A creation by Sophie’s Patch for the Unley Gourmet Gala, a 2017 Tour Down Under event.

Background to the creation of the Wheelie Good Garden

Can old bike wheels be given a new lease of life? If you ask Sophie the answer is a definite yes! With Sophie’s vision the bike rims are being turned into an artistic creation with a sense of fun, complete with colourful plants creating a lush garden.

Sophie created the “Wheelie Good Garden” for the City of Unley’s Unley Gourmet Gala on January 16, 2017, which ran the day before the Unley stage of the Santos Tour Down Under cycling event.

Her brightly coloured archway – in the City Of Unley’s corporate colours – is made from re-purposed bike wheels and was the centrepiece of an elaborate garden that spanned the width of King William Road, Hyde Park. The 2.5m high and 3m wide archway, has been built by Sophie and her husband Richard Elston and formed the entrance to the pre-Tour Down Under street party on King William Road.

bicycle archway“I’m very excited to be given the opportunity to create this green temporary public installation”, says Sophie. “I find it very rewarding to use my creative thinking skills to make things from re-purpose materials, mainly because of the many associated benefits. In addition to reducing the environmental impact due to piling up old items, it can save money as well as giving people take home ideas to create recycled structures for their own gardens,”.

Climate compatible planting

As well as the recycling element, Sophie is keen to promote the use of plants which are climate compatible and appropriate for the conditions in South Australian gardens. She is passionate about using locally grown plants, which are obviously better suited to Adelaide gardens, than the same plants grown interstate. The plants used in the “Wheelie Good Garden” were supplied by Heyne’s Wholesale Nursery, a fifth generation, family owned, local wholesale nursery who market themselves under the SA Grown brand.

bike stackSophie believes that to create a great garden you should use plants that provide colour and interest all year, not just in spring when everything looks good anyway. Most plants chosen for the “Wheelie Good Garden” were selected due to their reliable year-round performance, creating the backbone of the garden, while some have been selected to add some ‘bling’.

Artist sketch

Here is the artist’s sketch of the garden.

wheelie good garden sketch