Greenway Avenue Community Garden's Up cycling Approach

11th Jul 2019

Outdoor table and benches in community garden
Up-cycled Outdoor Dining Room

A living installation

Ever since the green fingered gardeners of Greenway Avenue Community Garden came together, there have been themes to their approach to gardening in this community space. A key one is recycling but this year they decided to take this to a different level! They'd be the first to tell you that they're always keen to try new things and they do like an installation, especially if it’s a living one!

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Quirky containers for plants

All this has come together this year to create their Living in the Garden (or Bringing the Inside Outside!) project. One dark and stormy November night the Events sub group came up with the idea to recycle everyday household items and turn them into containers for plants. It's been done by others before and nowadays garden shows often feature show gardens with quirky planters making good use of household objects. So the Greenway Avenue gardeners knew it would work and set about collecting items for their 'house'.

A community project

The local community, friends and family got behind the idea and donated a wide variety of items. Over the winter and spring the collection grew, including a complete bathroom (yes, with a toilet!) from a house refurbishment. Once spring arrived, annuals such as lobelia, begonias and petunias, took shelter in the new greenhouse, waiting for the arrival of warmer days and planting out.

A bathroom to begin with

Firstly, the community gardeners created the bathroom - bath, wash hand basin and toilet were planted up. No detail was overlooked with a toilet roll holder providing a shelf for a planted up tooth mug and a wine bucket strategically placed next to the bath. Planting the bath gave an opportunity to recycle lots of those broken plastic pots gardens are full of as these were used to aid drainage and to reduce the amount of soil needed. Bergenias provide shape to the planting surrounded by annuals and poppies grown from seed.

The living Living Room

At the recent volunteer gardening day an open plan living/dining area was created. No challenge was insurmountable! A fireplace surrounds an old gas fire and provides a shelf for plants in pots. The fire is full of begonias giving a warm glow on a dull day. A retro look was given to the living area with a portable TV planted up so that the house occupants or passers-by can watch plants growing – a different form of reality TV! Saucepans, bowls, a wok, kettles, a toaster, roasting tins and storage jars abound, all full of brightly coloured annuals.

The unpredictable weather has proved a challenge! Small pots dry out quickly in baking temperatures whereas torrential rain leads to containers becoming waterlogged. Nevertheless, through monitoring, deadheading and some replanting, the display should continue to shine throughout the summer months.

See it for yourself

Why not drop by and see for yourself? Open every weekend throughout the summer from 9am to 5pm.

Access to the garden is off Greenway Avenue, between 83 and 85.

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Author
Karen Esson