Like wood and other building materials, metal is a resource that is discarded en masse but can be easily, cheaply, and creatively rescued from the landfill and put to good use. It is another texture that can be incorporated in garden design to either to complement or contrast with the more organic elements (aka, the plants!). Metal is at once both artistic and functional.
These simple wooden benches at the Boonville Hotel in Mendocino’s Anderson Valley have bases made of recycled twisted rebar. Anyone who’s ever tripped around a construction site knows rebar isn’t in short supply, and the possibilities with this bendy material (trellis, stakes, furniture, embellishments) are nearly infinite.
Elisa designed and constructed this trellis in the Mission district using reclaimed metal found at the local treasure trove of reclaimed materials, Building Resources. Check out the tiny mosses and flowers planted along the horizontal pieces, as well as the larger plants given a habitat in reused metal ducts. In the same half-inside, half-outside garden she used an assortment of recycled materials to create a plant display over an old fountain base:
A fire-engine red sculpture made from, obviously, old garden tools (as seen in Sausalito, artist unknown). An artistic addition for a funky garden, perhaps?