Our recycling photo competition has produced an inspiring collection of ideas for giving old materials a second life in the garden! For some entrants, foraging local hard rubbish collections has become a very productive obsession. Several entrants have concentrated on creating works of art for both indoors and outdoors. Others have seen the potential of discarded materials to build structures for the garden and others have found another use for household items without needing to reconstruct them.

Making a decision about an absolute prize winner was impossible because of the fabulous creativity of all our entrants. So we have chosen winners in three categories i.e. art, constructions and repurposing. Even then, it was not easy to separate these categories from each other, so there was a tiny bit of overlap in some cases. So congratulations to all entrants and especially to the winners!


Christine Noel What to do with a dead treeThe winning entry for artistic creation goes to Carolyn Noel for some amazing flowers made from old dishes.  At left, some enliven a dead tree. At right, are some “planted” in Christine Noel Upcycled glass flowersthe ground.

What a joy it must be to roam the garden in winter when these glass creations are happily blooming! Carolyn sent us many examples of her work saying “For many years I have been passionate about using what I have around the house and other people’s rubbish to improve my environment. I have recently retired from my work as a creative arts therapist and now spend much of my time in my shed making more adventurous works from roadside rubbish.” She hopes that our “readers are inspired to see rubbish in a whole new light”.

There were many beautiful pieces of work submitted to us by Carolyn and others, so we will feature a range of those in other web posts later in the year.

Wooster 1Repurposing

The most interesting repurposing endeavor was turning the barbie into a potting bench. It is almost as though this style of BBQ was designed for exactly that purpose in the first place. Congratulations to Kelly Wooster!






ConstructionNirvana compost 1

The prize for construction goes to Deborah Cantrill and Quentin Jones of Nirvana Organic Produce who have turned a freezer and cold room from a supermarket refit into several separate significant items. Along with panels from the walls there were racks and sliding Perspex lids.

The freezer panels were used for the walls of a series of 5 compost bays. Their inbuilt insulation keeps the compost warm and moist. The other materials used for this construction included used polypipe and timber from old pallets cut into thirds for the Cold frame coversfront removable panels.

Mini glass houseCovers for cold frames and a mini-glass house were created from the sliding lids.

Nirvana-racksWire racks were transformed to become plant protectors in the orchard, various barricades in the poultry pens, a sprouting bench for the chook yard, potting benches for the veggie garden, a tunnel house and,  as in the picture at right, gates.

A big “thank you” to all the other avid recyclers for sending us their innovative work!

More photos of recycling in the garden will be featured in other web posts later on and also on our Facebook page.