Presently I am in that phase of recycling and re-purposing where discarded items are eyed suspiciously and thoroughly for their hidden purposes. One of those items that came within my reach today was a discarded set of mini blinds.
I have been waiting patiently to find a junker set. It is like an Easter egg hunt. When you least expect it, there will be a set sticking out of someone's trash can. However the elusive discarded blind set didn't appear until today. I think they were thrown away at work and put in some of the cardboard boxes that I brought home. I didn't realize that I had the desired item until today when I glanced into my trashcan and there it was. Tomorrow is my regular trash pick-up day so it was divine intervention. Apparently, when the Husband did a little straightening around outside he put them into the trashcan. He doesn't always recognize the same perceived value in discarded objects that I do. And sometimes he definitely has a point. However, that is not the case here.
|Trimmed plant stakes|
What he could not know was that these blinds will make this year's plant markers. Plant markers are important to me in my gardening efforts. For many reasons, it is important to be able to identify plants. I want to see which plants are doing well and which ones aren't. When was this perennial planted? There are times when you have to be sure which one is which, they can be hard to tell apart. It is also crucial to know exactly where they are located, you don't want to dig up something by mistake or step on something you didn't see. Last year in an effort to be really frugal with my greenhouse budget I used a partial left over can of spray paint to repaint the printed markers that I had saved from previous purchases. I laid them all flat on newspaper and after shaking up the paint can, proceeded to spray them. Well, tried to. They were so light weight they kept flying off into the dirt. Also, it used up too much paint covering the dark writing and plant pictures.
I've also used cut up two liter bottle strips, but they are very sharp and a little too flexible. They are difficult to push into the potting soil. The plastic in the blinds is just right. It helps to curve the top a little so there aren't sharp corners. If I want to be really frugal I can use a pencil (a kid's big pencil works especially well) instead of a permanent marker. Next spring I can erase the name and reuse the marker. Maybe I will find other mini blinds and build up a permanent collection of labels that I will sort alphabetically. The search is half the fun.
Discarded objects can be re-purposed. What about people who aren't as useful or attractive, can we see their possibilities and re-directions? I think we can, if we really want to.