There are several reasons why so many people are going “green” these days. Not only are there serious concerns about our environmental footprint, most people are having economic struggles, and recycled materials are inexpensive and easy to find. However, some people may be wondering what materials they can use to improve their outdoor space without looking like they have a flea market booth in their back yard. Fortunately, there are many ways to landscape with renewable and recycled materials and enjoy a beautiful setting.
Railroad ties are an excellent landscaping resource. Not only are the ties very sturdy, but they can be found easily and inexpensively at rail yards and even lumber yards. The used ties may have a substance known as cretonne, or tar, on them and these should not be placed directly next to any plants. Otherwise, a creative landscaper can make a deck, steps, raised beds or even a gazebo with these materials.
Mulch can be a gardener and landscaper’s best friend. The shredded bark will help retain moisture around plants, yet prevents weeds from growing as well. The proper type of mulch can be used around flowers and plants, yet makes a beautiful and easy pathway as well. Most towns will have an area where they shred the downed tree limbs, and this mulch is often free. However, make sure that you keep your soil’s PH balance in check, since some types of bark, such as cedar, can be rather acidic.
Used PVC Pipes
Used PVC pipes make fantastic watering systems. The piping is sturdy and can sometimes be found for free from lumber yards or even plumbers. The pieces can be glued together as needed, and the gardener can later drill spaced holes along the pipes for the irrigation system. If the pipes are extremely large, they can be cut in half, fastened to a porch or post and used for a raised bed or even a hanging bed along a porch. Even if the pipes cannot be found used; PVC is extremely affordable brand new.
Used lattice can be found on EBay, Craigslist or even in the local newspaper. Lattice is an excellent source for shade, as plants and vines can be trained to group up the fastened lattice, creating a body of shade underneath. Not only does this provide relief from the sun, depending upon where it is used, it could also cut down on house hold cooling expenses. If premade lattice is not available, used lumber can be cut down to size and fastened together in a lattice pattern.
Many construction and renovation companies will often throw away the brick they have removed from a job, and a lucky landscaper can sniff around and perhaps make a deal for a quantity of good used brick. Brick can not only make fantastic patios and pathways, it is ideal for greenhouse floors, as it retains heat so well.
These are just a few ideas for inexpensive, eco-friendly and green landscaping improvement projects. For even more ideas, visit Patio Shoppers online.