Junkyard gardening is the upcycling trend transforming backyards

Upcycling your garden ornaments.
Upcycling your garden ornaments.

Gardeners are a savvy bunch and when it comes to saving money and the environment, the garden is a great place to start.

They say, "one person's trash is another person's treasure" and there is no better place than the garden to see that particular saying ring true.

Junkyard gardens, as they are eloquently referred to, are an expression of a gardener's personality and are an extremely effective way of reusing, recycling and upcycling any variety of items to create gardens that are not just beautiful, but functional as well.

The use of junkyard or cast-off objects such as old baskets, teapots, old doors, bedheads and frames, old bathtubs, pots, buckets, wheelbarrows or even industrial and farm machinery, can all add a whimsical element that's pleasing on the eye, but also provides a useful space to grow plants.

The trick is not to overdo it with objects and make sure that those ones chosen as part of the overall scheme are also functional.

An eclectic mix of items can create harmonious and interesting spaces within a garden.

Once you start on junkyard gardening it will be hard to stop.

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Using perennials and annuals to spill out of watering cans or pots laid on their side can provide a dramatic effect.

To include some vertical elements, add an old step ladder to serve as a perfect stand for pots of annuals or succulents.

Old tea and coffee pots with drainage holes drilled in them can add that whimsical touch to the display.

But don't stop there, old boots can also add to the junkyard effect and look stunning if coated with a bright acrylic paint.

Gardeners can really express their personality through the creation of a junkyard garden, it really is only limited by the imagination.

Endless possibilities are hiding in everything. Old computer screens, whitegoods, car tyres and bicycle wheels are all waiting for their time to shine once more in the garden.

Matching pieces with the right plant arrangement can be tricky, but the beauty of junk gardening is that there are no hard and fast rules on what should be planted so you really can't go wrong.

  • John Gabriele is a horticulture teacher with a love for green spaces.
This story Junkyard gardening: turning trash into garden treasures first appeared on The Canberra Times.