Pretty Piles

In my opinion the best Facebook group devoted to composting is “Keep Calm And Make Compost“.  Yesterday we discussed the pros and cons of tumblers and one con was that they look horrible in a small garden.  I replied, “Let’s face it, all compost bins are ugly.”  For the most part that is true but I later recalled examples of my work that were not so hard on the eyes.

Pretty Compost Pile Example 1 – The Decorative Fence Panel Bin


This bin was made from decorative fence panels purchased at a local home improvement store.  Two pairs of the panels cost about $50; the dimensions are 3′ x 3′ x 3 1/2′.  The panels connect together effortlessly with built-in slide-together hinges.  I was proud to have made an inexpensive bin from readily available fence panels, but a member at Wildlife Gardeners deemed it the first attractive compost bin she had ever seen!

Pretty Compost Pile Example 2a – Compost Piles on a Turfless Parkway Strip


Some of the conventional wisdom (CW) commands that compost piles are to be situated so that God forbid nobody will ever see them.  (For CW atrocity bins such as shipping pallets and cinder blocks that actually is good advice.)  Well, one day I decided that hauling local leaves to rear of my property was a few steps too many.  That area was at capacity anyway – what to do?   A great feature of the Original Pile Pro wire bin was that it blended with the background; a lesser feature was its too large 3′ x 3′ size (another misguided CW commandment).  Thus a compromise was in order:  2′ diameter x 2 1/2′ high piles.  Six piles resided on the parkway strip for about four months; one passerby even asked for help with his family’s composting efforts.  I did finally get a notice from the City of Richardson, saying that a neighbor had complained and advised that I move the piles to the rear of my property.  Fortunately by that time the materials had decomposed sufficiently and all I had to do was knock them down and spread them around. 

Pretty Compost Pile Example 2b – Layered Compost Pile


One of the six parkway strip piles but made from layers of composted (dark) and fresh (light) materials:  Is it a compost pile or a crude art form?