If You Go Down to the Dump Today…

Sometimes we have to take rubbish to the municipal dump, specially if we have had  prawns or crab and the refuse isn’t due to be collected for another 2 weeks. I always look in the skip of garden refuse and I have acquired many cuttings of interesting plants this way. Obviously it has to be full, I don’t actually climb in. The men in charge are deeply suspicious because any treasures are their booty and they sell them. But they are obviously baffled by someone fishing out twigs or leaves.
My best find was this Yucca ‘Variegata’  which I found a couple of years ago. It is flowering for the first time this year. I’m not sure whether it is filimentosa or gloriosa but I don’t care it was free and it is beautiful.
The things people throw away!

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49 Responses to If You Go Down to the Dump Today…

  1. gardenfancyblog says:

    Wow, you must be quite an expert at identifying plants to be able to pick up new treasures from twigs in a dumpster — I’m very impressed with your knowledge! What an unusual post — thanks! -Beth

  2. sueturner31 says:

    Wonderful….at our tip they watch your every move….even if someone sees something in your boot that they may want, the skip folk won’t allow it ,’they say it’s on our land now’…..keep it up…. 🙂

  3. Alison says:

    What a marvelous thing to find at the dump!

  4. linniew says:

    Well done scooping that plant. It must have been so relieved at being rescued and now it is thanking you with those ivory flowers! At our dump the stuff all falls about 40 ft into a pit where a guy with a bulldozer is pushing it around.

    • Chloris says:

      The flowers are just gorgeous, I am so glad that I rescued it. Obviously even I would think twice about jumping 40 foot into a pit and dodging men in bulldozers. As it is all I have to deal with are the mens’ scowls and my husband complaining that people will think that I’m weird.

  5. Flighty says:

    Good for you! xx

  6. Pauline says:

    Good for you! The undergardener is the one who goes to the tip but he wouldn’t know a good plant I’m afraid, but once when he was just about to dump some wild flag iris, the next person pounced on them, she went away happy!

  7. Chloris says:

    Ah so I’ m not the only one! The Iris girl sounds like the sort of person who would have a good look at what’ s there. It makes the Pianist cringe with embarrassment when I go rifling through the green skip.

  8. What treasure! Lucky for me, my neighbors put their leaves on the street to be picked up by the city. My next big garden purchase is to be a leaf grinder. Just think, I’ll never have to purchase compost again!

    • Chloris says:

      I am constantly amazed that people throw away leaves.They are worth their weight in gold. I have my neighbours trained to give me their leaves rather than letting the council take them away.

  9. mrsdaffodil says:

    One man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure! Waste not, want not!

  10. Chloris says:

    Indeed, I don’ t usually go trawling through people’s trash but when it comes to green things I stop at nothing in my quest for beautiful or unusual plants.

  11. Cathy says:

    At least you know what you are picking out, Chloris – I suspect the person picking out the wild flag iris wasn’t as well informed and there are various things I put in our green waste that I would advise people not to pick out if they asked! Have not found any plants worth having myself, but have picked out a couple of nice pots, damaged but in a way that wouldn’t be noticeable – and Elder Sister has found a pot full of hosta at her site 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      You are a girl after my own heart Cathy, finding pots at the dump and taking them home. I think some bloggers feel that it is rather odd looking through the green skip.

      • Cathy says:

        You should know me well enough by now to know I am always on the lookout for quirky and unwanted things, Chloris 😉

  12. I’m sure the Yucca was very grateful! This is a far more refined take on what in the US we call dumpster diving.

  13. Chloris says:

    Thank you Jason, it’ s gratifying to think that if I’ m a dumpster diver, I’ m a refined one.

  14. Kris P says:

    What a find! We don’t have dumps like that but maybe I should consider checking out the green bins people put out on the street. There is an especially good gardener several houses up the street, although she’s probably not foolish enough to throw out anything really good…

  15. Chloris says:

    At our dump you have to sort your trash into categories and I find my treasures in the green garden waste skip. I think some Americans imagine that I trawl through a great pit of rubbish like poor Ilittle children in India who make their living out of rubbish.
    You might find some nice cuttings in your neighbour’ s bin but you don’ t want to get caught going through your neighbours’ bins. People would think it was funny. If my neighbours have anything nice in their gardens I always ask if I can have a bit. Then I give them nice things in return.

  16. rusty duck says:

    Not from a dump, but I did find an orchid in our compost bin when we moved here. Rescued of course, but it hasn’t flowered yet..

    • Chloris says:

      But if it is a Phalaenopsis it will. They are indestructible. I have one which has been in bloom since February. I’ m even beginning to get a bit tired of it.

      • rusty duck says:

        No, it has spiky leaves but too small and fine for Cymbidium. The only clue is the Sainsburys label that just says ‘Orchid’. 😦

  17. Cathy says:

    What a great find! That reminds me of what my mother-in-law used to do…. cemetaries are well- tended in Germany and people decorate graves seasonally, then throw out the plants and put a fresh lot in. She used to pick things out of the cemetary bins and found treasures galore, including countless geraniums!

  18. Julie says:

    This is funny, I haven’t leant into the green waste bin before, but did ask to climb into the hardcore bin to retrieve a very ancient and large chipped terracotta pot once. Your Yucca is rather lovely, good find!

    • Chloris says:

      You climbed in? Wow! I am impressed. I have never actually climbed in. I don’t know whether I would go as far as that, even for a Yucca.

  19. Meriel Murdock, Co. Wicklow, Ireland says:

    Any growing/ flowering tips for your variegated Yucca? I have one for some years but never have had a flower. It is planted in gravel with poor soil below in full sun. The leaves are healthy enough though it has been slow to grow. I have a plain leaved one also, no flowers either. It’s in a damper spot in peaty soil – low fertility. I guess I’ve answered my own question, I had better feed them! Was yours rooted at all when you fished it out or if not did it require special conditions to get it rooted? You had a great root around all told!

    • Chloris says:

      Hello Meriel, Yuccas like full sun but they also like rich soil. I was lucky, they often take a year or two to settle down and bloom. This one had a bit of root but not much I got it going in a pot before I planted it out..

  20. snowbird says:

    Wow! The things you learn while blogging….I shall have an keen eye out now every time I go to the tip….the plants I could use for cuttings! That’s a mighty fine yucca….the flowers are so interesting!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      At this time I’ m collecting cuttings everywhere. Friends don’ t mind if you ask for a stem of their pretty things, specially if you give them something nice in return. And then there was a very nice Hebe in Waitrose carpark…Sh! Don’ t tell anyone about that one.

  21. Wow, that is a great find! I had to chuckle–we fondly remember my late grandmother who found some incredible objects in other people’s trash, including fine wood furniture, beatles albums, and ceramic vases. It is amazing what people throw out.

  22. What a find Chloris. I found a Yukka and some agapanthus dumped beside a communal garbage bin here in the City last year and am finding the Yukka is not doing so well.
    Yours is obviously very happy in your care. I must catch up with your bloom day post now. Have a good weekend.

  23. Chloris says:

    Your Yucca needs sun and fertile soil and patience. I was lucky but they can take a while to settle down and flower.

  24. A very soggy Saturday here, so long awaited indoor jobs were the order of the day. So now we have a trip to the tip imminent. I will be there with opened eyes, on the lookout!

  25. bittster says:

    Funny! I didn’t know trash handling was such a serious business, but then I guess trash-treasure and such does it!
    The yucca has done well by you, and the image of you reaching into the dumpster to snip a cutting made me laugh 🙂

  26. Anna says:

    Oh what a beauty Chloris. As they say (I’m never sure who they are) “one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure”. Himself does most of the tipping here but I’m sure that it’s just a case of in and out as fast as he can. We have the same eagle eyed guards here too 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      The eagle- eyed guards just aren’ t interested in the green skip. You never know what people are going to throw out, but usually it is cuttings.

  27. Lucy Corrander says:

    Our garden waste dump is different. You throw your leaves or grass or twigs or old flowers through a window-sized hole in a concrete wall and they drop down what seems as big as a cliff onto a pile of other people’s leaves and twigs . . . which is sometimes already steaming in the composting heat . . . and sometimes there are trucks down there moving it around. It can be quite exciting. But no cuttings or viable roots!

  28. Chloris says:

    Oh gosh that all sounds a bit high tech. This is sleepy Suffolk so we just have skips.

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