6 Ways to Liven Up Your Garden with Old Junk

6 Ways to Liven Up Your Garden with Old Junk

Gardening can be an expensive hobby to pursue. All the tools, plants and decorations cost a pretty penny. And in order to keep your garden in proper shape, you’ll have to invest a lot of time and energy. There is, however, a creative, cheap and environmentally friendly way of cutting your costs while simultaneously adding character to your garden and turning it into a unique and fascinating place. Why buy new decorations if you can recycle some old junk you keep in the attic or bought at a flea market? Give your garden that warm, personal feel you will never be able to achieve with ready-made accessories. Here are a few tips on how to do it and where to look for inspiration:

1. Doors and Windows

What can be more unsightly than old doors and windows that are too battered to be used for their primary purpose? With a little love and ingenuity, however, they can be turned into practically anything: trellises, garden dividers, hanging decorations, potting benches, fences, garden arbors, anything that is practical and beautifies your garden space. If approached carefully, door and window refashioning can become an integral part of your own unique garden design.



    2. Footwear

    Next time you wear out your shoes, don’t throw them out. They can still serve you for years to come, although not in the same quality. They will make excellent garden planters. It is especially true for old wellington boots. Even after holes make them unfit for wearing, they remain sturdy and can serve as an unusual and eye catching decoration for your garden.


      3. Glass Bottles

      Even if you do not tend to look for answers in bottles, they can still serve as an endless source of creative ideas for your garden. They may be crushed and embedded in stepping stones or composed in a mosaic. They can be used whole as material for a short fence edging a walkway, or you can build full-scale walls with them.



        4. Bathtubs and Sinks

        One of the most trendy approaches right now is to put an old bathtub or a sink basin in your garden and use it as a planter. It makes for a really weird yet unique look. With the right surroundings and proper placement, you can make it stylistically appropriate for almost any setting.



          5. Any Odds and Ends

          Do you have some funny little things you have no use for but don’t want to throw away? Set them into cement on your garden path so that they can always be in sight!


            6. When Short on Ideas – Go to Pinterest

            Millions of people use Pinterest to share the results of their creative work, ideas or just something interesting they saw on the way to work. Sign up for some boards dedicated to gardening or recycled garden ideas and get all the inspiration you may need. In addition to receiving new ideas, you will be able to immediately see how it looks when already implemented, air your opinions and get in touch with people who share your interests. You can view an extremely descriptive infographic about gardening here:



              Although using old and seemingly useless junk can be the basis for excellent design ideas, don’t think that the very fact that it is a part of your garden magically turns it into something ingenious and creative. Upcycled or recycled items are just tools. Like anything else, they can be used effectively or ineffectively. So if you don’t have any experience in garden refashion, it is best to ask somebody who does for advice. But if you employ common sense and consider any idea carefully, you will have a great gardening experience.

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              Melissa Burns


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              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.


              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.


              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.


              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.


              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via

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