Gardening and Repurposing

I love the word, repurposing. It sounds so much better than salvaging or being frugal. Repurposing a work bench into a potting table – it’s Yankee gardening at its best.

2′ x 8′ Work bench

After a dear friend passed away, his wife asked if we could possibly use a work bench he had built in their basement. This was a good size workbench – nothing fancy but big and heavy. We hauled it home in our trailer which was worse for the wear after the trip.

The first summer, we put it in our hoop house and used it for potting plants. It worked great, but it was so long that it was taking up valuable growing space. We put more raised beds in the hoop house, moved the table outside and then into the barn for the winter.

We loved the table, but could we use it? How about a reciprocating saw to cut it in two? Seemed kind of radicle for my daughter and I, but it worked. We now have two potting tables in two different areas of the yard, and we use them every day when we are outside gardening.

Because the tables would sit outside all summer, I wanted to protect them so they would last for many more gardening seasons.

Instead of having to go to a local box store, we are lucky that we have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore nearby. We went there and purchased a gallon of exterior paint for $5, painted both tables, and still have at least half a gallon left for other projects.

Our ReStore is a great place where you can find a bargain while feeling good about repurposing something, donating to a good cause, and keeping items out of the landfill.

When my daughter, granddaughter, or I stand at one of the tables potting or dividing plants, I think of our friends.

Friends we made a trip to England with to see the sights. Along the way, we were treated to some beautiful English gardens and unbelievably beautiful window boxes.

Our fellow gardeners in England have long been known for their spectacular gardens, but I had no idea what they could do with window boxes. Spectacular! Now I’m wondering – where could I put some window boxes?

 Good friends, good memories. I know they would applaud our repurposing.

Wonderful window box above London pub.

Window box at hotel where we stayed.

About Judy@NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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6 Responses to Gardening and Repurposing

  1. rivardfarm says:

    I love the word re-purposing. Growing up, my dad always had a collection of odds and ends that would somehow come together to build something wonderful. He’s still at it today at age 87! He built himself a hoop house with stuff he had laying around. He even found two old greenhouse fans on Craigslist for twenty buck. All he had to do is buy the plastic and he had a place to grow tomatoes.

    Your tables look great! And the window boxes are beautiful. I remember seeing amazing window boxes like that in Old San Juan a few years back. I wonder why we don’t see more of them around here.


  2. easygardener says:

    Always satisfying to be able to revamp something and give it a new lease of life. I am envious of those window boxes – they are so attractive.


  3. Pingback: Potting box | Miranda1929

  4. Susan Adcox says:

    I also thoroughly enjoyed the window boxes during our visit to the UK. And the Pacific Northwest and that side of Canada–they get my vote for the most beautiful hanging baskets.


  5. I have always wished for window boxes, those are gorgeous! But i decided that It is not something I really have the extra time for. The impact is def. worth it though.


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