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Garbage to garden: Saigon woman upcycles scraps into garden ornaments

Friday, June 05, 2020, 11:57 GMT+7
Garbage to garden: Saigon woman upcycles scraps into garden ornaments
Pham Thi Thanh Thuy feeds fish in a makeshift pond she fashioned from a discarded broken bath tub placed in her garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

A woman in Ho Chi Minh City is embodying the age-old proverb “one man’s trash is another man’s (or woman’s) treasure” with her creative methods of reusing garbage-bound goods as garden decorations.

Pham Thi Thanh Thuy, 39, a resident of Thu Duc District, has day by day furnished her 160-square-meter garden by scrap discarded by their family.

The first upcycled piece added to her garden was a chair she fashioned from a 50-year-old cradle that had been passed down in her family through three generations.

She was so pleased with her work that she made it her mission to continue upcycling landfill-bound garbage. 

One of her prized pieces is a small pond fashioned from an old bathtub she found on the street. 

Thuy doesn’t mind collecting things people throw away at landfills, expressing her environmental concern over non-compostable garbage.

Now, she looks for potential in every piece of trash she passes on the streets.  

Pham Thi Thanh Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is decorated with discarded goods she’s recovered from trash heaps and landfills. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Pham Thi Thanh Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is decorated with discarded goods she’s recovered from trash heaps and landfills. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
An upcycled broken clay pot in Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
An upcycled broken clay pot in Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
An old wooden cutting board is upcycled into an ornament in Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
An old wooden cutting board is upcycled into an ornament in Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A discarded tire is given into a second life as a swing in Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
A discarded tire is given into a second life as a swing in Thuy’s garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Thuy is growing a wall of greenery in old glass bottles she plucked from the street near her home in in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Thuy is growing a wall of greenery in old glass bottles she plucked from the street near her home in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Something breaks in Thuy’s house, she doesn’t throw it away.  Instead she finds a way to fix it and turn it into a garden ornament.  This old pot is a perfect example.  Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Something breaks in Thuy’s house, she doesn’t throw it away. Instead, she finds a way to fix it and turn it into a garden ornament. This old pot is a perfect example. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Tuan Khanh, Thuy’s 15-year-old son, helps his mother transform a broken bird cage into a new ornament for their garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Tuan Khanh (right), Thuy’s 15-year-old son, helps his mother transform a broken bird cage into a new ornament for their garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Pham Thi Thanh Thuy also grows vegetables in her garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre
Pham Thi Thanh Thuy also grows vegetables in her garden in Thu Duc District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Phuong / Tuoi Tre

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