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In the Garden

Get down and dirty in the garden

Green Gardening: La Plaza Cultural

by Samantha Collins

Tags: La Plaza Cultural, Green Gardening, Recycling, Travel, Samantha Collins,

S.CollinsIt’s not just trash anymore, at least for La Plaza Cultural in New York City. In this community garden, trash can be beautiful. It embraces garbage to create a wonderufl and unique area for visitors of all kind to appreciate. It was transformed from 27,000 square feet of vacant lots into a trash oasis in 1976 by local residents and my fellow “tree huggers.”

This recycled garden plays an important role in the Lower East Side community of New York City. The garden consists of both recycled flowers, which are made from household trash, and living plants, which are planted by neighborhood families. The garden is open April 1 through October 30 every weekend from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. If you live in the area, the garden also hosts events such as birthdays and weddings.

8 June La Plaza Cultural
La Plaza Cultural provides a unique combination of real flowers and handmade.
Photo by Ed Yourdon/Courtesy Flickr

If you’re ever in the Big Apple, stop by La Plaza Cultural and check out the garbage garden. If you can’t make the trip, but this garden has inspired you, create a recycled garden in your own backyard. (You don’t even have to make eye-boggling plastic flowers to create one!) In my search to make my own version of La Plaza Cultural, I discovered the Instructables Gardening website, which is dedicated to making a greener world with do-it-yourself gardening projects. I was intrigued by a project that consisted of growing herbs in empty two-liter soda pop bottles and by a project to build your own raised water beds out of recycled wood. The website also contains pet projects and instructions to make your own hiking equipment, if you want to take green-living to the next level. 

It's easy to help the world a little at at time. Do you have any recycled gardens in your area? Do you have tips about how to make a recycled garden at home? If so, let us know!