Gardening on a budget with recycled fun!

“Are you going to use that?”  Gardeners are masters at recycling—plants, curbside scavenges, leaves, whatever. Give us somebody’s leftovers and we’ll find a way to use them!  You can have a ton of fun without a ton of money.

Plants are recycling themselves, too, just in time to feed insects as temperatures drop. Butterflies and bees head straight for fall sensation queen’s wreath (Antigonon leptopus), also called coral vine.

Queen's wreath bee austin texas garden

Isn’t this a cute recycled fence with coral vine?

Queen's wreath on recycled rusty fence

In my garden, resilient ‘County Girl’ mums didn’t look so hot a month ago. All it took was a breath of cool air for them to shoot up over ‘Helen von Stein’ lamb’s ears and native groundcover snake herb (Dyschoriste linearis).

Country Girl mum with lamb's ear and snake herb

My new pink Turk’s cap sulked a bit this summer, since I planted late. Now, it’s firmly committed to join native Plumbago scandens and one of the blue mistflowers (Conoclinium coelestinum).

pink turks cap with plumbago scandens and blue mist flower

Maggie’s looking prettier than ever.

maggie rose austin texas garden

Dr. William C. Welch from Texas A&M found this rose on family property in Louisiana and recycled it into the trade for all of us to enjoy. Here’s something he just told me: rub your fingers on the stem right below the flower for the scent of black pepper!

Now here’s a glorious recycle, ‘Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue’ bluebonnet, the latest A&M Texas Superstar. Daphne gives us the backstory as her Plant of Week.

Lady Bird Johnson Royal Blue bluebonnet

So, do you have thyme that looks like this?

Woody thyme photo by Daphne Richards

One of my first garden mentors told me, “Keep cutting thyme or you’ll lose it.” Daphne explains why this week, when she puts herself on the line as Question of the Week. With her busy schedule, she flat ran out of time to deal with her thyme in a timely manner! See how she’s cycling it back into lush growth.

Cutting back woody thyme Daphne Richards

Gardeners have a knack for keeping things out of the landfill! One is Sara Breuer, featured on the NXNA Garden tour, with her cute plant “tag.”

brick for plant identify NXNA austin garden

On CTG’s tour in Temple, Master Gardener Mary Lew Quesinberry charms her front porch with repurposed wood.

front porch table from recycled wood Temple Texas

And check out this supreme “bottle tree,” crafted by Lori, blogger from The Garden of Good and Evil.

Bottle tree at Garden of Good and Evil

William Glenn from Garden-Ville grabs our imagination this week when he joins Tom with repurposed finds that are inexpensive and fun.

Tom Spencer and William Glenn Garden-Ville

Garden-Ville converted pallets that once held materials into pretty inventive  tool and supply storage.

Recycled pallet tool storage Central Texas Gardener

Here’s a planter made from  PVC pipes, suspended on old fencing. Perfect for the small space gardener! Pecan mulch helps keep in the moisture. In the background:  another intriguing way to dress up a fence with inverted pots, sporting plants that like good drainage.

PVC pipe planters Garden-Ville on Central Texas Gardener

Their Creedmoor location is aligned with Texas Disposal Systems, where you can buy crushed bottle glass. And YES, they have it in blue!

blue glass mulch Garden-Ville

William shows off  the glass in homemade concrete stepping stones, framed in an aluminum discard from something or other. You can leave them in the metal or just use it as a mold.

concrete stepping stone with blue glass Garden-Ville

Kids love to visit TDS, too, for the exotic game ranch, where they can meet guys like this.

Black Rhinocerous at Texas Disposal Systems exotic game ranch

Eric Pedley from East Austin Succulents knows how to recycle a good old thing, too! On Backyard Basics, he propagates succulents for a wealth of new plants on a limited garden budget.

propagate succulent Eric Pedley East Austin Succulents

One of my recycled plants, Cobweb spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana), attracted a beneficial hoverfly (syrphid fly) minutes after its fall flowers opened.

syrphid fly Cobweb spiderwort (Tradescantia sillamontana)

I got this passalong from Paul Lofton in Pflugerville, where he relied on ingenuity and plant propagation to turn his grassy yard into intriguing garden destinations.

creative path garden Pflugerville Central Texas Gardener

He and his daughter gave this foundling a pretty new use with their mosaic project.

commode mosaic plant holder Pflugerville garden

On our visit, director Ed Fuentes captures Paul and CTG friend Matt Jackson, who nominated this garden, to see how to grow cuttings in a recycled water bottle.

Propagating plants Central Texas Gardener

Here’s our short web extra where Paul shows how to do it yourself.

Finally, here’s his whole inspiring story!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda