AS the recycling message hit home at the Chelsea Flower Show, it seemed one man’s junk was another man’s jewel.
Chelsea unveiled its new artisan gardens category for the first time this year, where designers were asked to use natural, sustainably resourced materials in an artistic manner.
Second-hand shops, reclamation yards and even car boot sales can provide an Aladdin’s cave of unusual containers and statues, chimney pots which can be upended to house colourful plants, quirky garden seating and ornaments.
Old railway platform seats and seating from boats have been put to use in the past, while DIY enthusiasts have constructed seats featuring little more than a short piece of scaffolding plank resting on two neat piles of old bricks.
Funky benches have been made using old tyres at either end supporting seats of painted scaffolding planks.
If you live near the sea, explore the beach to search for large pieces of driftwood, or shells out of which you could make a feature mosaic to hang on your house wall. Mosaics and patterns can also be made out of pebbles or broken coloured tiles arranged Roman style.
Fallen logs can be used to edge paths, while those on a budget may be more inclined to go for local gravel.
Eye-catching containers can be made out of old food cans painted with brightly coloured, weather-resistant paint, to sinks which can house a myriad of rock plants, and teapots, mugs and rusty buckets with holes drilled in the bottom.