Call us hipsters, but we love some good old reclaimed wood in the garden. Upcycling existing furniture and household items into outdoor use is one of the real pleasures of adulthood. One man’s trash, right? It doesn’t need to be vintage, retro or classic – it doesn’t necessarily need to be fit for purpose, if you have the creativity and curiosity. When it looks good, and does good things for the planet, we’re all in.

Planters

You know those wooden crates used for fruit and vegetables? Or even better, the ones used for wine that is often stamped with the vineyard or distributor? Start picking those up when you see them, the more eclectic the better. With a bunch of different shapes and sizes, you can use them to create a vertical display for planting. Either leave them as distressed and original, or give them a new lease of life to brighten up a shady corner with colour. You can inject real vibrancy into your garden by using contrasting colours, or use more muted tones for a natural effect.

Frames

You can use crates for this too, or you can use shelves to create the same effect. Frames that hold potted plants are becoming increasingly more popular, think about one of the crates stapled to the wall, bottom side against the brick. Of course, you could actually use a real frame and just add spacers to bring it out from the wall; and hide a shelf behind the bottom rung. Discarded window frames give you another chance, too; not to mention things like wheels, click faces or lampshades.

Entertaining

Upcycled mason jars with fairy lights goes without saying, it’s the staple of the upcycler’s diet. But if you want somewhere more impressive to string these, think about adapting that greenhouse that’s been on your to-do list for nine years. Remove the windows, give it a bold coat of paint and replace the top glazing with some plywood. It becomes a semi-natural gazebo-sanctuary, upon which you can train creepers to let it look a little more reclaimed by nature.

Wildlife

You don’t need to buy a glass ant-farm, or a vacuum-pressed plastic birdhouse, to offer wildlife another chance in your garden. Think about all those overgrown allotments you’ve seen, and how they’re always teeming with wildlife. Old chimney pots, planters, pallets, cups, saucers, drums, lids, posts, baths; these all make fantastic feeding and nesting spots for all manner of insects, birds and animals.


Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.

We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.

To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.