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Predicting the Future. Part 6 – Make Do and Mend – Upcycling

We continue our series in predictions for Horticulture, Garden Design and Gardening in 2020. The environment has been a consistent feature among my previous posts, which indicates the urgent need for change and its position in our thoughts. The idea of recycling and reuse, even repurposed reuse is now common and following on from this fairly well adopted mentality in general life for most of us, I predict that…

We will see more reused, repaired, upcycled and transformed garden features, design elements and even gardening equipment like tools in 2020 than ever before.

While we will, of course see new materials used in the creation of gardens and garden features, I think that a general swing towards looking for and endeavoring to use recycled materials as part of any build will become the norm. Recycled, Bricks, Paving and Timber are obvious and readily accessible solutions, though we should look for a recycled alternative to materials when designing even if it requires some modification. Where once, old sheds and walls may have been demolished in the construction of new gardens and their waste disposed of, I hope to see them inventively reused; worked into designs and repurposed to be useful again.

It is funny, how we value the character of aged buildings, but often eradicate the same quality from materials in a garden in favour of a new and typically less characterful alternative. While we must be careful to ensure that built elements are sufficiently strong enough and meet any building regulations that may apply to them, the idea of reusing materials to achieve this should be at the forefront of our thoughts when designing and I believe that in 2020 this will really take off.

It doesn’t require a big change and it can work well with existing building and design strategies, so should be easily adopted by those not already actively doing it.

Any gardener can do this as well, ensuring that rather than running out to buy new tools, that they look to sharpen and service existing tools, or buy old tools that have been serviced by a professional. They can undertake elements of build works using existing garden resources. I’ve seen several good small raised beds made from leftover fence gravel-boards recently and a couple of benches made from fenceposts. My kids have recently made insect homes and bird boxes using off-cut timber and bamboo canes from my shed with great success. Get inventive and try your hand at using materials that you already own to bring life to your garden.

(c) Garry Knight, Link to image Unmodified.

Offer surplus building materials to a good home using eBay, GumTree or Free Ads and when approaching a project look at ways you can work with your existing resource, then try to find other resources from a recycled source perhaps using the aforementioned websites/papers.

Better for the environment and potentially better for your pocket.

Win win!


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