There had been a broken-down old tinny in my backyard for a long time. I’ve never even seen it in water. But it was a very good pirate ship for the boys to play in during the summer holidays when you had to tell them to get off that video game and go outside. Situated under the mango tree, it had plenty of shade; all they needed to add was a little imagination. But that was long ago. I love to recycle and reuse whatever I can, so I sat with a cup of tea, looking at the old tinny, and wondered what I would do with it. It was full of leaves off the mango tree and looked like a real mess. If we did not clean the leaves out soon, they would turn to compost, and that’s when inspiration struck me. Don’t empty it; fill it and plant it out.
My first challenge was to cut the bottom out of the boat so that the garden I planted would have good soil contact and drainage. I wanted the boat to look like it was in the water, so we built the base and set it on a slight tilt to look like it was moving forward in the water.
Now this being a pirate ship, it would have to have a mast. To make a mast, we used some old fence poles that we cut to the right height and cemented into the ground. Then all we had to do was fill it with garden soil. We picked up a cubic meter from a local gardening and landscape supplier, ensuring it already had added composted manure. The soil for the mound was not great and came from a building site where our new shed was being put up. With a bit of top dressing and some time, the grass should grow right up to the side of the boat.
Time to plant. For my garden, I selected a range of herbs; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme, just like the song, along with oregano, fennel, and French lavender. Now all I needed was for mother nature to step in, and with a little rain and sunshine, our garden took off.
I gather herbs for cooking straight out of the garden whenever needed. It looks great, and at night, the solar fairy lights we added to the mast light up, and I can see them from my window.
It is amazing to me what you can turn old junk into. This is now the centrepiece of my veggie area, and everyone who visits comments on it. So before you throw out your junk, take the time to have a cup of tea and think about it.
As always, live well.