Salvaged and found objects can add personality and a sense of history to a garden. They are especially perfect for finishing off an old fashioned cottage garden. They will bring back those fond memories of old like nothing else can and while at it, you will be helping reduce those mountains of garbage at your local dumpsite.
The key to using found and salvaged objects is to pick the ones that can fit into your backyard and provide the desired intrigue without looking forced and out of place. Here are some tips to help you decorate your backyard with found and salvaged objects:
The greatest danger with found objects is the likelihood of ending up with a backyard that looks junky and cluttered. This happens especially when you disperse objects singly all over the garden without considering how each fits into the big picture.
Compose a balanced and harmonious garden scene. Use pieces of varying heights and sizes, grouped rationally and in a pleasing way. For instance, don’t combine plastics, metals and concrete in the same space for the sake of it. Instead, find ways of rationally grouping objects according to some pre-conceived theme and order.
You could group them according shape, colour, age, place of origin or even function. The most important thing to remember is that there should be some rational that guides the way you arrange and use your found objects around the backyard.
Garden pots, bird baths, feeders, trellises and even lights can be fashioned from all manner of found and salvaged objects. The use of found objects comes with endless possibilities. Here are some ideas to stir your imagination:
Paving for garden paths, decks and patios can be creatively fashioned from a number of found or salvaged materials. Broken concrete from demolition projects can be reused for paving much like natural stone and other conventional pavers. Other materials that can be used for paving include salvaged stone, hardwood and even nutshells.
Just about any found object can be reused as a planter. From shoes to bathtubs, old kitchen crockery, wheelbarrows and even kitchen sinks. All you need to do is identify ones that go with your garden theme and convert it into a garden planter by drilling a hole or two at the bottom for draining excess water.
Antique furniture and structures
Owing to their durability, many antique garden furniture and structures can be reused or remodelled into new garden art. Wrought iron furniture, for instance, can easily be remodelled into garden arches and railing.
- The writer is a landscape architect.