I have a project.

The garden is an utter disgrace. No small part of that is the amount of empty plastic flower pots knocking around the place. They need hiving up into one single place. There’s also all manner of bags of compost, bits of timber, oddments of “useful” things, and just plain rubbish. All need tidying up, into a utility area. And it`s not as if I don`t have part of the garden designated as the utility area – it’s just that it`s not used as such. All it is a neglected corner. What it needs, to make it happen, is a structure where empty pots, bags of compost, and general junk deemed to have future potential can be sorted and stored. I have in mind something that’s a lean-to/open-sided shed type affair, with racking for pots, storage space for bags of compost, various trugs, buckets and the like. I`d also like it to have some kind of basic potting bench area.

Of course given time and money all that is easy to achieve, but here`s an idea I have.

Inspired by the late Geoff Hamilton`s home-build ethic, and TV`s Salvager Rico Daniels’ talent for turning scrap into something useful, and of course making the most of my own creative wombling abilities, I`d like to make it without buying anything, except perhaps screws and fixings. And even then I`ve got a big pot of old screws.

So the plan would be only to use materials that were recycled, or being thrown away. It might seem difficult, to do, but surely that`s part of the challenge.

A number of things seem important in achieving a decent outcome.

A Plan. Though the ability to deviate from that plan will be pretty important too. Change is after all part of the design process. Surely even more so where the materials are not necessarily originally intended for the purpose for which they are now being employed.

Materials. What seems vital is to amass as many, materials as possible prior to commencement, to allow maximum flexibility, and probably to keep acquiring them throughout construction.

An Open Mind. Something just as vital is surely the ability to think creatively about how the materials might be employed.

There is undoubtedly more to think about and there will be things that will only become evident as the process progresses.

But lastly (and perhaps most important) an aesthetic eye. Even though it’s in a miffy part of the garden, and is a functional thing I’d still like it to look good. Or if not good then quirky, in fact quirky is probably good.

Just as it doesn’t look like a pile of rubbish nailed together, by a deranged person.


Trug Love.

When two plastic trugs become stuck together.

I know it’s down to suction, or vacuums, or moisture and surface tension, or something, but even if I knew exactly why they became glued together, it wouldn’t make it any less annoying.

One could, I suppose, drill holes in the bottom and this may well solve the problem, but one of the good things about said trugs is that they hold water.

So what is the best way of getting them apart if brute force fails? (which it usually does).

Well, prise them apart as far as is possible, at one side, and use a watering-can to tip water into the gap. Whilst it’s a limited amount of water that helps them cling on like a randy Jack Russell to a vicar’s trouser leg, more water actually forces them to separate. Just don’t expect to stay dry during the process, as they generally part with dramatic suddenness and the (now dirty) water goes everywhere.