Guest Post: How to Create a Rubbish Garden

Chloe Marchbank is enjoys teaching her children about the environment and recycling.
Today’s guest post is written by Chloe Marchbank, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters. Chloe is passionate about teaching her daughters about the importance of caring for the environment and religiously recycles whatever and whenever she can.
Now, I know that on reading the title of this article, you’re probably thinking, “Why on earth would I want to make my garden look rubbish? Surely, I’m after tips on how to make it look nicer?” Well, before I go on any further, let me explain myself – because, when I use the term ‘rubbish’, I am in fact referring to using old household items to make your garden not only look nicer, but to also make it more eco-friendly – with the help of your children!
Your children are bound to love getting involved with helping you make these creations for your garden, and what’s more, it’ll also teach them the importance of recycling old items to help and do something positive for the environment around them.
So, don your gardening gloves and get outside with the kids, and enjoy making a wonderful rubbish garden for your family:
Cress Eggshell Heads
Cress egg heads are a fun activity that can make use of all those empty eggshells. (Image:
This idea has been a favourite amongst many mums looking to introduce their children to the importance of recycling for a long time. And, it’s extremely simple to do – simply save your used eggshells after cooking, and give them to the kids to decorate with fun faces with whatever materials they choose – felt tip pens, goggly-eyes and fuzzy pom-poms are always great to use! It may be a good idea to place the shells in their old egg box in order to keep them upright whilst the kids are decorating them!
Then, put some cotton wool inside the shells, dampen them with a little bit of water and sprinkle some cress seeds all over the cotton wool – all that’s left to do is pop them on a windowsill or outside in the garden on a warm, dry day and watch as the faces start to sprout their very own cress hair!
Milk Carton Watering Can
Using milk bottles as watering cans is a great way to re-use plastic bottles before recycling them. (Image:
As a child, I always use to love helping my mum go round the garden and water the plants, and I think by encouraging your own children to do so is a great way to teach them about nature. But, rather than just popping down to your local garden center to buy another watering can for your youngster, why not help them make their very own? All you need to do is wash out an empty milk carton, pop the lid back on and carefully pierce a few holes in the lid using a sharp utensil, such as corkscrew (making sure to keep this out of your children’s reach). Fill it up with water and let your child water the flowers to their heart’s content!
And, what’s more, if their watering can becomes over-used and starts to become a little worn and tatty, you can throw it straight into the recycling bin to be recycled.
Toilet Roll Plant Holders
Starting seeds off in a toilet roll
A toilet roll seedling we made at home.
We never spare a thought for finished toilet rolls; after all, once the paper has run out, we just take them off the holder and chuck them in the bin, right? Well, next time one runs out in your household, rather than throwing them away, give them to your children – because toilet roll holders are perfect for preparing plants and flowers in. Fill the inside with a little bit of compost, and let your child choose which flower they’d like to grow by buying a few seeds from your local garden center. For long rooted plants such as sweet peas or running beans, you can keep the toilet roll cardboard at it’s normal length, but if your child wants to grow normal plants, then cutting them in half may be more suitable.
Once the plants have been prepared, your children can plant them straight into the garden as the cardboard will decompose naturally. Your children will love the excitement of planting their own seed in their own garden and watching it as it grows and develops into a mature plant.
If you’re unsure of what can and can’t be recycled in your own area, sites such as will be able to provide you with more information.