Scraphappy March -A Garden Edition

After last month’s exciting dog feeder in a kitchen drawer, I’ve yet again got to hand over to Mr. Tialys for the March edition of Scraphappy where new things are made from scraps.

Now that he has a more manageable garden to  oversee, he’s rarely out of it when he’s not in endless Zoom meetings for work.  He’s always loved a good compost bin and, despite the fact we now have a fraction of the garden waste we had at the French house, he apparently needs a triple one to go alongside the plastic ones left behind by the previous owners.

Is it possible to have a compost bin stash?

Anyway, you might remember that the previous gardener had spread black plastic mulch pretty much all over the place and covered it with gravel to ward off  the dreaded ground elder and, along with some strange garden ‘ornaments’, scattered quite a lot of random pieces of wood about the place too.

All this was grist to the compost bin building mill.  Apart from the garden ornaments that is.

Remember this one?

Well, shortly afterwards I stumbled across his evil twin and, a few weeks after that, as if they were breeding during the night in some sort of B movie horror, a third one.


Hopefully that will be the last of them.

So, as well as the odd wooden pallet….

and other planks in various stages of dilapidation, all used for cross pieces,……..

there was what looked like the makings of a wooden pergola stacked behind the garage.

With unseemly haste, and without consultation, these were mercilessly sawn into the requisite sizes to make the main supports for the new bins.

We don’t need a wooden pergola – apparently 🙄

Then the leftover netting from making the garden dog proof (hopefully!) formed the back and sides with some of the ubiquitous black plastic stapled over that to create a large bin in three sections.

The fronts have been left open for ease of ‘turning over’ – a technical gardening term that I believe means forking all the gunk over once in a while to mix it all in.  Apparently, some sort of Heath Robinson adjustable frontage will be constructed that will be moved up as the amount of composting material grows.

Speaking of which, we have much less grass now which is ,apparently, a very important addition to compost heaps.  This is mostly due to having less land than before but also to having a rather large garden pond in the middle of what would be the lawn.  So, Mr. Tialys has gone begging for grass clippings from anybody nearby willing to empty theirs into a bag for him.

But, that’s not the worst of it.  The other day I spotted a large sack on our driveway and went to investigate.  In a gesture that might be considered abuse in some neighbourhoods, it contained a significant amount of fresh horse poo.  Mr. T. was almost as excited as the dogs were when he saw it but did complain it ‘wasn’t well rotted enough really’ although he used it anyway.

Ew! Is it any wonder I leave the gardening to him?

So here, in the furthest corner of our garden (thankfully), is the compost bin stash in all its glory made from scrap wood, scrap plastic, leftover netting and scrap poo or, as I prefer to call it, horse scrap 🤣.



Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.




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  1. #1 by Wild Daffodil on March 15, 2021 - 08:29

    Fantastic! Your new garden holds the sort of treasure I love – and I’m NOT talking about those spooky elves! All that wood for new constructions! (sad about the pergola though)
    I do love making compost and I have five compost bins, but because I don’t have a Mr T, and I do have a problem with pesky rodents, I drill air and drainage holes in black plastic rubbish bins and that makes very good compost.

    • #2 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 12:49

      We do have the plastic bins too but he prefers these for reasons too boring for a non-gardener (me) to repeat – although I did ask him the question as he’s sitting opposite me working.

  2. #3 by M. L. Kappa on March 15, 2021 - 08:36

    Those garden ornaments are priceless’ 🤣 Perhaps if you put them on eBay?

    • #4 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 12:51

      I think I might just stick them in somewhere unobtrusive and let them rust away naturally.

      • #5 by cedar51 on March 17, 2021 - 04:34

        I would probably give them a coat of spray paint, one colour and put them somewhere to give people that come upon them a ?question as such. Or if needed a bit like a garden stake that allowed some plant to drape over them…

      • #6 by tialys on March 17, 2021 - 18:34

        We actually found that one of these still had the shop label on and it was described as a ‘plant stake’. Would have to be a very small one to benefit from such a tiny stake and a very showy one to hold its own against a colourful elf.

  3. #7 by Emmely on March 15, 2021 - 08:54

    Horse scrap. Hehehe. Loved this story!

  4. #9 by DawnGillDesigns on March 15, 2021 - 10:11

    The best compost bins are made from scrap. Coincidentally, I shared a photo of #MrG’s special manure bin on Saturday.. ( check the comments to see it tidied up, if you need another virtual manure fix!

    • #10 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 12:57

      I’m not even going to show that to Mr. T. – he’d be green with envy.

  5. #11 by gillian Lodder on March 15, 2021 - 12:20

    What is wrong with writing Horse Manure? One of best ingredients to put on dug ground.

    • #12 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 12:59

      Nothing at all wrong with it – that’s why he’s glad we’re living in a place famous for stabling and training racehorses so plenty going spare – he just prefers it when it’s well rotted.

  6. #13 by claire93 on March 15, 2021 - 12:21

    sounds like Mr Tialys is as happy as a pig in muck, with his fabulous compost heaps and oooooohhhh I can almost smell it from here, horse poo !!!!
    As for your triplets – I think they’re rather cute, but if you don’t like them, I’m sure you’ll find someone who collects this sort of thing if you list on ebay.

    • #14 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 13:01

      He is very pleased with himself.
      I think the triplets will be positioned somewhere unobtrusive and left to age gracefully. If we were still in France, I’d package them up and send them to you 😁

  7. #15 by Laurie Graves on March 15, 2021 - 14:44

    Oh, this post made me laugh. Especially “Mr. T. was almost as excited as the dogs were when he saw it…” Simple pleasures, indeed! And earthy ones, too. 😉 Those compost bins look pretty darned scrappy. And absolutely wonderful.

    • #16 by tialys on March 16, 2021 - 18:55

      ‘Earthy’ – that’s a good word for it 😁

  8. #17 by Quimper Hitty on March 15, 2021 - 15:07

    And all ready to receive garden and kitchen scraps – also could accept cotton, linen and other natural fibre scraps! Couldn’t be scrappier than than this project!

    • #18 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 15:20

      I keep telling my husband that natural fibre will compost well but he’s concerned about the length of time it will take.

  9. #19 by katechiconi on March 15, 2021 - 15:32

    Now this is something like! Proper scrap usage, and all from bits fossicked out of your own back yard! Except those three vile elves, who are clearly doing some sort of nasty self-cloning in the undergrowth… You do sound a bit of a townie about the black gold, aka horse poo, though. Sheep poo is best, horse and cow poo’s a bit ‘hot’ and chicken poo is very ‘hot. Mr Tialys is right about it needing to rot a bit and get milder before you put it through the compost heap. Just leave it in the bag and it’ll be fine so long as you don’t seal it up too tightly and let the worms get in. Did you really wish he’d made you a nice pergola instead, though?

    • #20 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 16:19

      Well, being in Australia I guess you would vote for sheep poo but, we do happen to be surrounded by sheep here so there’ll be no shortage. In fact, he saved a lamb from the river this morning so they owe him some of their black gold. I am the original townie (despite living fairly rurally for the latter half of my life so far) but Mr. T. spent his childhood in the Derbyshire Peak District so is much more countryfied.
      We already have a metal pergola and two arches so I don’t know where we would have put a large wooden one so I’ll let him off.

      • #21 by katechiconi on March 15, 2021 - 22:19

        I’m not being partisan about the old jumbuck, it’s just that sheep poo breaks down faster because of its size and relative dryness, and is therefore quicker to compost. And that’s probably a lot more than you want to know about poo, so I won’t go into N:P:K ratios and all that.

      • #22 by tialys on March 16, 2021 - 11:43

        You truly are an expert on almost everything. Do you remember, before the internet was so widely available, ‘paging the oracle’ on the T.V.? You are my oracle – or at least when Mr. T. isn’t available. (Had to put that last bit in in case he reads this 😉)

      • #23 by katechiconi on March 16, 2021 - 12:24

        Mr T is naturally the local hands-on expert. I did huge amounts of reading when I tree-changed from corporate life in Melbourne to country living and growing a lot of my own food in northern NSW, keeping sheep, chickens and rabbits for meat. I wanted the best chance of making a success of it. In the end, I just wasn’t young enough and strong enough to make a go of it alone. Some of the knowledge stuck, though!

      • #24 by tialys on March 17, 2021 - 18:36

        Not many people would be able to make a go of something like that – especially alone. You are my hero for even trying 🦸‍♀️

      • #25 by katechiconi on March 17, 2021 - 21:28

        Awww, get along with you ❤

  10. #26 by kathyreeves on March 15, 2021 - 16:22

    That looks like ours, might be a good thing the husbands have an ocean plus between them!

    • #27 by tialys on March 15, 2021 - 16:39

      Yes, male bonding over the compost heaps could almost certainly become ‘a thing’.

  11. #28 by tottietalkscrafts on March 15, 2021 - 18:16

    LOL I just told my husband about the bag of horse clump on the driveway and he roared with laughter and declared that he totally relates (he should… we have been there and done that and still compost cheerfully all year round – in our winter world, that’s a feat). Happy Composting! Love your blog!

    • #29 by tialys on March 16, 2021 - 11:47

      ‘Happy Composting’ – the phrase even sounds joyful doesn’t it.

  12. #31 by magpiesue on March 15, 2021 - 18:51

    I can’t stop laughing! Oh how I wish I lived close enough to benefit from your husband’s endeavors! I can barely get my guy to even go outside, much less be a help in what passes for a garden around our house. I am equally delighted and envious after reading this post. 😀

  13. #33 by Moira on March 15, 2021 - 20:15

    Great use of scraps of all sorts….lol

    • #34 by tialys on March 16, 2021 - 11:46

      Amazing where scraps can be sourced from isn’t it?

  14. #35 by onesmallstitch on March 15, 2021 - 20:40

    and alpaca poo is really special if hubby can get his hands/spade on any, love the 3 part bins. I put all my fibre/spinning scraps in the compost, they don’t take too long to break down.

    • #36 by tialys on March 16, 2021 - 11:45

      Ooh, I believe there is an Alpaca Farm open to visitors (in ‘normal’ times) quite local to us here. Something to investigate in the fullness of time.

  15. #37 by CurlsnSkirls on March 16, 2021 - 00:32

    This apartment dweller feels sooo inadequate to comment on garden poo, but got a good laugh over the poo bag. 💕

    • #38 by tialys on March 16, 2021 - 11:40

      It came while the OH was out but, luckily, I remembered he’d told me he’d asked one of the local horse owners for any ‘spares’.

  16. #40 by nanacathy2 on March 20, 2021 - 12:59

    Mr T and Mr E would get on so well. I hear complaints about horse manure being too fresh, and we have compost bin corner. As a small boy Mr E apparently surveyed the neighbours on the subject of compost , then wrote an article about it, then sent it to a gardening magazine who published it as a letter and sent him ten Bob.

    • #41 by tialys on March 20, 2021 - 18:02

      They would. When Mr. T. was a boy he managed to breed clawed toe frogs in captivity which was (is?) quite difficult apparently and he wrote to some organisation or other to tell them how he’d done it – (lots of mud apparently) and a zoo offered him some White’s tree frogs in exchange for some of his clawed toe ones, etc. etc.
      I’d rather have had ten bob myself. 😉

  17. #42 by Carol on March 22, 2021 - 11:17

    A brilliant bit of re-cycling, looks like you have some Rhubarb on the way……. Rhubarb Crumble, Wine, lots of lovely things to do with Rhubard. Even a natural insecticide.

    • #43 by tialys on March 22, 2021 - 15:26

      We love rhubarb too but we’re a bit perplexed at the plants you see growing as they are tiny and very spindly. We were tempted to dig it up and plant some different ones but we’ll wait and see what it does first I think.

  18. #44 by Jamie@hookthisweavethat on March 31, 2021 - 09:06

    Impressed! You are making great strides in taking the garden. Hope you don’t find anymore of those imps

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