Practise eco-friendly gardening

Andrew Mangwarara
MODERN society has created robust industries that manufacture the goods we use in our homes and factories, although many of the used products end up as waste.

However, we can create ecologically friendly gardens that utilise the waste products of our modern lifestyles.

We need to recycle waste and clean up our cities.

Burning waste has become common in many places but there is no need to do so as this poses a greater health risk, generating toxic gases that will come back to haunt us in future.

It is estimated that millions of vehicle tyres are discarded every year. Tyres can be used as pots, waste bins, hanging baskets and can be painted colourfully as decorative elements in our gardens.

Group old tyres together to create a raised bed or border. Paint the tyres with different colours, then plant colourful annuals. You will have managed to create a unique masterpiece.

Use old tyres of different sizes to protect your bin by placing the bin inside a ring of tyres.

Use old metal or plastic bins as pots in your garden. Bigger dishes can be repaired or lined with plastics for use as fish pond bases.

Old sinks or bath tubs can be used as pots or fish ponds as well. These old buckets can be painted or decorated to create fantastic new designs.

Although they are fewer, old railway sleepers can be used as pathways or turned into benches. They take time to disintegrate so you will have a reminder of history in your garden.

Old bricks can also be used as pathways or re-used to construct fish ponds. Recycle old timber to make fences or demarcations in your eco-friendly garden.

Have you noticed how there are so many drinking cans or bottles lying around?

These can be re-used to make just about anything you want in your garden, from pots to walls that hold soil together on bed edges.

Believe it or not, you can use old newspapers as elements of your compost. Simply shred them, wet them and lay them in your compost, they will decompose.

If you have some old cups that you do not fancy anymore, just create a hanging herbal garden. Hang them in a fashionable way, making a pattern against a wall or fence.

Make a hosepipe rail using an old rim and a metal pole welded together for easier storage of your hosepipe.

Perhaps you have just ransacked through a metal junk yard and you have located some old gutters, make a metre long hanging basket.

Back in the day, there were wooden crates for soft drinks. These can be used as planting boxes for your vegetables or annuals, moving them with ease to different locations.

Salvage old pans and use these as birdbaths to attract birds into your garden. Every garden needs some labels for your special plants.

Despair not, keep those old teaspoons and table spoons and use them as labels.

But first, flatten them with a hammer then paint them to create your unique set of labels.

Use your old bottles to edge your beds.

When l visited a certain garden, I was mesmerised by the wonderful succulent wall that had been created out of wooden laths and wire mesh.

There are plenty of ideas you can think of if you set your mind to it and help transform your community.

Ecologically friendly gardens are here to stay because we desperately need to de-clutter our world.

Be a responsible citizen by asking yourself if the waste you are about to throw away cannot serve some valuable purpose in the garden.

Be eco-friendly.

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