New Life for an Old Rug


A new garden area with freshly laid rug weed-block. Disguised with wood chips, no one will ever know it’s there.

Nothing lasts forever. Even well-made items eventually come to the end of their useful life.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not useful…in a different way.

Rugs get hard use in our house—there’s an awful lot of traffic in a small space. Add a dose of wool moths and high UV radiation, and it’s no wonder our rugs eventually start falling apart.

But tatty wool rugs don’t need to end up in the landfill. They can serve as excellent weed-blocking mulch in the garden. They last for years and eventually simply rot away. So much nicer than the plastic weed-block that eventually breaks up and stops working, but still needs to be removed and disposed of.

And as an added bonus, out here where there is no rubbish collection, it means we don’t need to haul the old carpet to the tip.

A Concrete Solution

2016-10-04-12-35-55Whenever we mix concrete, we’re always left with a little extra. What do you do with half a bucket of concrete?

In the past we’ve made the odd decorative paver with the leftovers—scattered a few pretty shells in the bottom of a plant pot saucer and filled the saucer with concrete. But we don’t have many saucers, and they really don’t use much concrete.

Last time we poured concrete, however, we came up with a perfect use for the extra—garden weights.

It’s windy here. Very windy. I was forever grabbing rocks, firewood, and broken bricks to weigh down tarps, frost cloth, bird netting, and everything else light enough to blow away. But they’re inconvenient—awkward to handle and often not really heavy enough to do the job.

These garden weights are perfect, though.

I filled cheap plastic flower pots (from plants we bought at the garden centre) with concrete, but before it hardened, I added a handle made of high tensile fencing wire. The first batch I made, I just used the wire. They’re nice, and very useful, but the wire is tough on the hands when you’re carrying them. This time I added a short piece of irrigation pipe to the wire to make a comfortable handle (you could also use a bit of old garden hose).

The best thing about them is they’re entirely made of ‘waste’—leftover concrete, plant pots that would have ended up in the rubbish, wire salvaged from some other project, and used irrigation pipe.

No, that’s not true. The best thing about them is that they work great—they’re nice and heavy, uniform in size, and easy to lug around.