Recycled Garden Supplies and the Art and Logic of Thrifting

(Or "Why would I buy something new when I could scrounge, thrift, or reuse something with more character that is already out there in the world?")

recycled playhouse, recycled planters

Such is the motto of much of my life. Why buy anything new? I draw the line at underwear, but seriously people. There's enough stuff on this earth to choose from without buying new.

There are several factors at play here:

One is that I have been passionately "green" for most of my life. (Have I mentioned being called "Nature Girl" in third grade?) I volunteered to be the Recycling Coordinator for my family when I got my driver's license and spent one Saturday a month sorting and binning up at the recycling center. (EcoGeek might have been a better nickname, girls.)

Another is that I am frugal. Not cheap, mind you, but frugal. If I can buy X for $0.85 please explain to me again why I need to buy it new for $4.95?

And third, I love the treasure hunt of finding and repurposing a cast-off item into something wonderful. It is an artistic challenge. Those moments of "oooh… what could I use this for?" are magical for me.

What does this have to do with anything, you ask? Right. We were about to discuss recycled garden supplies and the art of thrifting.

This weekend was our towns semi-annual Rummage Sale Weekend. It can be overwhelming. But with some focus, patience, snacks for the kids, and coffee, you might find some awesome treasures.

boy Waldorf Doll

There is The House to visit first, a family who works for a natural toy company and has a garage bursting with natural playthings and European kids clothes. (I swear people show up there before sunrise.)

And then there are the pleasant surprises you discover tucked into sheds and barns at the edge of town and on rickety card tables just down the block.

vintage coffee mug

We spent a portion of three days cruising around on foot, bike and by car and found some lovely treasures (including my new favorite coffee mug). I loaded up on vintage linens that are destined to become pants for Lupine, and a few that I can't bear to cut.

recycled garden pails

I also found a stack of metal pails (and a beautiful $1 copper box) for the garden. I envision herbs and a riot of flowers in here by mid summer.

Oh yeah, and this:

Recycled fence

recycled fences


We scored a fence! An entire beautifully weathered, functionally perfect fence! (And the price was right too. Ahem. Free). A neighbor was removing it and I pulled over. "What are you going to do with your fence?" I asked. "Do you want it?" she said. Hmmm… YES.

And so, the Law of Attraction has once again delivered some lovely goods into our life. Thanks, universe (and thanks, Missy and Trip for our rocking new fence!).

Dog and Child Containment Field complete.  Cost $0. Now that's some artful thrifting.

3 thoughts on “Recycled Garden Supplies and the Art and Logic of Thrifting

  1. Denise says:

    ohmigosh – I can’t believe you haven’t told me about the sweet waldorf doll garage sale score!! I know, I know you just don’t want to rub it in, since I was out of town that weekend– THE weekend. Grrrr : )

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