Before And After: Disposal And Recycling


Front bed 1

Jackie had, of course, not been idle during my trip to Nottingham. She has almost completed preparing the front garden beds for winter. It fell to me this morning just to extract a few stubborn euphorbia roots and reset some of the edging stones.

Front bed 2

The Head Gardener completed the task this afternoon.

Griselinia cuttings

Aaron, too, had been busy. He has brought half the griselinia trees down to a reasonable height. By the time he has finished, the burning pile will be even larger.

This leads me to the next section of the garden story.

Derrick at cuttings heap

Disposal of cuttings and sawn limbs is a continuing problem. The first pile, here photographed on 17th June 2014, was just the tip of the iceberg. In my prime I was 6’3″. I don’t know what my height is now, but that should provide an idea of scale.

Bonfire in wheelbarrow

Bonfire on back drive


We will probably always need to be lighting fires. The first were contained, after a fashion, in a discarded wheelbarrow, which was, in that sense, recycled from its original purpose. Eventually it collapsed, and was transported to the Efford Recycling Centre. The first of these two photos was taken on 23rd June 2014, and the second on 25th February 2015.

Broken tiles

Usable stone, as has already been seen, was dug up and recycled elsewhere in the garden. We would occasionally come across pits of broken tiles and other rubble. This we bagged up and disposed of in the municipal dump. After extracting a good third of a metre’s depth of these tiles, I gave up and piled earth on top. It is not an area where we are ever likely to grow anything.

We would almost qualify for a season ticket to the dump.

Bath in gardenBath emptied




When writing of the preparation of the rose garden, I omitted to mention the bath I found buried against the south wall. This was full of earth and invasive plants, and hidden behind a box hedge, the only purpose of which seemed to be to conceal the plumbing. I had to dig into it to discover what it was, then empty it in a confined space, and carry it to the utility end of our plot.

Bath cold frame

It now sits behind the Head Gardener’s shed, where last winter it was successfully recycled into a cold frame, and will be used again as such this year. The top is a recycled sheet from ‘greenhouse unassembled’.

Soon, we will be off out, the purpose of which will be disclosed tomorrow.


  1. I see Bruce is so inspired by your post he is becoming a poet 🙂 The garden was filled with little treasures wasn’t it – some welcome and reusable others not so much – I guess that is what happens when a place is very very old! And imagine, you could become the gathering place for the local Bonfire Night if you play your cards right.

  2. I love recycling ideas and admire what you’ve done with the found both. One use of broken tiles would be a rustic mosaic, if you are into and skilled at that sort of thing.

  3. This place was owned by an old farmer or some rural denizen who just put things out to deal with them later. It’s amazing the stuff tossed out and hidden behind hedges. What stories! And what ingenious recycling efforts.

  4. Love the recycling you do 🙂 do you have a mulching machine? Surprising what you can get through in an afternoon (although the noise is horrendous for sensitive souls)

  5. This is probably a stupid questions, but are you the Head Gardener? Also, do you and Jackie just love gardening or is there an endgame? I mean your garden looks amazing and it’s a lot of work obviously. I’ve been wondering that for a long time and finally decided to ask!

    1. Thank you, Weekly. Ask away. No, Jackie is the Head Gardener, because she is the one with the knowledge. She is also the Cook, and the Chauffeuse. We just love gardening.

      1. That is some love! And I never saw the word “chauffeuse” before either, so thanks for answering my questions and thank you for teaching me a new word too 🙂

  6. Head Gardeners are OK except when they say things like,”I’ve had a thought.” because then I know I will have to get out the saw and/or the chainsaw and the hammer et al.

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