Green in your garden is about more than flowers, fruits and foliage.
It's also about eco-friendly gardening, which includes recycling whenever and whatever you can.
For instance, your daily newspaper makes an excellent weed-deterring material in beds. Most publishers, including the Daily Press, use organic pigments that are safe and decompose. Place six to eight layers of newsprint over bare soil that you first weeded. Wet the newspaper with a hose, and then top dress with attractive wood mulch. Use cardboard from leftover boxes for stubborn spots.
In addition, the plastic bag that keeps your newspaper dry is good for picking up pet waste and disposing of it in the trash. I use newspaper bags to pick up pine cones that bombard my lawn.
On a grander scale, items like rusted-out wagons, empty barrels, abandoned tubs and sinks, cracked jugs, old bikes, worn-out shoes and even damaged crab pots can be recycled into flower containers or garden art.
To jump start your imagination, I invited several local garden centers to show how ordinary items become extraordinary sights when you use plants in various sizes and colors. You'll also find extra examples of these recycling projects at my gardening blog – http://www.dailypress.com/digginblog.
by Countryside Gardens, Hampton; 722-9909
2 pink zinnias
1 yellow celosia
1 red celosia
1 dark red sun coleus
2 Margarita sweet potato vines
1 amaranthus, also called "summer poinsettia"
1 Japanese blood grass