The Upcycled Garden

This is the last of the garden room sets from this year’s Ideal Home Show, and I’ve saved my favourite until last. And in true me-style, I had quite a good chat with Max McMurdo who was hanging around the garden he created trying to eat his lunch and have a conversation with someone who thought he looked familiar, but thought nothing more of it. Until I actually read the leaflet I picked up and realised who I’d been chatting to over the upcycled pallet.

A pallet as a planter in the Ideal Home Show

It is a particularly good use of pallets, and one I wished I’d thought of when in my first house dad and I put up a front fence made of pallets. Just adding an extra plank to keep those pots in, would have added some interest. I was clearly way ahead of my time, although looking back I think I’d have had to nail the pots in as a plant that was on my open porch, which took two people to lift disappeared one day. It’s not actually the sort of thing you can phone the police for is it?

“Yes, hello Officer, yes my five foot money plant, that’s extremely heavy is missing.”

“Where did I leave it? Well on my doorstep, it’s too heavy to move you see.”

But anyway I digress, although that is how and when I got my yucca plant, which is still going strong despite a small accident with MOH falling onto it recently. These doors too reminded me of the “shed-that-dad-built” which I shared on here a couple of years ago. That post is worth a look for the old-fashioned photos alone.

old doors and a suitcase put to good use in the Upcycled Garden at the Ideal Home Show

Back to my chat with Max. It was the real Max I got to speak to, not the statuesque one that perched on yet another pallet. Max is a designer and upcycler and has gone “back to his roots” according to the leaflet with this Land Rover inspired garden, reusing ideas from his book “Upcycling Outdoors”. The leaflet goes on to say that upcycling items has “previously been associated with items within the home” but that this garden shows what you can do with your outside space. I’d just like to say, pop back to the post with the “shed-that-dad-built” there was much upcycling going on there, mostly through quirkiness and need, rather than driven by a reuse mantra, but it was the early nineties…

More pallets, a pizza paddle and a self-portrait
A suitcase planter on legs at the Ideal Home Show

It’s true though that suitcase side tables are more often used indoors, but they do make a lovely planter too.

A landrover put to good use in the Upcycled Garden

That old tool trolley isn’t what it seems either - it’s a barbeque of course. And while storage is always important everywhere, so is having a functional and attractive dining area. Some planks laid across a wooden frame have easily sorted that - that’s definitely something to remember and reuse at some point.

Storage in a garden is always important
Planks forming  a stylish dining space

You didn’t believe me when I said it was a barbeque did you? Here you go…

Can you spot the double Max McMurdo profile?

It was definitely my favourite garden, and while the planting is quite subtle, it’s there thought, and as we know all good gardens are based on a good structure.

What do you think? For me, there’s memories, inspiration and so many things to see in each and every one of these photos. I’m only sorry there wasn’t more time to enjoy the space and take full advantage of the hospitality laid on!


A succulent in a tin

A while back I bought a tin of strawberry tea in a fabulous pink tin from Fortnum & Mason. It turned out that the tin was indeed fabulous, but the tea not so much. So saving the best of it, the tin has been in my cupboard for a while as I knew, one day I'd have a use for it. I vaguely remembered seeing succulents planted in tins on Pinterest and I thought, as you do, how hard can it be?

In short, pretty easy - the hardest and most laborious part was removing the paper labels from two sides of the tin. There'd been plenty of cycles through the dishwasher, some scoring and some soaking, but some of the label remained. Last weekend I decided the paper labels were going once and for all.  Cue more soaking - and a new trick - some nail varnish remover to remove that sticky residue that some glues leave.

And finally my tin was ready.

Take one tin

I decided not to pierce drainage holes in my pretty tin, but also didn't want the succulent to sit in water. But instead of crocks and stones I added some corks to the bottom of the tin before filling with earth.

Added some corks and soil

I hadn't planned to plant a pink succulent, I'd wanted to use one of the ice white ones that I'm propagating from a fallen leaf as I thought that'd make a nice contrast to the pink. However when I looked at the leaves, they weren't quite ready and I couldn't quite bring myself to uproot the ice white plant that's still establishing itself in my succulent trug. 

And instead this pink succulent called me.

And then a succulent

I added some vermiculite to the top - I think I'd used my grit laying the base for the pizza oven - and that adds a textured addition to the soil, which glistens in the sun and will, I hope help with moisture retention. 

The results though were stunning, a pretty succulent in a pretty tin, and a great garden table decoration that'd look equally good in the conservatory, or well anywhere really.

A succulent in a tin makes a fab table decoration

What do you think?

If you want some more succulent inspiration, why not join me over on my Succulent Love board on Pinterest:

Love this #69: Saltcreake Designs

A sunny Saturday morning in Norfolk and we popped along to see who and what was in the pop-up shops at the Dalegate Market in Burnham Deepdale. A fantastic idea and somewhere I'll be stopping in again the next time we're in Sunny Hunny. 

This weekend there was a sweet company, an artist and some woodcraft with items made from new and reclaimed wood. MOH was quite taken with a standard light made from an old beam, and it was lovely but something else had caught my eye.

And that was these upcycled home decor pieces by Saltcreake Designs - aren't they fab?

I loved them, but just don't have the space for them right now so I didn't leave with one, although I would have been more than happy to. I am though, adding these to an ever growing list of home items so that when I have the right space I know just what to buy. 

My favourite was the picture frame and chicken wire noticeboards, such a lovely idea. My dad and MOH were in agreement though and couldn't see the attraction of some jubilee clips on a board with some old jars, or a picture frame with chicken wire. Clearly it's one of those things that divides the genders in my family.

What do you think?

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