On May 18th, we began creating a new mural at the UF/IFAS Wakulla County Extension Center in Crawfordville, Florida (near Tallahassee). Around this same time last year we had been painting a large outdoor mural in their courtyard, completed in June. This year we had the opportunity to do another mural of a smaller scale, this time indoors.
Hello to you all, and my apologies for getting to the post a bit late. I know it’s been a rather crazy month with everything that’s going on in the world, and I hope you have been staying healthy, creative and remembering to be kind to others (and yourself!) .
So for this month’s recycled craft project, I decided to divert from the usual projects and show you some ways that we have been re-using and recycling in the garden. Right now I can definitely see people moving in the direction of wanting to grow their own food, and even just wanting to bring Nature back into the places where it’s been taken away. For sure I feel both of these, and within the last few months I’ve really started spending more time gardening, which can get creative, just like art!
So let me share some ideas with you!
One of the main things I have been doing is starting seeds. I like being able to move them around to make sure they’re getting enough sun and rain, so I prefer starting them up in little cups. We bought plastic drinking cups about 4 years ago (they might be older, I’m not sure) , and we are still using them to this day! Of course we’ve lost some along the way, but they’ve been well used for years now, and they work well for starting seeds. In general, you can re-use the plastic pots your store bought plants come in, or even other kinds of containers. I’ve seen people use juice, milk, vinegar and all kinds of other empty plastic jugs with the top cut off, as planters. Also be sure to pop some holes in the bottom for drainage. Here I have been using some coffee cans for the seedlings.
Kai makes a lot of cuttings from our plants and trees, and found that small but sturdy plastic bags work well for this. To hold them closed, a little scrap of yarn or other string ties it up. Pretty simple, and we’ve been able to re-use bags multiple times.
Art canvases we buy at the store often come with little wood pieces that are meant to be used for hanging the canvas frame on the wall, but it’s not something we really use- until now! I found they make good stakes for marking the names of the plants. I just write the name in permanent marker and poke it into the pot. Another thing I do is use colorful fabric scraps (as long as they are in a lengthy strip) and tie it around the tree or plant stem to mark it. This one is helpful for not losing track of where and what it is, or to be sure you don’t accidentally mow it over with the lawn mower!
In our garden we have several raised beds that were built from old pallet wood. And you could use any other kind of unused wood to make something like this. Look it up on YouTube, you can find all kinds of cool things you can build for your garden there.
Plastic drinking water bottles, or even glass ones if they have plastic caps, can be used to keep your plants watered. I’m still figuring this one out myself. I’ve seen some examples online, and rather than me explaining, it’s probably better you check it out from those sources!
And of course, composting is the ultimate in recycling back to the Earth. We do this as much as we possibly can, composting our fruit and veggie scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. To think all that just ends up in the garbage and not as nutrients and soil for your plants. But do make sure you keep your compost safely closed in a bin, away from critters! Again, there are many resources out there on how to compost, and so look it up if you’re interested.
So I think I covered most of what we have found to be great ways to re-use in the garden. There are countless other creative things you can do, if you just think about it. What is going to be thrown away that might just be a handy treasure for your garden? Hope you enjoyed this post and no doubt I will find more ways to recycle things for the yard and garden to share with you in the future!
Hi every one! Sorry this post ended up so late! I finally added the finishing touches on this piece, so here it is.
This is a small decorative tree I put together using things I had laying around, and it also incorporates some bits of nature. The only thing that was not technically recycled was the terracotta plant pot. The skeleton of the tree is a branch from an azalea bush. I would consider it recycled since we were pruning and using it for mulching in our permaculture garden, but I noticed how it looked like a little tree, which is how the idea came to me.
I glued the branch into the pot along with a small handful of pebbles I found outside. Acrylic gloss was used as a glue, but you could use any other glue for this as well. The blue and green leaves were cut from fabric scraps, and the gold wire was something unused I had sitting around. As a finishing touch, I attached some old earrings to the branches. My sister and I had made those many years earlier, but we had never done anything with them, so I’m happy they got re-purposed here.
I still have another branch I saved, so I will probably try this craft again in the future.
Thanks for checking this out, and I hope every one is staying safe and healthy at this moment in time. Keep calm, and keep on creating! Love to all of you!
On August 7th, 2019, at the Wakulla County Extension Office in Wakulla County, Florida, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the unveiling of their courtyard mural. The mural was designed and painted by us here at Sacred Visions Studio, Arianna, Kai, and Avery Nakashima along with additional help from multiple volunteers.