Trash Finds: Garden Stuff

“Ooooo! Trash!!” is commonly heard when traveling in the car with me. Brian teases me constantly about my trash-picking habits, but I’ve scored some incredible goodies over the years. #SorryI’mNotSorry (That’s a little Beyonce for you.)

According to him, I get incredibly excited at the mere prospect of trash no matter how disheartening an initial drive-by may be. It’s the potential that excites me.

Now to be clear, I am not talking about dumpster diving. I don’t open any trash can lids or anything. But if someone just cleaned out his attic or garage, the stuff is often in passable condition — just unwanted. Thus, it ends up curbside. For me! 

I’d been looking to buy some wood trellis for the chimney and garage as well as something to support the rose bush we inherited on the side of our house but have been dragging my feet because everything I like it so expensive. So I was thrilled to find a perfectly good, metal one just sitting next to someones garbage bin this morning on my way home from getting coffee.

Then, on my way home after a few hours of work at a local coffee shop, I detoured down a street I don’t usual travel on and scored 10 large tomato cages — something else I’ve had on my “To Buy” list for a while now —all in perfectly good condition.

I practically skipped back to my car after loading them into my trunk. Even Brian was impressed by the condition of them, which is a win. I’ve been known to drag home much worse. Usually furniture.

Asked about his thoughts on my trash picking habits, Brian admitted, “I was never open to it, but you opened my eyes. I still can’t believe someone just tossed those tomato cages in perfect condition!”

To be fair, not all of my finds end up working out. I have to check my project ambition regularly to be sure I’m not underestimating how salvageable a piece is or how much effort it will take to transform something to meet its full potential (think: chairs with sad upholstery or warped furniture requiring a lot of sanding and stain).

There’s also the recycler in me who absolutely hates to create any sort of waste. My mantra is that there is always a use for something or else: donate it. That’s kind of what trash picking is — unintended donation, right?

Either way, after a quick hose down, my new trellis is in place along a fence in the yard supporting some morning glories and the tomato cages have been delicately placed over my tomato plants with the rest stored for next year.

Yay trash! Yay free stuff! Yay for saving money!


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