start with simple suggestions like adding an over turned clay vase or overflowing glazed garden pot or urn to a pond or as a pondless water feature. For the more daring how about re-purposing a fire hydrant as a spitter or create something truly unique using a mirrored shower door or round glass table top. There are those extreme outrageous features too. We once re-purposed a car as a water feature outside a mechanic’s shop complete with a fogger and an “over heating” radiator. This one was a traffic stopper and came with the “do not try this at home” disclaimer. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Do you offer your customers landscape design as well as water features? You would be surprised at the many items you use in your every day life, which, instead of discarding, are useable in your garden as decorative elements.

Here are a few suggestions:

Bedroom furniture: bed frame, dresser drawers and desks can all be used as planters

Patio furniture: worn out wicker or metal furniture are all the rage as small succulent gardens

Old tires: perfect for planters or as swings or climbing play areas for the kids

Outdoor items: wagons, wheel barrows, coolers, birdbaths, mailboxes, gutters, pvc pipe, boats, bike tires, truck beds and old car parts have all been used as planters or converted into fire pits and grills

Bathroom: yes, you can use that old bathtub or toilet as a planter or better yet a water garden.

Kitchen: teapots, teacups, baking pans, coffee cans make cute planters for small gardens

Personal items: Boots, shoes, jeans and even bras can be hung on a fence and filled with pretty plants.

Pallets: My all time favorite repurpose item, an ordinary pallet. They can be used to create a compost bin, vertical garden, garden table and too many other items to mention here.

Glass wine or beer bottles: plant upside down in the ground as a border

Plastic storage bins, whiskey barrels & old trash cans: as long as they do not have holes can be used to collect rain water for your garden

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