Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mod Lodge Stylin' - Bird is the Word

Blue Jay nest with Wal-Mart plastic bag
As I was doing laundry this week, I noticed that we really didn't have much of a spring. Our laundry basket consisted of fleece pullovers and shorts - it didn't seem like there was anything in between. We basically went from winter to blazin' hot summer in a few days. If it weren't for nature, spring would have passed us by without saying hello. However, one of the many signs that spring did indeed visit us are the birds and their nests.

Apple picker bird's nest with baby birds
I perused the yard the other day to look at our fruit trees. We have four apple trees and it looks like we will only have a good harvest on one of them. Again, another indicator that maybe winter had lingered on too long. One of the apple trees, though, did have a blue jays nest in it so at least it was serving a useful purpose. And as I stared at this nest, I noticed that the blue jay parents had used a shredded up Wal-Mart plastic bag for part of its foundation. Well, how ingenious! And so "in", too. We have been hearing time and time again that we should "Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose" - and the bird world has been doing this forever. As I pondered this, I remembered that there was another bird's nest that not only was recycling and reusing with feathers and yard waste but also repurposing. Instead of using the apple tree to build the nest in, this pair of birds used the apple picker that was leaning against the house for a nesting location. Come to think of it, I repurposed that same apple picker as a snow removal tool on our satellite dish this winter. Bird brains think alike!

As thrifters, junkers, pickers or what ever you call yourself, we have embraced the "Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose" lexicon as a way of life. Not only do we thrift to be frugal but to bring once discarded items back to a purpose. Here are a few examples of what I have done in my own yard and garden to RRR. Most of these things are not overly original or even difficult to do but it gives an old item a new purpose. Plus it looks kind of cool.

I found this bucket in our shed when we moved here and have been trying to find its purpose for three years. I have a thing for galvanized. Finally, I planted some flowers in it and set it out by the front gate. I love it. So do Pearl and Chloe - doggie kisses to you!

The Delphos 3 gallon water cooler is being used as a plant holder. I think I picked it up at a garage sale for $1. It still has some remnants of turquoise or green paint but its mostly galvanized and a little rusted but I like it that way. It sits atop a BPS Paints box I bought from a neighbor many years ago. And the boots are from Target - they have a hole in them so I thought they looked good in this garden display.

This is an old wash tub that is being used as a plant holder, too. I just bought a hanging basket and set it in there - it works perfect for this because it already has a drain in the bottom for the water to run through!

This is an old refrigerator or freezer metal basket. I just used plastic ties to hold it on to the post, added some moss and potting mix and planted these wave petunias. Next year, I might add more moss to fill it up more.

I picked up this retro chair last summer at a garage sale for $1. I don't know what I thought I was going to do with one chair but I loved the atomic pattern so I had to have it. It has been sitting in the garage waiting for a purpose. Viola - now it's a plant stand. It works great for this as it is vinyl with metal legs so it should endure the summer's weather. Plus it looks mod sitting on the deck!

So what have you used in your garden following the mantra "Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose"? Has nature's way inspired your way? I'm sure if you look around, you will see that your thrifting is eco-friendly!


  1. What great ideas for planters! My favorite is the refrigerator basket with moss....I will be on the look-out for these.

  2. I love it! And in fact I do remember this from last year.

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