How to recycle garden furniture: Six tips to refresh your garden on the cheap

With the spiraling cost of living crisis providing a bleak backdrop to the better days we’re heading into, splashing out on expensive new garden furniture isn’t an option for many. However, if you’re looking for cheaper alternatives to bring your garden back to life, buying used or recycled items you already have can often be just as effective, and there are myriad ways to get creative without breaking the bank. .

Re-commerce platform Gumtree has seen searches for garden furniture increase by 103% on its site over the past month, with searches for tables and chairs up 81%.

In the past week alone, more than 125,000 searches have been made on the site for ‘garden’, making it clear that Britons are already stuck in a summer garden refresh.

Hannah Rouch, Marketing Director of Gumtree UK, said: “With summer fast approaching but the cost of living rapidly rising, we are seeing more and more Brits looking for second-hand treasures to furnish. their gardens without breaking the bank.

“Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen searches for garden furniture double, with tools and accessories also on the rise.

“Some of my favorite good finds from Gumtree include an old tin bath and a Victorian fireplace, which could be recycled and turned into planters – as well as aged terracotta pots which look more authentic than anything you could buy new.

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“If you’ve never bought used for your garden, now is the time to try.”

To satisfy the nation’s green fingers without breaking the bank, sat down with Hannah to find out her top tips for finding the best sustainable and used buys to help bring your garden to life, without it. does not cost the earth.

Get out your brush and waterproof your garden

Just as you would indoors, think about how color can add to your garden space.

Hannah said, “Going for black and neutrals can create a casual, modern look, while a pop of color on furniture can create a fun, playful feel.”

Paint can transform tired garden furniture from faded to fantastic.

Hannah said, “For longevity, be sure to use weather-resistant spray paint on metal or outdoor fence paint on wood.

“Add a glaze of polish where needed, so it can stay fresh year after year.”

Optimize your space

Mirrors are particularly effective in small courtyard gardens, roof terraces or limited balconies to add extra dimension.

The reflective effect increases the feeling of space and can help throw light into the most shady areas.

Hannah said: “Look for old mirrors – either metal or glass that you can mount on walls, or just sit on outdoor furniture.

Nest mirrors among the foliage to create the illusion of a “secret garden” or open up a courtyard by placing an arched mirror in front of a table.

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The bigger the pot, the better

Flowerpots are an easy item to recycle, and you probably already have a lot of equipment.

Kitchen pots and pans work well when you remove the handles or use a large metal fish pot to create a more industrial look.

If you can’t part with pans, second-hand pans are also a great inexpensive option.

Hannah said: “Savings can be made by buying second-hand plant pots – you can get beautifully aged terracotta at a great price.

“In small spaces, planting a handful of the largest pots you can find will create a more cohesive and relaxing feel than lots of small ones – your plants will be happier too.

“Larger pots can also act as a blank canvas on which you can put your own mark and make them truly unique to you.”

Wooden pallets and decks

If your budget is tight, turn a wooden pallet into a rustic, edgy coffee table.

Adding casters to the bottom and adding a splash of vibrant color will breathe new life into the old piece of wood.

Use old patio clippings to create a corner sofa or a garden path. If you cut the decking cutouts to size, you can curve them neatly among the gravel to create a fun, flexible path.

Get creative with landscaping

Hannah said: “Tough landscaping can cost a small fortune – but you can buy paving slabs and sleepers for a second-hand shot from local vendors on Gumtree.

“A lot of times people who do a little home improvement themselves will have waste they don’t need, and you can give it another life instead of going to the landfill.”

Scan your space

Sometimes all a garden needs is a quick cleanup to rejuvenate it.

Hannah said, “You can save a fortune buying used tools, and they’re often beautifully pre-loved.

“In small paved spaces you can get by with a good hand trowel, broom, dustpan and brush – although these are crucial whatever the size of your garden. I love finishing a good gardening session with a scan!

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