Posts tagged ‘recycling’

Tires, paint, soil, and lettuce

The front page of Thursday’s New York Times Home section features a story titled “Slow, Easy, Cheap and Green.” It profiles Felder Rushing and what he calls “Slow Gardening.”  It’s a gimmicky name that means going with the flow of the seasons, rather than rushing to transform your garden all at once.

Whatever.  What I liked about the article was the photo of Mr. Slow Garden tending a bunch of lettuce planted in a pile of tires.

Slow? if that’s the trendy word to use…
Easy? yes
Cheap? definitely
Green? you betcha, but in case you didn’t get it, paint your tires green.

Oh, now I get it.  Green tires.  Guess I’m a slow gardener.

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March 26, 2009 at 8:24 pm 3 comments

Fill ‘er up: gardening in reused containers

Taking a bike ride from Firehouse 13 to the Steelyard, I encountered a bunch of gardens that feature reused containers. Behind the Avery (where the Decatur used to be), there are tomato plants growing in a bright blue footlocker and a couple of pepper plants looking good in some big tin cans.

Headed down Vinton, I saw a front porch loaded with container plants, including this guy planted in a coffee can. A breath away (after passing the house with the tomatoes in plastic pots on the porch roof), stood this bathtub full of zinnias.

Tucked between Monohasset Mill and the Steelyard is an alley full of reused industrial containers like these metal buckets full of ornamental grass and something with dark green shiny leaves.

There are many many more creative containers on the streets of Providence. If you’ve seen a good one, please send me a photo or an address. I’m always on the lookout for witty or wild front yard/front porch/sidewalk gardens. An upcoming post will showcase tire gardens here and there around town. Spotted any in your neighborhood?

July 30, 2008 at 8:58 pm 2 comments

gardening in plastic bags

The gardening industry is just that…an industry. The number of gardening products grows exponentially, even though the key ingredients–soil, compost, containers, water, sun, seeds, mulch, pest control, fertilizer stakes–come for cheap or free.

Take containers. Spare tires, kiddie pools, plastic bottles, shoes, and shopping bags work well. Check out these online photo albums from Sampath Jagannathan, a gardener in the UK who experimented with growing veg in plastic shopping bags. He also has a page on You Grow Girl with directions that read like poetry. Sorta.

The benefits of gardening in used plastic bags are similar to gardening in tires: bags retain heat and moisture; bags are portable; planting gardens in bags means fewer bags in the landfill or getting caught in trees. But if you buy designer “planting bags,” you’re not really reducing consumer waste.

For artist Judith Selby Lang, you don’t plant a garden in plastic bags; you plant plastic bags in the shape of a garden. She created “ReCycle Ryoan-ji,” a replica of Kyoto’s Ryoan-ji Garden made entirely out of recycled materials. Her installation went up in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza in April 2007, one month after San Francisco became the first city in the US to ban plastic shopping bags.

July 11, 2008 at 10:25 pm 1 comment


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