Why upcycling should be your next garden hobby

Sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is switch off the news and do some gardening. With spring arriving and the flowers blooming, we’ve got a new hobby for you to try, especially if you have old furniture gathering dust and earmarked for a skip.

Upcycling is the act of turning something old and used into something new and different, thus reducing waste and creating something unique. It’s a trend that has gathered pace in recent years alongside efforts to decarbonise our lifestyles and reduce the amount of material we send to landfill. The overall benefit of having less rubbish is less air and water pollution, the conservation of resources and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

A net benefit is also felt in the formation of new businesses formed specifically to upcycle goods such as Repurpose Schoolbags which turns upcycled plastic bags into school bags with solar panels. These are then sent to rural areas of Africa, supplying children with a school bag that doubles as a light to help them study at night.

Introducing upcycling to your garden is rife with opportunity – let’s take a closer look at some of the most ingenious ideas to keep you busy in your garden over the coming period.

Chair planter

If you have an old chair lying around in a forgotten corner of a garage or shed, turning it into a planter will give it a new lease of life. Remove the seat and cover the chair with chicken wire. Push down on the wire to create a basket, and secure it using more wire or cable ties. Next, line the basket with sheet moss, a landscaping membrane or newspaper before filling it with soil and plants. 

See images of chair planters here.

Wheelbarrow planter

This is the same concept as the chair, simply take an old rusty wheelbarrow and fill it with soil and plants. The rustier it is, the more charm it’ll bring to your garden.

See images of wheelbarrow planters here.

Strawberry planter

Upcycling an old pallet can bring a whole new dimension to the idea of a homemade strawberry smoothie. Simply take apart the pallet and re-arrange it into a freestanding strawberry planter.

See images of strawberry planters here.

Birdcage planter

Sometimes a garden just needs an old hanging birdcage filled with flowers to spruce up its design. You can pick these up at auction houses, so keep an eye on eBay!

See images of birdcage planters here.

Chandelier planter

The best upcycling ideas for a garden are the eclectic ones that make people stop and admire your handiwork. If you have an old chandelier, try a lick of paint, soil in the candle/lightbulb holders and fill it with flowers.

See images of chandelier planters here.

Wine crates

Once you’ve enjoyed the wine and are left with empty crates, simply drill holes in the bottom, fill with soil and they become the perfect spaces to grow vegetables.

See images of upcycled wine crates here.

Shoes, boots and handbags

When it comes to smaller items, it really will depend on the look you’re going for in your garden. These old items can be painted, nailed to a wall or scattered across a flower bed, then filled with soil and flowers. Just remember to drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

See images of upcycled garden ideas here.

We hope some of these ideas have inspired your next gardening project. Whether you’re turning furniture into a planter, cutlery into a wind chime, or doing something totally unique involving jam jars, old palettes, and a rusty watering can… the possibilities are endless – we wish you well.