How to Create a Recycled Garden

As an interior stylist, I believe that sustainable living should extend beyond the four walls of our homes. One fantastic way to embrace eco-friendly practices is by creating a recycled garden. By repurposing materials and adopting innovative ideas, you can transform your outdoor space into a beautiful haven while reducing waste. In this blog post, I’ll share with you my top 7 tips on how to create a recycled garden and provide actionable steps to bring these ideas to life.

  1. Salvage and repurpose materials:
    Look around your home and local area for materials that can be repurposed. Salvaging items such as old wooden pallets, crates, or discarded furniture can add character to your garden. Give them a new lease on life by sanding, painting, or transforming them into unique planters, shelves, or seating.

Action: Visit salvage yards, flea markets, or online platforms for potential materials. Get creative with your finds and give them a new purpose in your garden. Alternatively, get some inspiration from

  • Upcycle containers:
    Instead of buying new plant pots, think about repurposing items like tin cans, egg cartons, buckets, or even boots. Ensure proper drainage by drilling holes in the bottom of the containers. Get artistic and paint them in vibrant colours or use decoupage to add personality to your garden.
  • Action: Gather various containers, clean them thoroughly, and unleash your creativity by decorating them. Remember to provide drainage holes for healthy plant growth.

    Seedlings in biodegradable pots made of toilet roll inner tubes and reused egg boxes, environmentally friendly living, zero waste concept
    1. Composting for a greener garden:
      Creating a composting system in your garden is an excellent way to reduce waste while nourishing your plants. Use kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings, and other organic materials to produce nutrient-rich compost. This sustainable alternative to chemical fertilisers will help your garden thrive.

    Action: Designate a compost area in your garden, either by creating a compost bin or using an existing container. Layer organic materials and ensure a proper balance of carbon-rich (browns) and nitrogen-rich (greens) elements for efficient decomposition.

    1. Vertical gardening:
      Utilise vertical spaces in your garden to maximize your planting area.

      1. Create a rainwater harvesting system:
        Collecting rainwater is an environmentally friendly way to reduce water consumption. Place rain barrels under your downspouts to capture rainfall, which can be used to water your garden during dry spells. This helps to conserve water and save on your water bills.

      Action: Install rain barrels at strategic locations in your garden to catch rainwater. Connect them to downspouts and use the collected water for watering your plants when needed.

      1. DIY garden furniture:
        Instead of buying new garden furniture, why not make your own? Repurpose old wooden pallets to create stylish and comfortable seating areas. Add cushions made from recycled materials for a cosy touch. Alternatively, consider revamping old chairs or benches with a fresh coat of paint.

      Action: Source wooden pallets or old furniture pieces. Clean, sand, and treat them as necessary. Then, assemble and customize them into your desired seating arrangement. Add cushions made from recycled materials for a sustainable finishing touch.

      1. Repurposed garden art:
        Inject personality into your recycled garden by incorporating repurposed garden art. Turn old kitchenware, bicycles, or even tires into quirky and eye-catching sculptures. Be creative with your materials and create focal points.

      Action: Get imaginative with your materials and repurpose them into eye-catching garden art. Place these unique pieces strategically as focal points in your outdoor space.

      Read more about gardens with our post called Transform your patio into an extension of your living space.


    Meet Pippa

    Pippa Jameson is an author, tv designer and interiors expert. The previous interior editor on several leading UK titles, Pippa has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Throughout her 25-year career, Pippa’s unique and creative approach has won her commissions for large retail brands and celebrities to deliver exciting and engaging projects. 

    She’s written the curriculum for the British College of Interior Design, produced and styled shoots for well-known brands including John Lewis, H&M & Team GB/DFS, worked as an International Stylist for leading paint brands in Asia, consulted on the launch and creative direction of major retail names including George Home and Wren, and most recently, published her first book, The Sensory Home. Pippa possesses expertise unmatched in the interior industry.