Category Archives: Reusing

Cost-Effective Landscaping…

When I moved into my fiancé’s house almost a year ago I knew I wasn’t marrying a gardener.  While he doesn’t haven’t a green thumb he certainly makes up for it in the kitchen.  So it was a simple plan when I moved in… I would garden and he would cook.  However we do cross over a little as I do like to cook and I think I have given him a little confidence in the gardening realm (well at least with the mowing).

Today I was on my way home and I saw a sign for free pavers.  I stopped and got out of the car and to my surprise it was just what I was after for placing a rock border around the garden (well it has got me off to a good start) and some pavers for stepping stones to the letter box.


After I looked at my no-cost handy work I started to think the front garden transformation has become a real tribute to sustainability in the sense of materials costing me nothing, lawn cost nothing (the real bonus with that was I didn’t even have to lay it) and apart from a few plants they to have cost me nothing.

The main outcome for the front garden is for it to be a butterfly garden and the rocks were a perfect addition as they need somewhere to rest and warm up.  Along with some nectar plants all I need now is a nice birdbath or something to ensure butterflies and birds have what they need to drink and eat.

So I guess there you have it.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to landscape your garden.  Generally what is required is a little patience because sometimes you may just have to wait for materials to be available.  All I can say is be on the look out and don’t be afraid to ask people if they require something or what they are doing with the left overs.  Bartering is another good practice.  That’s how I manage to get a lot of my plants (my son has a little nursery set up for native Australian plants and teenagers are always up for a good deal).

Next I might have to sneak in a few vegetables throughout the garden beds out the front.  My fiancé seems to think you can only grow those types of things in a backyard.  Well I think he may be in for a lesson on permaculture.

Related Articles…

Garden Recycling – Homelife

Butterfly nectar plants of the Adelaide Region – Butterfly Conservation SA Inc.

10 Steps to a Butterfly Garden – Melbourne Zoo




Op Shopping With aTwist

My fiancé and I had to find a birthday present for his Mum. I’m one for finding presents that are a little on the different side and err on the side of sustainability.

My fiancé’s Mum loves her op shopping. She can hunt down a bargain like you wouldn’t believe, especially in relation to clothing. Let’s face it, op shopping, saves a lot of money, helps with many worthwhile charities along the way and it is great from a sustainability perspective. However looking through op shops on your own can be boring and you tend to stick to your own territory. So I found the answer…

An op shop bus tour! I remember seeing one being run out of Melbourne on a TV program one evening and I wondered if they run something like that here in Adelaide. My search led me to find this little business called You…Us and a Bus.

I organised the May tour for my fiancé’s mum, his sister and myself ($35 per head) and it was so much fun. We met in Adelaide at the Goodwill shop (this is where I scored myself a near brand new pair of jeans for $1) and looked around until the bus arrived. Once we were badge up and on the bus we headed to Blackwood. Along the way we stopped at another shop, where I indulged $7.50 and bought 5 books (some yummy times ahead).

Some yummy times ahead

Along the way was fun with our two lovely hosts for the tour, Shelly and Rowena, with prizes, a bit of extra shopping and plenty of laughs and that was just on the bus. Once in Blackwood we had a couple of hours to look through another few shops with morning tea thrown in as well (which was lovely).

It was a great way to spend a Saturday morning. Guilt free retail therapy! With the bargains I found and good times had, the money spent paying for the tour was certainly worthwhile. Another thing it was great to go and explore somewhere that you wouldn’t usually go.

5 Green Stars *****