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How does my garden grow?

Decluttering leads to ‘How does my garden grow?’

I have mentioned that I am using Mary Margaret’s idea of decluttering. Her brilliant idea is to pull a playing card out of the patch and that’s the number of things to remove/sort out over the week. My first 3 cards were two jacks and a queen ~ 100 things decluttered.

Then last week I pulled out a 6. It coincided with a visit to a new clinic for a mammogram. (Bear with me here, I can make the connection!) The clinic asked if I had my previous mammogram for comparison purposes. I dug them out and found out I had collected them for many years. They needed to go. So there were my 6 things….more than 6, but let’s not quibble.

The next step was to find somewhere to recycle the x-rays. Interestingly I found a library that has an e-waste collection system, including x-rays and it is on the way to my Mum’s, I am going to drop them off next week. Out of the house, and recycled. Yes!!

I continued my problem solving by using the paper sleeves of the xrays as weed suppression in the garden.

You know that weeds are a constant problem of mine and I have some, like sour sobs, that are impossible to get rid of. My gardener Linda suggested that I layer cardboard and newspapers over the weeds…and the sleeves from the x-rays!

This week I pulled out 7 out of the pack of cards, and wanted to get rid of more paperwork. Seven files of papers. I am reluctant to put vaguely sensitive papers in the recycling. My brain went zing and decided to recycle them in the garden too. More layers of mulch.

Then a final layer of mulch. Unfortunately, as you can see in the photo below, I didn’t buy enough. Back to the garden shop.

Now I can easily get to the compost bins, rather than battle my way through the weeds. So the bin is up and running. Double win.


I respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land on which I live and garden โ€“ the Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung People of the Kulin Nation, their spirits, ancestors, elders and community members past and present.

23 replies on “Decluttering leads to ‘How does my garden grow?’”

Brilliant ๐Ÿ‘ I love how that all came together. Genius to recycle paper waste into garden mulch. Earlier in the year… late last year… omg pandemic time fog… anyway… I bought a paper shredder, and never been so happy to turn paper waste into compost!

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I had a shredder for a while too, and loved turning that paper waste into compost. Unfortunately it died (it was only a cheapy). Isn’t it amazing how much paper we accumulate over the years? That’s what I am happy to get rid of at the moment.

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I think I must have bought the same brand of shredder. :/ These days I burn old bank statements etc when I start doing burnoffs for summer. The mulch idea is handy though. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I am intrigued you were asked to keep your x-rays – here we never see them, just get a letter saying all is well (or not). I use loads of cardboard mulch in my garden. In fact I have an arrangement with the Eco Shop in Cardigan to talke all their cardboard. They are a shop selling donated stuff of all kinds and some new items such as tools in support of a community garden. Many of the donations come in in carboard boxes which they then have to dispose of. I collect it all every couple of weeks. I spread it at least 3 layers thick but don’t udsually put anything else on top – the garden is too big for that. And like you I put sensitive paperwork amongst it too.

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That’s a brilliant idea, Sue….but you must have a large area to mulch if you take all their boxes! I wonder whether I have made my layers thick enough. I can always add more layers if I see the weeds emerging.
As for the x-rays, as I went to the same place for many years they gave me the x-rays but as they had their own copy they never needed to see them again. The new place would have liked them as a comparison. However, it turns out they are linked some way to the old place, so they had my previous results. And the results were all clear for this year. Yea!

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Good news about your mammogram results. And yes I have 3 acres here much of which is buildings and woodland but even so there is a lot of growing area to keep up.

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I’m doing the card game, too – because of your original post a few weeks ago! Brava on your progress, Anne.
Funny, my last number (7) I used/recycled boxes in a manner different than plain old putting them in the recycling bin. I don’t have a garden, but I like the idea of using them for ‘mulch paths’ in the garden!
We have old X-Rays, too…but packed away, thankfully, so we don’t have to go looking for a way to recycle them at this point!HA!

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It’s a great idea, isn’t it? However all credit must go to Mary Margaret. I like it because it makes me more conscious about getting rid of things or tidying up. If it hadn’t been at the forefront of my mind I doubt I would have done anything about the x-rays, just slid them back on the shelf to deal with some other time. Now I knew that the time was now!

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Now that’s an innovative way to go about de-cluttering or minimizing! Um … can I take out all the cards higher than ‘4’ for the first few weeks? Good on you for your inventiveness on disposing of the Xrays and covers. Give me just another week or two … I have to rev my engines to prepare for this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

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The good thing about this system Jill is that you can make it your own. A picture card for instance, might not be 50 things to get rid of, but one big thing that has been waiting in the wings. Or 50 photos. Or cleaning up old blog posts (that’s another one on my list!) i am using it more as an intention and a reminder to declutter.

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Anne, youโ€™re all in with this card system. Good for you! Itโ€™s nice, too, to find a second use for things. I didnโ€™t know X-rays could be recycled. Itโ€™s nice to know that a lot of places now use a digital system. Things look terrific.

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The library where I took the x-rays had a natty set up, with different sized pigeon holes for the different things. For example the slot for neon tubes was long and thin, while the x-ray slot was just the right size for them. A great system.

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I don’t need your card system, as I know I would never keep to it and if I pulled a high number – well never mind. Instead I’m on a mission and since I found a “circular economy system locally” post the picture and details and so far I’ve had success, although did have a fail to followup – left it a few days and then asked “when?” and then a few days later “sorry offering it to someone else” and that s.else was here pronto.
What I wanted to originally do was just donate it to the local thrift store, but they will apparently only collect furniture! So that’s their lose and ordinary people are getting it all for free…
When that stack is gone, I’m thinking another couple of weeks, then it will be the turn of e-waste which isn’t quite as difficult to store – but it will cost just like Junk2Go did. But when it’s gone, it will be good.
Note very little art related stuff has gone…and most of that has gone to my friend HB.

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What ever system works, Catherine! My main thought is to reuse/recycle as much as possible. Yours is a great system, giving it to people who want it and, I guess, will be going to use it.

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I have a bag of ex-ray envelopes from past adventures in the medi-verse, but have been advised to keep them for comparison purposes should the worst happen and the big C reappear. In the past 5 years or so, all my medical scanning has gone online, thank goodness, so at least i don’t have to hang onto those, they’re accessible anytime from the archive. However, I do have an alternative mulching solution in place, which is big 16″ squares of heavyweight cotton batting, which the Husband receives as spill-kit supplies when delivering fuel. They are re-issued regularly, and as he never spills, i get the batting. It’s perfect, as it’s pure cotton so it rots, it’s flexible, cuts easily, and it’s durable.

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Perfect mulch, Kate, and so good that you are able to reuse what I guess would otherwise go to waste. I did think about keeping the x-rays for comparison, but decided to only keep the latest. I can’t see them needing 2013’s. Isn’t digital a much better idea?

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