Six on Saturday, Upcycling in the Garden

I am the “kooky” one in my family.

For a long time, that bothered me; but not enough to stop my imagination.

A few of my garden pics today will demonstrate my kookiness when it comes to upcycling and other ways to avoid spending money.  Mind you, I still spend plenty on the garden.  It’s just that the upcycling is kinda fun.

Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of transforming by-products, waste materials, useless, or unwanted products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. (Source: Wikipedia Upcycling)

Reusing Peony Hoops to Foil the Deer

Let’s start with the deer.  In December, I decided that I should have protected some newly planted shrubs from winter browsing.  It was so cold outside that I didn’t have the patience to carefully craft a fence or netting.  I just threw together some peony hoops, wrapped hardware cloth around them, topped with some pieces of deer netting, and hoped for the best.

small shrub protected by upcycled peony hoops and hardware cloth
The crazy look of this was enough to keep the deer away.

Now that it is spring, I need to fancy it up for my neighbor’s sake!  I set the bamboo poles into a rectangle and wrapped deer net around the bamboo.  Zip ties keep the net in place.  Pink flags tied to the net make the visible to marauders of the two and four-footed varieties.

Bamboo stakes wrapped neatly with deer netting protects ypung shrubs
Geometry and a bit of neatness make a more visually appealing deer fence

The peony hoops are now free to use as intended.  They have served us well in their original and jury rigged capacity.

Upcycle A Lantern Chandelier Into A Mini Greenhouse

This is my craziest upcycle so far, for 2018. We recently replaced our entryway chandelier and the old one’s been sitting in the garage.  The glass shade brought to mind a giant pickle jar, like my grandfather used to use to cover his rose cuttings.  Since the cover had a little door for maintenance, it was perfect for a mini greenhouse. And, so, it is!


A glass lantern chandelier shade houses newly planted vines
The lantern shade makes a nice little greenhouse to harden off plants.

Plastic Garden Upcycle

I don’t mean a plastic garden – but ways to reuse plastic products in the garden!

A plastic salad container holds a tray of newly germinating marigold seed.
Plastic salad containers are useful for germinating seeds. The plant markers are cut up yogurt containers and lids.

Helium Tank Art

My husband enjoys welding. I think the physics of the process appeals to him.  He made this garden bell from an old helium tank.  In a past post, I wrote about garden bells and their significance in the garden.

Visitors find it hard to resist giving the bell a good clang as they enter!

A helium tank is cut and welded to make a bell.
A helium tank is upcycled into a garden bell.

What Happens to a Poinsettia after the Holidays?

This has me stumped. The beautiful poinsettia is still vibrant, but seems out-of-place in the springtime.  What do you do with your poinsettia until Christmas rolls around again?

a red and white poinsettia in a basket happily absorbing the spring sunshine
The poinsettia continues to bloom.

Those are my six happenings in the garden for this week.  For more inspiration from gardeners around the world, visit The Propagator blog!


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Author: A. JoAnn

Here is where I share the beauty I find in everyday life; and the humor, too!

23 thoughts

  1. The pansies are so pretty, I haven’t seen them at the market here yet. Are you Southerners getting some nice weather? We are getting more cold temps later next week. Ugh.

  2. I like the greenhouse too! As for me, I just bought some cheap pansies at Kroger, and I’m going reuse the plant pots that the former owners of my new house left behind — “cheap and cheerful” indeed.

  3. I’ve never had a poinsetta survive ’til April, but it’s interesting to know they grow into shrubs in warmer climates. As w/your deer protection, it seems gardening often poses a problem that needs fixed at the moment & can’t wait for a trip to town or a delivery to be made. So it is, necessity invents. Love your ideas & hope the deer get the message.

  4. I will definitely give it a go, no reason not to!

  5. I plant my poinsettias in the garden after the last frost. I get wonderful foliage over the summer. No blooms of course, but it feels like I’ve given the plant a reprieve. They don’t winter over, but there are always new volunteers after the holidays. In tropical climates they get to be very large shrubs.

  6. Yes, that was a “once in a lifetime.”

  7. Making hay while the sun shines (or, not!)

  8. Thanks! I’m getting so desperate, 29 degrees F this morning,

  9. Very impressive recycling/upcycling! I don’t think you should tell everyone because I, for one, wouldn’t have thought these were recycled items! The lantern is the most impressive.

  10. I’ve tried many times to bring a poinsettia through from one Christmas to the next and it’s never worked so I now have a pretty realistic fake (as long as you don’t touch it) which has reliably provided Christmas redness for several years. The chandelier as a mini greenhouse is a great idea. I like the helium bell too. Just don’t smell it!

  11. That’s a great idea! Of course, they drip a lot of milk when cut (which means the deer won’t like them), so maybe on the patio in a pot for summer. Thanks, Jane

  12. Can you keep your poinsettia in the greenhouse? It seems a shame to just abandon it. Of course, in Australia (on the coast mainly) they grow into large shrubs. They respond very well to pruning, so you could keep it quite small in a pot.

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