The gardener knows how to turn garbage into compost. Therefore our anger, sadness, and fear is the best compost for our compassion.
For over a year I have had an image in my head of a vertical garden at the back of one of our lots. One problem: there were four bins of compost in the spot where this needed to go. The bins were in bad shape and needed redoing, and moving it would be a big job.
With all the gardens and a yard that surround our Historic Home along with the houses we have incorporated into the “estate’, we have a lot of yard waste. We use a composting mower for the lawns but there remains the leavings of:
- flower beds and borders
- rose gardens
- a secret garden
- an herb garden
- a kitchen garden (the French call it a potager)
and of course trees. Lots of tress. So we compost. I do not fuss over composting, just chuck the yard debris into the bins and let mother nature do her thing. All that turning and churning defeats one of the main benefits of composting: saving labor. With compost bins at hand there is no:
- bagging and dragging garden leavings for trash pickup (not to mention the extra cost of bags and hauling)
- bundling of limbs and branches (we have a muncher shredder to speed up the process)
- tramping to the garden center to lug bags of compost home – it just waits for me in my bin until needed.
We started over fifteen years ago by building Four 4′ x 4′ x 4′ bins out of scrap lumber and old wire fence. It served us well. We even moved it once and did a bit of shoring up at the time, but the time had come for a fresh start. The bins needed redoing and I needed this spot for my vision. This moving a 16′ x 4′ x 4′ compost pile was a process.
We built new bins out of pallets in a different location. It took thirteen pallets to do what we needed. We also built two solid wood bins to hold the already composted soil. The soil was sifted from the old bins into the new ones, then the old bins were torn apart. Most of this weathered wood is set aside for some pallet shelves.
The Vertical Garden Comes to Light
With the bins moved, we were then able to build the vertical garden using (of course) stuff we had on hand:
- T-posts left from other projects (5 x $3.00)
- Four weathered pallets left from the old bins (4 x $5.00)
- Screws and hardware from our stash ($25.00)
- A mixture of hanging baskets I have managed to accumulate over the years, and (of course) ($30-$60.00)
- composted soil and plants
I did not have to spend any cash for this project, but I estimated costs if you did and it would probably be less than $150. This project illustrates how the ingredients in our lives can be reworked into something fresh and new.
- leaves, debris, and yard waste become fresh potting soil
- weathered pallets become the support for beautiful hanging plants
- a collection of mis-matched hanging pots are gathered into a new space
It is reassuring to me that, not just in the tattered things around me, but in my daily experiences, when surrendered to the Creator, who spoke all things into being, and He is allowed to work, it becomes so fresh and new it is almost unrecognizable. Even if reduced to dirt, it becomes a place for new seeds to sprout and grow-up into a vertical garden in life.
Is there something that seems to be nothing but dirt today? Any Trash, rubbish? How will you let it become a place for a fresh start today? Please share in the comments.