Quick Upcycle Ideas: Glass Mulch and Beehive Planters

Here are two quick ideas to spruce up your yard or garden or balcony.

Recycled Glass Mulch

Taking a boring little step from weedy and drab to cheerful, blue and weed free. We have this great step down into the back yard that originally I grew thyme in as a steppable ground cover. That was until we got chickens, who massacred it. It has sat empty, save for the weeds, for quite some time now. The hubs threatened gravel, but that just would not have added anything to the area. Marbles? Too perfect and round. Finally, came up with idea of glass. Actually, I really wanted sea glass or tumbled vintage blue and white porcelain pieces BUT after pricing that out, decided shades of blue and green glass would be fabulous. Naturally, I wanted to DIY the tumbling (why must you make it so complicated!) but again it would have taken eons and/or required acquisition of a cement mixer or an ocean. Enter internets and recycled fire pit or landscaping glass. Click, ship and happy hubs! You can also find at landscaping supply stores. Note the varying types of sunlight and angles I used – violating good bloggy DIY photo etiquette.

I am quite pleased with the results. It is easy to pick out debris and the chickens have ignored it so far. I do wish that more of the pieces where larger than ½ inch, but I can add those in over time along with sea glass I collect when beachcombing and other durable lovelies.

Recycled Beehive Planters

I absolutely love beekeeping in top bar hives: bees seem calmer (or is it me?), no stooping (over a fiery caldron of pissed off ladies), no heavy lifting…. However, I just seemed that my particular version, while aesthetically pleasing, lacked sufficient volume for the bees to thrive. The first few pictures are right when they were new, not weathered. After a few years of failing to make it through the winter, I stopped using them. Not wanting to discard them and not feeling right selling them and enjoying upcycling and repurposing, I turned them into planters in two steps. Add dirt and add plants. Actually I had to remove the stand and added some packing peanuts to the bottom for some drainage and to keep it a little lighter for moving. But it was really that simple – left remnant honeycomb and propolis, for authenticity.

No empty top bar beehive hanging around? Do not fret! You can check Craigslist or simply look at other things that could hold dirt, maybe drain a little bit (or hold some rocks in the bottom for drainage) and just try it out. Think, wine crates, drawers, tin coffee cans, wheelbarrows, wagons etc….. A simple can of spray paint can transform a lot. Here is a link to simple transformation we did a few years ago on some IKEA pots.

You can also use Langstroth hive boxes to make beehive planters – perhaps some boxes that are pretty beat up or maybe boxes from a diseased colony. I used a few to make dirt bath areas for the hens….not that they use them.

How do you recycle your beehive boxes?

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