Stephen came across my old Garden Shed Hall of Fame (now located in this gallery) and sent me his own contributions (photos and descriptions) of his garden in Australia. He also has a self-professed aversion to computers, so he doesn’t have a website for me to send you to. Fortunately for us, he stayed at the screen long enough to send these photos and story.
I hope you’ll enjoy his creations as much as I do. This is repurposing at its finest.
Thank you for sending these photos, Stephen. Your work is truly outstanding. I wish I could put you to work in my garden!
Thought you may like this, as it’s arisen from a different environment than some of the others on your blog. Here in the Darling Ranges of Western Australia you can’t sink a spade without striking rock (it’s a hell of a place to bury a dog).
When my neighbour was getting a swimming pool installed we opened up the fence & dumped a lot of the rubble in my backyard. This is the rubble in reconstituted form. The quoinwork is made from old bricks pulled out of dumpsters and landfill. The dome is made from brick covered in tile mosaic. The cost of the tiles was almost half the entire cost of the shed because I was particularly choosy about the colour & quality, meaning that just any old fragments would not do. Even so, the entire cost of the shed amounted to less than a thousand dollars, not counting physiotherapy.
This is my courtyard. Originally there was swimming pool there, installed in 1974 when the house was built. However most of the time I was in the pool I was cleaning it.
As all the rooflines sloped in towards the pool they channelled the fallen eucalypt leaves into the thing. (Eucalypts shed copiously for 4 months a year to avoid summer water loss through transpiration). Being fibreglass I was able to sell the pool, then I raised the wall, building potplant niches into it with built-in reticulation.
The splashback with the beetle mosaic is all made from scraps, except for two glass beads I bought for the eyes.
The tap (a 1950s relic scavenged from a dumpster) works and was installed by a plumber who needed a careful repair executed on an antique chest of drawers (no money involved there). The square hole beneath the splashback is not ornamental either, as the paving (handmade wood fired bricks with thumbprints in) channels storm water out through it.
The problem with raising the courtyard wall was in matching 1974 bricks of a type no longer produced. Answer: dismantle the brick retaining wall forming a raised bed on the outside of the courtyard & re-use the bricks. This retaining wall was then replaced by a stone one, barrowed in from nearby earthworks.
This is a close up of the beetle mosaic on the garden shed. For this mosaic all of the tile fragments were scavenged. Women tend to hate beetle mosaic, and two have even jumped to the instantaneous conclusion that this particular one is of a roach. Personally I find beetles fascinating, and having segmented bodies they lend themselves to being rendered in tile.