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Friday, August 6, 2021

Recycled garden: Jugaad in action

Repurposing, swapping, bargain hunting can help you create a garden on the cheap writes JYOTI SHANKAR

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Recycling is a new concept but a very old idea. Our parents and grandparents always did it but there was no separate word to describe this. You can call it thrift, resourcefulness or jugaad (frugal innovation or making do with what is around). It all means the same – you make the best use of available materials and repurpose them instead of sending them to a landfill.

Neighbour’s old swing covered with old trampoline base. The edges are great to hang Spanish Moss from
Neighbour’s old swing covered with old trampoline base. The edges are great to hang Spanish Moss from. Source: Supplied

Sources of materials are op shops such as Salvos and Vinnies, free stuff picked up from friends, kerbside clean-ups and listed on websites such as Gumtree, Freecycle and Zilch. As they say, one man’s trash is another’s treasure. You can also get unique pieces for your garden at bargain prices on eBay.

Vinyl record shaped into a planter
Vinyl record shaped into a planter. Source: Supplied.

As for plants, don’t be shy to ask for cuttings from neighbours and friends. Swap plants with friends. You will find that most gardeners are generous with seeds and cuttings. I often get plants from listings on Freecycle from people who are clearing overgrown yards. Join your local Permaculture group. You can learn from other members at meetings, listen to interesting invited speakers and you can swap or buy organic seeds from members for much cheaper prices than stores.

A coat of paint makes this newfound wooden box as good as new
A coat of paint makes this newfound wooden box as good as new. Source: Supplied.

Here are some examples of this from our garden. Space is not a limitation, you are only limited by your imagination!  Let’s inspire each other. Send us pictures and ideas of what you have done in your own homes, yards and balconies.

The fish tank destined for the tip, reborn as a terrarium
The fish tank destined for the tip, reborn as a terrarium. Source: Supplied

Old terracotta pipes, sandpit timbers and clay snails create a cactus display
Old terracotta pipes, sandpit timbers and clay snails create a cactus display. Source: Supplied

(Jyoti Shankar is a freelance writer and sustainability professional, who is passionate about nature. Her home garden is the laboratory for all things sustainable – recycled furniture, a worm farm, compost bin, veggie beds, a birdbath, native bee-hive, worm towers and more)

READ ALSO: How to create your own sustainable garden at home


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Jyoti Shankar
Jyoti Shankar is a freelance writer and sustainability professional, who is passionate about nature

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