Last year, on my birthday – actually, wait, TWO birthdays ago, but still last year – Ken killed his Concorde.
See that dent? That dent means the bike died.
Anyway, he didn’t get rid of it and ever since then we’ve talked about how he really wants to “do something” with the frame. “We should really DO SOMETHING with the Concorde.” Etc. etc. It was going to be art. But, it never became art. Then today I decided that it should be incorporated into a trellis in our garden – most likely one for the tall telephone peas. I think this is a great idea! We’re totally doing it and will keep you posted on how we incorporate it into the garden and how we implement the project.
Until then, I was curious how other people have recycled old bikes and bike parts into their gardens. Some of the things I came across were less than inspirational – but others were practical, totally doable, and are projects that I’m actually considering. Where there is Ken, there is a bike, so it only makes sense that our garden will feature little moments of bike charm.
1. Recycled bicycle rim trellis: This could TOTALLY work for a trellis for the peas! And, in fact, I just noted that in the picture (below), peas are the plant of choice. I found this on Apartmenttherapy (which is a great blog – though I recently read somewhere that the couple who runs it is getting divorced and, I have to be honest, I kinda feel like someone just told me Santa isn’t real.) Anyway, I like this idea, but the design definitely needs some tweaking. For one thing, the rim needs to be atatched to the post in the center with something a lot sturdier than wire or it will never withstand a) the elements (dude, Brooklyn had hurricanes AND tornados last year!) nor b) the weight of heavier plants.
Organic Gardening (in 2009) featured a short instructional article on how to build something like this and used narrow planks instead of wires. The planks are nailed to the rim through one of the holes for the spokes, which – with some trial and error – I think could be plenty sturdy.
Here is another, fancier, example of bike wheels being recycled to make garden trellises. This one is pretty, but a little too involved and we dont have THAT much space.
I found the above photo here, but without much instruction (despite the site’s name “instructables”) on how to pull this off.
Here is another structure that I like quite a lot. I dont think it would work for peas – but if I ever got some clematis, it would be gorgeous to grow it up something like this (either built out back or on the front patio, with the clematis rooted in pots.)
There is a whole bunch of info. about building this trellis, and ones like it, here.
Here is an idea: Using the entire discarded bike as a trellis. Plant the bike, basically. I don’t like this idea at all – but in the interest of being exhaustive in my research:
By the way, while we’re on the subject… where did the word “upcycle” come from? My guess is Philadelphia. Either way, it seemingly came out of nowhere like last year and it really bugs me. UPCYCLE. Upcycle THIS. Up YOUR cycle.
So, in short, we could probably use the Concorde frame to make some kind of a trellis – either stuck in the ground for smaller climbers, or hung from something to support strings, or as part of the greater trellis structure.
2. Bike Frame Planter: This is pretty much exactly what I had envisioned. Particularly if I decide to move our mint (three kinds) from the ground to some pots. I know that mint will grow like a ground cover, and I was okay with that until I realized we have so many plants in mind this year and not a lot of space. I don’t want the mint encroaching on everything we plant and being a general creep, so I may decide to pot it. In which case, I LOVE this idea (minus the gold spray paint):
3. Bike Frame Fence: We’d have to kill a lot of bikes to pull this off – but, still, maybe one day? (Also from Apartmenttherapy).
4. A Garden Cultivator: This person made a pretty evil looking tool – a garden cultivator – mostly out of an old bike frame. I don’t think we have a need for this, but I appreciate the ingenuity.
5. To line the garden: We could, I suppose, always use the frame as part of the border in our garden (not in the planters, I don’t think, but maybe on the other side by the flowers) – kind of like this person in PORTLAND did.
LASTLY, while we’re on the subject of bikes & plants – have you seen these? I don’t get them. Why do I want to take my tillandsias with me as pets? And, also, if people be stealin’ bike lights, they be stealin’ air plants, too.
We’ll keep you posted on what becomes of the Concorde frame!