Just because your urban backyard lacks space, there is no need for it to lack personality and functionality. Consider these examples as inspirations for your own redesigning eye; with the added bonus of being a responsible repurposer!
1. Hang a Chandelier
Bring a little of the unexpected into your garden by hanging a chandelier from a tree limb or porch beam. It instantly changes the mood of your garden depending on the style you choose. This one adds Tuscany tasteful by day and shimmering candlelight by night.
Should you need to protect it from the elements treat it with rust resistant paint.
When hanging a chandelier over a table outdoors, consider dropping the normal indoor height (lowest point) of 76cm (30”) down to 61cm (24”) to avoid it getting ‘lost’ in the great outdoors.
2. Plant a CD Rack
Cucumbers take on a new musical twist as they climb up a repurposed cd rack. The rack has uneven legs, but it’s not a problem as you push it into the ground up to the first rung.
Whether cucumbers or peas, beans or beautiful flower buds, any climbing plant will enjoy the growing support. You and your limited yard space will appreciate the ability to go vertical without the need for a wall.
If the metal CD rack is left natural it will rust (which might be the look you like) or you can paint it with rust resistant paint opening up the possibilities of additional colour.
3. Pump, Pots and Rocks
You like your garden and welcome time to just relax in quiet contemplation. We may not be able to guarantee more time but here is a way to help mask city noise and introduce a little more peaceful tranquility with the sound of trickling water. Whether the flow of water falls from an old pump or a metal kettle with its spout tipped (lots of possibilities) the more often water hits water the more sound you will have.
There is no need for an open pond with the maintenance it requires; make yours a pond-less waterfall. Easy instructions can be found on the internet with the emphasis on “easy”. Surround the splash zone with mist loving plants and you will have your own oasis to come home to.
4. Moveable Shade Tree
This old wash tub on legs and casters could have just been another ‘thing’ in the garden. Adding a Japanese maple with its rich tones and delicate canopy repurposed it into a moveable shade tree. Even in the winter when the annuals (which tumble from the container during summer) are gone, the fine branches drip with pearl-like raindrops and then turn to white lace when it snows. As the seasons move the sun around, the position of the tree can be altered with little effort.
Be sure your container has holes in the bottom for drainage; this old wash tub still has its tap (left open) at the bottom.
The idea is fun and doable even if your container is of a different form.
5. Old Chair & Gate
Easy as a summer’s breeze. Find an old chair (not upholstered). Save it from your garage, or someone else’s garage sale. Even if it’s not strong enough to hold human kind you can extend its life, add character and elevate a pot full of flowers in your garden. Put flat stones under the feet to keep them dry. There is something about a chair which says, “This is a comfortable place, stay awhile.”
Tuck gates or fence parts (they don’t have to be picket), which have been painted a contrasting colour, into the far reaching corners of your garden. They will add colour and architecture, drawing the eye the full distance, making your urban garden appear larger than it actually is. Try it out and claim some unseen land.
6. Planter Stand
You might already have one. The flower pot broke and you still haven’t found the right pot to replace it? If you put it in a garage sale for a couple of bucks someone is going to snatch it up, take it home and put it into a planter, bury the three legs down to the lowest rung and plant tomatoes.
It’s sturdy, attractive, practical, will not give in to even the heaviest harvest and if the new owner ever does find a pot to fit, it can still be used, with or without tomatoes.