Rubbish Garden at Chelsea Flower Show
Garden designer Claire Whitehouse has built a garden around rubbish as the main attraction in this year's Chelsea Garden Show, opening today. The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) commissioned the rubbish garden "to show that recycling, re-using and reclaiming can make for a fantastic, usable, modern garden that can attract wild birds and create a haven for other wildlife".
The show also has set strict standards this year to eliminate the use of peat, as the peatlands are habitats for birds and rare plants.
* Pile leaves up in a quiet corner and a hedgehog may choose it as a home for the winter.
* Save water by growing plants that need less water, such as herbs, lavenders and buddleias that attract more wildlife to your garden too.
* Use strips of yoghurt pot as plant labels.
* Use mulches around plants to keep the water in.* Plastic bottles cut in half make ideal mini greenhouses for seedlings.
* Pile some logs up in a shady corner and minibeasts will make their home there.
* Plant pot saucers and dustbin lids make good birdbaths.
* Old rope can be used as a handrail or looped between pergola posts to train a climber along.
* Cut the tops off old wellies and bury them to contain the roots of invasive plants such as mint.
* Spare copper piping could be used to make a windchime.
* Egg boxes make good seed trays.
* Gather leaves in autumn, put them in a black plastic bag and put holes in it to create mulch.
* Old bricks and paving slabs can be used to make the frame of a compost heap.
* Make bird shapes from paper and put them on windows so that the birds don't crash into them.
* Cut off old sunflower heads and hang them up. Birds eat the seeds and bugs hibernate in them.
* Use water from your water butt for indoor plants in winter. Just let the water warm up inside first.
* Use the fingers from old gardening gloves to mask sharp tools.
* Use leftover wood from DIY projects to make a nestbox for the birds, a batbox or a birdtable. *Small plant pots make excellent containers for birdcake - which is made by mixing seeds with fat.