How to plant a rusty wheelbarrow for the garden


After a trip over an old mine road near nowhere last April, Tractor Man and I stopped to follow this rusty cable. At the end of the ‘rusty brick road’ was OZ. A stunning treasure!

The holy grail for flea market gardeners

The holy grail for flea market gardeners.

How many people had passed this up after using it for target practice, I wonder? No Flea Market Gardener, I’m sure!  I know some here on our page who wouldn’t be above wheeling it away, running… There wasn’t a soul around that mine but a few ghosts and I STILL looked around to see if anyone was going to stop me.

We were near Coalinga, California, where ever that is, …a weird area desert like with a lot of benitoite in the soil.  A local man told us that because of all the minerals in the soil plants wouldn’t grow there,…that’s why the area looks like Utah desert.  We went there for the backroads and scenery. Believe me, this wheelbarrow was a GREAT scene!

Without question, my husband helped me heft it into the car,….I think even he admired the rusty patina, although he’s never used that word in his life. It will find a new home in my garden…   Bullet holes are good enough for drainage, right?

Later after stopping for dinner out and mid way through I gasped and told my hubby…”Oh My Gosh! We forgot the wheelbarrow in the truck,….what if someone steals it?!” He just looked at me….

OK, I’m happy.


Here it is in all its rusty bullet-holed glory!

All ready to plant

All ready to plant.

I LOVE it! Ready to plant, Autumn sage, ageratum and purple and magenta wave petunias. I’m not a petunia gal,…never have liked or grown them! BUT, one photo from our Spring Contest inspired me with this color combination, so I HAD to duplicate it. Any tips for me on petunias???

Petunias 101:  See all the tips YOU gave me!

Here’s my wheelbarrow all planted,…you can see where I moved my old wheelbarrow down further.

Newly planted with a few galvanized containers to match

Newly planted with a few galvanized containers to match.

Now, do I cut off the petunia flowers to make them fuller? Next photo not for a couple weeks,…hope it takes off. By the way, my inspiration was Shari McElhaney Telek’s petunia color combination in her “Celebrate Spring” contest photo. Thanks, Sheri! One of the nicest things about this page, I think, is when we get inspired by each other here and then act on it!

Shari Telek's photo and my inspiration

Shari Telek’s photo and my inspiration.


It’s mid summer and I thought I’d show the progress on my petunia planter wheelbarrow.

Mid summer and it's doing great

Mid summer and it’s doing great!

The deep blue and rose petunias, rose autumn sage and blue ageratum are filling in a bit. The galvanized tub below it has anemone which will bloom in the fall, and I just popped the Coreopsis ‘Rum Punch’ still in its nursery can into the bait bucket. I love it! I think I’m liking petunias now.

Categories: Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Garden Vignette, Gardening, Get Galvanized, Rusty Rust, Wonderful Wheelbarrows | Tags: , | 4 Comments

Petunias 101

Petunias are a Flea Market Gardening standby for  rusty or galvanized containers.  Have you grown them?  I haven’t much and asked for tips from the experts, when planting my old rusty wheelbarrow.  Here’s their scoop on growing these common annuals.  You’ll find that they may be ‘perennial.’ 

Mid summer and it's doing great

Mid summer petunias in the wheelbarrow

Diane Renz Davis

I plant in my wooden planter box by putting plants in milk jugs, cut down so that no one can see them and the plants grow around them. they are great cause the water doesn’t go thru and rod out the item below, plus they need less water that way. You might want to try that with a wheel barrow too.

Jackie Doeden

Petunias bloom from early spring until the snow and cold weather freeze them out!!! They take very little fussing over, stick them in the dirt and stand back and watch them grow..a bonus is that they smell so good. This is a basic workhorse in the flower garden. I personally like the regular ones better than the wave as they smell better but even the wave have great flowers. You may have your mind changed by growing petunias, this is one of the old fashioned flowers that are a must grow in my garden!!!

Photo by Jeanne Sammons

Photo by Jeanne Sammons

Lori Brunk McMillon

I love petunias, they remind me of my grandparents who always planted an “English Cottage” style garden. Even as my grandfather aged and could no longer do too much in the yard he built an A-frame stand and grew petunias in pots. Some of them really put on a wonderful fragrance in the evening (I used to have a friend go garden shopping with me and we were always sticking our noses in them to see which had the strongest smell and people would ask us about them as many didn’t even realize they have a wonderful smell) and attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths. They really don’t require much care (one of the reasons they’re an old fashioned favorite), just watering and an occasional feeding. Removing of spent stems will encourage more new growth and blooms.

Laurie Linn

Fertilize your petunias every time you water with a very weak solution. Don’t need to deadhead but do pinch ends to encourage new growth once in a while or cut 4 inches off the ends every two months. They will grow like crazy!

Photo by Shari Telek

Heather Rotz

Ignore them. Petunias are grown by everyone because even if you have a black thumb, they grow well. Deadheading is key though if you want them to get huge and full of a carpet of flowers. Water only when really needed.

Marie Niemann

I love the wave petunia’s especially since they reseed and come back! They are really easy to grow, they need water, sunshine and a little fertilizer and they will happily grow and spill over the sides of a wonderful old rusty wheelbarrow! Can’t wait to see it!

Photo by Marie Niemann

Photo by Marie Niemann

Dot Brennan Baker

I had an old wheelbarrow, had it planted with ferns, and placed under a maple tree. Loved it, my daughter has it now. No more maple tree. Your plant combo looks great. I would add a lime green Heuchera to the mix, but then, I would add lime green to just about any mix. I love Wave Petunias, the only kind I plant, and they do a great job reseeding.

Lissa Jane Bitton

I think you do need to deadhead them – make sure and pinch off the whole bud not just pull the dead flower! I cut mine back before I plant them so they bush out and don’t get leggy as fast – so initially they have no blooms! Mine got a caterpillar the past couple years and wouldn’t rebloom so will probably spray the from the get go even though I prefer growing things organically!

Categories: Creative Containers, Gardening | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Galvanized tomato garden for one

Many people grow large vegetable gardens. I grow a small one that fits in five wash tubs.  It’s just the right size for two of us, since one of us doesn’t like tomatoes. This is a garden that a Flea Market gardener would love….I do!

Five galvanized tubs with drainage holes hold tomatoes, green onions and jalapeno peppers

Five galvanized tubs, with drainage holes, hold tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green onions and jalapeno peppers.

For a good mix, I used one bag of each kind of soil at Home Depot just like is recommended in square foot gardening. The salesman there thought I was nuts, I think. I fertilize and watch for worms….didn’t find one, the healthiest I’ve ever seen,  until the end of the season.

Black Krim is the variety I grew this year, full bodied intensely sweet and inside, red, not black!

Black Krim is the variety I grew this year, full bodied intensely sweet and inside, red, not black!

Sweet 100s

Sweet 100s by the dozens…99 maybe.

Mini harvest for one

Mini harvest for one. My husband doesn’t like tomatoes. Most of the peppers I popped into a Zip-loc bag and froze. I then would add them to soups, spaghetti sauce and casseroles.

Watch for this guy, a tomato worm. They say these, (not this one), turn into hummingbirds moths.

Watch for this guy, a tomato worm. They say these, (not this one), turn into hummingbirds moths.

Some of the tomatoes, I dried and packed in jars of olive oil. See my recipe here.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Edibles, Garden Junk, Get Galvanized, How to: Easy projects | 10 Comments

Tammy’s cottage garden of yesteryear

Part of the beauty of Tammy’s garden is like stumbling on a wee bit of rural England or maybe journeying back a century or two into simpler times. Another factor is how she captures the look with her camera. Look at these ancient looking vignettes containing  cottage garden plants like yarrow, coneflower, snapdragons, foxglove, lobelia and stock. Little birdhouses appear here and there.

Old enamel pan on a wooden stand is centered in the garden bed

A simple old enamel pan on a wooden stand is centered in the garden bed

Tammy’s ancient rusty wagon is filled with Mecardonia ‘Gold Dust’, Violet alyssum, and Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost.’  In this photo below, the clay pots just glow and the handles of the garden forks echo the handle of the wagon.

Tammy's ancient rusty wagon

Tammy’s ancient rusty wagon

Against this weathered grey fence below, coneflowers and meadow sage hide a galvanized chicken feeder hung on a simple hook. Details in the background below are intriguing!  Thanks, Tammy!

A weathered fence is a backdrop for another vignette.

A weathered fence is a backdrop for another vignette.

Categories: Blue in the Garden, Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Garden Vignette, Get Galvanized, Recycling, Rusty Rust, Spring gardening | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Skunked! How to ‘deskunk’ your dog

This is a bit off-topic from our usual Flea Market Gardening, but skunks are a reality in a country garden when you have dogs.  I hope our ‘recipe’ works,…I’ll let you know! ~~ Sue

Last night, 2am, our Corgi, Maggie saw some kind of creature amble by the open sliding glass door, leapt up and crashed through the screen to protect us from whatever it was. Well, it was a darned polecat! Maggie, our sweet Maggie, must have got it right in the face because she slunk right back in when we called her.

Maggie May

Maggie May

We’ll be shampooing the carpet this morning since she immediately (before we could snatch her up) began to roll on her back.  Dressing hurriedly, I ran to get our ‘skunk kit’, checking quickly on the computer for exact directions.  Tractor man held her in the bathtub and I doused her with the ‘formula’ with rubber gloved hands.

We had wondered what this experience might be like.  The eye burning smell when it is this close is like very strong onions, burned garlic and a petroleum smell…or propane.  Awful!  And it filled our bedroom!  We washed the dog, washed our hands and faces and threw all the towels and our clothes in the washer.

We climbed into our smaller but comfy queen bed in the guest room with the slightly aromatic Maggie hiding herself on the floor.  I’m afraid I elbowed poor Tractor Man as I tossed and turned the rest of the night, but I certainly could have slept better had he not kept crying out in protest when I did so!

Oh, the skunk kit? Here is what we keep in the cupboard in case of skunk attack.

1 or 2 quarts of Hydrogen peroxide (1 bottle is 16 oz, so 4 bottles)

a box of baking soda

Dish soap is on everyone’s sink so I grabbed that as well.

Maggie, on regular bath day

The recipe is 1 qt hydrogen peroxide in a pouring type container, mix in 1/4 cup baking soda and a teaspoon of dish soap.

In a bathroom with the door shut and the window open, mix the ingredients  a rubber gloved hands.

With the dog in the bath tub wash the dog with the mixture while it is still foaming.

Wait for ten minutes for it to soak in.  Don’t wash the dog’s face or eyes with the mixture.

We washed Maggie with her regular dog shampoo and dried her with old car towels.

I will update this telling if it works or should be repeated.  I’m afraid we’ll have to do so! Poor Maggie!

Here is the page where I got this recipe and it’s explained by the chemist who configured it. I urge you to get your kit together in advance if you think you’ll ever need it because we couldn’t have gotten to any store at 2am!

Maggie, hiding

Maggie, hiding,…”No, it’s NOT time for a bath.”

Categories: Gardening, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Gloves or no gloves? Hand care after gardening

Sometimes a post on our Flea Market Gardening Facebook page just strikes a chord with everyone.  This one did and the result is many fine tips for caring for our hands after gardening. After all we still want to have soft hands…  Where do you stand on wearing gloves?

Awful hands!

Awful hands!

“My hands! I’m working them to the bone, and today THIS is what they feel like! Dirt under my fingernails just like when I was a kid! I pick up cement stepping stones to move them and feel the rough surface tear at my skin. What really gets me is the rough SIDES of my fingers that have tiny cracks. I should wear gloves more, I know, but I need someone to sternly tell me to do so! :-)

 What do you all do to care for your hands after gardening? ~~ Sue

Deborah L. Cutter- Well, like you, I don’t like to wear gloves. I make sure I have a fingernail brush to get the dirt from under the nails when done and lots of lotion!

Emily Diaz– The Satin hands system from Mary Kay is a lifesaver to me after gardening!! I love it!!!

Tally Calvert– Mary Kay pretty hands and feet works about the best to get them clean, along with sandpaper lol! I have gotten better at wearing gloves and found that applying hand lotion first really helps, I have bottles on all the porches, by the chicken coop…

Sue Walker- Sue, go to the store and purchase some “Bag Balm” (used to keep cow’s udders from drying and cracking) . . slather this on your hands and put on cotton gloves or socks to go to bed at night . . you’ll be amazed how much better they look/feel in the morning!

Carlyss June Van Ness– I put a heavy hand lotion on before I go out and then again when I come in. It seems to help.

Trish Hatcher Cooper– No Cracks Cream – works WONDERS!

Melissa Sisk– My favorite gloves are a $12 dollar pair from Wal Mart that are thin on the backs with an almost mesh material and very thin leather on the fronts. They velcro shut and I can actually forget I’m wearing them which saves my hands soooo much pain when working with tools or moving heavy/sharp stuff. I still weed mostly barehanded so I can get the little stuff, but the gloves make a big difference.

Bianca Tripodi Pickard– Camphor cream… an amazing product for gardening, sun care, dry and cracked skin… so many uses… a must in my home..

Merik Hollis King– Wear the gloves and after you are finished and washed up use Alpha Keri oil. Good stuff!

Tender Lee– Gloves save your hands, especially leather. Cost a tad more, but last 10x longer, and wear like a tough 2nd skin. I get the 3 pack at Sam’s every few years, takes a long time to wear out the index finger, which happens quickly with fabric gloves.

Karen Davis- Make a paste of olive oil and salt or sugar and rub all over your hands and then rinse.

Gayla Jones– My grandma taught me that bleach water in a bowl will whiten nails, also if you put lotion on your hands an do dish’s or wear glove “the plastic ones” while you are working in the garden your hand will be soft once again

Sheila Coates King– Quick and simple… I scrape a dove soap bar with my nails which puts a little under my nails, and then I slip on my garden gloves. Also, I keep a little nail file by my sink and carry small lotions with me everywhere. I even lotion my hands in the car at a stop light. Easy, breezy. :

Angela Dobes Carver– I don’t use gloves either. I use Palmer’s cocoa butter and have a file that I use to smooth the rough skin.

Liz Miller Davey- Bert’s Bees Hand care.

Dreama Bender– Hello Sue !! I’m the same way , When I fuss at my self cause my hands look bad , my hubby always has to remind me, about the gloves he bought , that I never use.

Eliza Jayasinha– Dirty hands are the crown of a Gardner. But do wear gloves tho’ I too hate it.

Shirley Womack Calhoun– Wash the dishes in the sink, not dishwasher… w/lots of BLUE DAWN DISH LIQUID. Then I use a moisture magnet hand/body satin lotion I get from … put on a pair of white cotton gloves & n the morning start all over…. but w/gardening gloves.

Marcia Chretien– Mary Kay here to…put it on at bedtime….:)

Aminah Luqman– I do the dishes after I garden, so my nails get clean and my dishes do, too! Then I deep moisturize with organic coconut oil or some good Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I’m already in the kitchen, so that works out pretty well. :o) (My daughter, Madeline, a cosmetologist agrees with this one because she says, only oils like coconut and olive have molecules small enough to penetrate your skin’s cells.)

Garden Glove rack from 'Instructables'

Garden Glove rack from ‘Instructables’

Joyce England– I use gloves most of the time but sometimes I just forget and start grabbing Mary Kay night cream is what I use I rub it into my hands real good and try to keep still until I fall asleep.

Diane Tyler Button– Wear gloves for everything! Well, almost. I have to force myself but it makes a huge difference. Use Dove soap to bathe. Have hand cream by every sink and use it. When I come in from the garden and wash my hands, I dry them well and pour hydrogen peroxide all over my hands and nails, under my nails, then rinse, dry and put on hand cream. Makes a difference!!!!

Ericka Possehn Ducret- Gloves! I wash them with a cream wash and then use Crabtree & Evelyn’s gardening cream…fabulous stuff that is…I need to hunt some more down before my hard work begins!

Monika Clauberg- Grief, that sounds just like me. Had a pedicure yesterday, my feet are fabulous, but…..MY HANDS are in terrible shape for the same reason. I use “now solutions shea butter” from Whole Foods, comes in a 7oz little pot. It helps, but is very greasy for a while.

Shirley Gaydos Brown– Sternly telling you to wear gloves always!!!!!!!

Lauraine Piquette– First off, I start by scratching a bar of soap to get it under my nails instead of dirt. An old trick I learned in garden club. I always wear gloves and use tools instead of hands to pull weeds. It really helps. Use plenty of cream prior to gloves. I use cotton gloves first then mud gloves. Hope this helps.

Janet Page- Get a pair of Atlas 370 Garden Club Gloves… It will change your life and you will always show up with a perfect manicure. Trust me you will have more than one pair.

Kathy Taylor– I stopped using mesh made gloves for outside work because I almost lost the diamonds out of my wedding set. My body temp got so Hot it heated up the gold and the setting separated…with the pull of the mesh. Heads Up!

Kelli Clukey Richardson– lately I can’t get enough hand cream…my hands are so dry and I promised myself “this year I would wear gloves more”…. well the year is young…. today I think I will rototill some more ,even though its warm its to early to plant a lot of stuff….

Kay Comer- PRID in a little tiny orange tin at most drug stores and Wal-Mart $4…will stop the pain and heal those finger cracks almost instantly…pain goes away instantly and if you rub it in good before bed…they’re healed the next morning….ready to start fresh with new cracks :-) I can’t work in gloves either and we have 5 acres in cottage gardens…a wildflower bluff…a open spot in a woodland meadow that I’m just now working up….and a 2 1/2 acre secret garden….and my hands look like a farmers hands…..I first clean with GOOP….then put some clorox in the kitchen sink and soak my hands for a bit in that….and scrub with a tooth brush to get it out from around fingernails…’s a constant hastle…trying to keep neat and clean hands in the spring for me…..but SO worth it… :-)

Shirley B. Carlen– Today I am making lotion bars from a recipe on Birds and Blooms. Will let you know how they are. I also knit which dries the hands, also.

Pamela Johnson– Spray Clorox-cleanup under your nails when you wash your hands. Dry them and use “Corn Huskers” Lotion! Between gardening and woodworking, my hands can’t catch a break!

Margie Aldrich Smith Pope– I’m afraid I have dirt under my nails this morning as well. I’ve been transplanting and I never remember to put on gloves.

Kathy Ashburn Meinberg– Goat milk lotions

Katie Wellman- Before gardening, I scratch my nails over Bar soap to fill in where dirt normally would go, this helps with clean up after. Then after a good scrubbing I rub pure coconut oil into the dry skin… It keeps ot from cracking and smelling like a tropical island!

Ginny Theilacker– I swear by Gardner’s Therapy Cream by Crabtree and Evelyn!!! An absolute lifesaver for me!

Colleen Patrick Rucker– I found the greatest gardener’s hand soap in Seattle, WA. It’s little bits of lavender in it that help exfoliate my rough skin. I follow it with Angel Farms Deeply Moisturizing Lotion – also found at a kiosk in Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. I live in north San Diego county, CA but make the trip north a few times a year to see our grandchild and to stock up on these lavender products :)

Susan Hunter– had to force myself to wear gloves. I prefer the nitrile coated ones, because they last longer and keep my hands moist without being too hot. All the previous mentioned products work at one time or another, but can’t always count on them due to temperature, climate, and a whole bunch of other conditions. At times if my hands get really bad I slather them with carbolated salve and put on a pair of hubby’s old white cotton socks and go to bed. Big difference in the morning! Good luck and wear make a conscious effort to wear gloves.

Deb Peltier– I’m glad to hear about the coconut oil remedy…I’m a gloves wearer unless I forget. My hands are always a mess, even with the gloves. I don’t like the “feel” of gloves, so my favorites are the brown jersey gloves with the little nobs on them (better grip) but I burn through them quickly. One thing I LOVE is from Bath and Body Works is their cuticle cream…it really helps after I’ve showered and cleaned up to rub that on my cuticles and the ends of my fingers.

Debbie Rust– Wear the gloves!!!! I’ve worn gloves since beginning to garden years ago and can’t work without them! Weather here in Seymour, IN is GORGEOUS today! Just came in for lunch and a short rest (needing lots more breaks these days!)

Garden Whimsies by Mary– I wear gloves and my hands still feel like this LOL. I love Burt’s Bees Hand Salve . . . a farmer’s friend.

Garden Knicknacks– Most of the time CRY! I have the broken lines around mine nails use liquid band-aid. Burns a little, but heals quickly. Can’t pull weeds with gloves on mine hands.

Diana L. Duggan– I am a retired operator/salon owner specialized in hands and feet. I am also an avid gardener and practicing artist and have been most of my adult life. What I do and have recommended to my clients, is to wear latex gloves (form fitting)

Nancy Myrick Gill– I wear snug fitting gloves and they are very helpful. I have developed a condition that is truly aggravated by gardening and that is tendonitis in both wrists. I’ve been to a hand surgeon and she prescribed an anti-inflammation cream, but even with that and no gardening over the winter, my wrists are still very uncomfortable and easily irritated. Any suggestions?

Little Red Riding Hood– Wear latex coated gardening gloves and when you do get dirty…gently clean hands with a mixture of spoonful of sugar and a spoonful of cooking oil…massage into hands, rinse with warm water, pat dry!

Cheryl Lewallen York– Wow glad to hear that I’m not the only one that does not wear gloves as often as I should! My husband is my stern reminder and he always wears gloves to work in. My problem is that I usually have no intention of weeding or picking up a few rocks when I go out, but it just happens. Lots of lotion (no particular kind) and since I haven’t a dish washer keeps them fairly clean. My nails are all different sizes though from breaking.

East Dallas Art Gardens

East Dallas Art Gardens

Donna Hoopes Shipley– Richie I wear gloves and still get dry hands. Lotion often!

Debbie J. Carter McMahon- I do not wear gloves, and like you when moving step stones they cut my hands up. I got lots of good info from all these comments.

Joann Payne- Oh I know the feeling.. I hate wearing gloves also… when my hands get as bad as yours I use Bag Balm or a first aid antibiotic ointment… that will heal the cuts fast… as.. Love your page… thanks for all the wonderful posts.

Cheryl St.Clair- Bag balm before you go to bed with socks on hands or those cotton gloves..

Marion Cronen– Try wearing rubber gloves…the kind that doctors wear .. they are cheap for a big box of them…the dirt doesn’t get under your nails .. you can deal with the smallest plants…and your hands kinda sweat in them so they aren’t going to dry out ..I wore them while digging and transplanting some plants and they worked great..

Ester De Weese– If I been out working and end up with rough dry hands, at night rub then down with vinegar. You may go to bed smelling like a salad but wake up with very soft hands. Once it a while it may take two nights, but if I’m gonna be home alone I’ll put it on again in the morning after my shower. Just don’t’ rub your eye! lol

Judy Reschner Enzmann– I wear leather gloves (when I remember) they are very soft and save my hands…2 pair for 19.00 at Sam’s. I put them everywhere so I will always have them handy! Living in Georgia with the red clay… it really messes up you hands and nails!

Carol Lee Barth– Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners cream. Wear it year round and it has a refreshing smell too.

Blondeponders Garden and Duck tales- I learned the hard way WEAR GLOVES. Usually I would get a thorn or something and after a good soaking it would dislodge But one day I could not get a splinter/thorn under my nail bed. As the week went on nothing I could do helped and my finger got yellowy green,swollen and SORE! Off to Urgi-Care where the Doc took one look and said We’re goin fishing! Shot o Lodocaine and a small incision and I was almost good as new. Words to the wise WEAR GLOVES and get a tetanus shot!

3Beeze Homestead– I do wear my gloves. They may have wholes in the fingers but they work. I am always sorry when I don’t so I just do. Looking to get out and do some weeding in the flower beds today.

Tracy Narveson Bantel-  OMGoodness IS ME~ My wonderful nail lady that tends to all my cracks, loose skin torn on my fingertips, bleeding rose pricks, scars, re-nicked sores, she is always reminding me how beautiful my garden is!

Espe Del Sol- I also hate to wear gloves, I love the feel of the leaves and the softness of the petals, just don’t like the thorns, but since it comes with the territory I try to remember to protect my hands a little.

Sydney Van Buskirk Minor– I turned down a gift of a manicure for Valentines’ Day because I knew it would be readily ruined.

Kathy Zeller- ha!…same here, most of the time I end up putting on Vaseline and night time gloves

Connie Springer Schneider Baers– Pure Skin Repair-after I wash my hands with warm water and their soap I rub them gently with this salve. It feels wonderful and the pain, swelling, cracks go away. or on fb

The Meandering Path– Atlas 370 gloves ! In bulk from

Sally Scholes– I have always worn gloves since I ran into some Poison Oak. Never needed another reminder :(.

Kathy Johnson Swarms– I very rarely wear gloves. I love the feel of Gods good earth between my fingers and the more dirt under my nails the better!! Working in the soil, growing things, and harvesting the fruit of the earth makes me feel closer to God.

Rhonda Illar– I work in the garden center at home depot and when I am not there I am in my yard…God’s garden in my yard….I do not wear gloves …love to feel the earth between my fingers….so my hands are only pretty in the winter time…its so well worth it!!!!

Lynne Humphrey– I am guilty of not wearing gloves either. I have found that Mary Kay has an awesome hand lotion.

Becky Shaul Norris– I always put a heavy lotion on my hands and arms before I even go outside. I know when I get there I might forget my gloves and if i do, then the lotion protects and it also makes it much easier to clean my nails and fingers

Cary Itson– Working at a steel mill here in Japan, wishing I was in my garden :-}

Help my hands!


Terresa Stoll– I found a hot wax hand spa at the thrift store. Bought some wonderful smelling wax for it and each morning I treat my self to a “dip” and sometimes two. Or before bed, put vaseline on them and wear white cotton gloves. Learned that from a friend that was a stewardess.

Sherry Heier Haskin- I wear a snug pair of latex gloves under my garden gloves. It keeps my hands dryer and when I need more dexterity to do a task, I pull the garden gloves off and my hands are still protected. Put hand cream on before you put on the latex gloves and you get a spa treatment while you work. They make non latex gloves, too. You can buy them at a pharmacy

Flea Market Gardening– THANKS, everyone,…I think we all may have learned from this post! :-) I’ll be looking up some of the gloves mentioned, will be more diligent about WEARING them, (even if they get wet) and will try soap under my nails, even though it will feel weird. Did you all notice the wedding rings on my ‘skeleton hand?’ ;-P Sue


Soap and Garden- I wear gloves most of the time, taking them off for delicate weeding and separating, etc. I make and use Gardener’s products including soap that is gentle, yet effective at deep cleaning. I also use my lotion and at night, whipped butter to keep my hands in shape. Exfoliating with my Gardener’s Hand Scrub helps keep the skin looking nice!

Donna McCool– I use Dawn hand renewal with Olay to wash and put lotion on!

Jeanne Sammons– I HATE GLOVES but wear them almost all the time now…immune system is lacking now-a-days so I catch stuff…but still dry, rough, etc. ‘Aquaphilic’ Ointment (the white jar stuff, I call it)! Helps a lot!

Carol Swann- Yeah, noticed the rings…they’re in the wrong place. (No, they’re not, Carol) Crazy glue or liquid Band-Aid will heal those cracks in jig time

Elizabeth Torma Lombardo– Vaseline and white cotton gloves overnight! Makes your hands soft AND pulls out any remaining dir

Cindy Klein– WEAR GLOVES!!!

Jeanne Smith- Wear the GLOVES !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kathleen Hussey Switzer- WEAR GLOVES, LADY! Was that stern enough? :P

Would you?

Categories: Gardening, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

Marie’s Rust Garden

One nice thing about our Flea Market Gardening companion blog, is that we can feature some big garden projects, step by step.

This May, Marie and Randy Niemann, of Ogden, Utah, embarked on an ambitious raised bed project which totally transformed their back garden and patio.  Here’s how they did it over just the last months.

Randy was the architect and muscle for the job, and Marie, a long time member of our Flea Market Gardening Facebook page was the ‘decorator’, embellishing the beds with her collection of Flea Market junkola. Marie certainly did her part of the construction, too, even though she needs to be careful of straining her back.  Here, she says, she laid out the general plan to change their lawn into four raised beds with brick paths between. They also wanted a seating area in which to relax, barbeque and sit and enjoy the garden’s progress.

Garden plan laid out with ribbon

Garden plan laid out with ribbon

In order to complete the job, they needed to rent equipment to do the heavy work, such as this Dingo, sort of a self-propelled push tractor. They also added water spigots and drip emitters to each bed for irrigation. Randy took a week off from work to devote to the project…what a guy!

Marie had to remove all the Flea Market finds

Marie had to remove all the Flea Market finds

First each laid out the plan, Marie with tape, Randy with flags,…just get the lines straight! You might see Marie’s Mr ‘T’ back there in the corner, a scarecrow Randy and Marie made of old Model T parts. He’ll supervise the job until he’s moved to the front yard to join Neighborhood Watch.

Randy removed the dirt with the 'Dingo'

Randy removed quite a bit of dirt with the ‘Dingo’

Nine yards of gravel

Nine yards of gravel!

Filling the space with a gravel base

Filling the space with a gravel base

Since Marie and Randy live at 4500 feet, they needed deep footing to run water pipes.

Leveling the area exactly

“More prep work, the area has to be perfectly level, a good foundation makes for a good end result.”

Marie has a tip, “The main rule of thumb is to have a good solid level foundation to get good results in the brick being level. I actually invented a little tool to help in measuring the tamped down gravel. It had to be perfect! I got tired of bending down measuring the depth for Randy. So I got a piece of white PVC pipe and spray painted the bottom three and a quarter inches florescent orange. Then it was simple to walk along to check the depth against the string to see if we were high or low. Don’t know if that’ll make sense, but I was happy with my invention that saved my back!”

Starting to build the planter boxes!

Starting to build the planter boxes from Randy’s design.

One box done, four to go

One box done, four to go. The blocks inside hold the planks together securely.

All six boxes built

All six boxes built, four large, two small.

“Looks like it is going to take a lot of dirt to fill the boxes now. Marie says, “We have some we saved to fill each one part way up, then add good rich soil hopefully weed free! I have a lot of sand left over, so I’m thinking of mixing some of that with this dirt. It should be easier on my back and also everything will be within reach from each side. I’m excited to get to them filled and get busy planting seeds and rust!”


Boy, that was a lot of work!  We are SO tired just watching you two do the heavy lifting…..

Laying pavers all day in the heat makes a guy dog gone tired

Laying pavers all day in the heat makes a guy dog-gone tired!

Marie says, “I don’t know why Scooter and Tucker didn’t go lay on the nice soft cool grass. Silly Boys!”  We say, “Pavers? The dogs or the bricks? My thoughts exactly! You need more dogs to pave this area.”

A truck load of good dirt

A truck load of good dirt

Now for the best part….dirt!

Ready to plant

Ready to plant.

Any gardener loves this sight….only we know the satisfaction and hard work it takes to get a garden bed to this point.  A blank canvas to ‘write’ on and Marie writes in RUST!

But oops,…not quite yet…

First things first before we plant we need water

First things first before we plant we need water.

Randy and Marie installed water lines to each box with drip lines for irrigation.

What are you planning to plant, Marie?

“Mainly veggies and will for starters use containers for flowers until I get a feel for how it’ll look! Before I had one small garden and one even smaller to plant and decorate. Now I’ll have to give this some thought with five!”

Finished raised bed garden

Finished raised bed garden, complete with the table and benches that Randy also made.

Marie says, “My hubby bought an umbrella for the picnic table he made, and I told him good job on the color! It’s the exact color of rust!”

It should be easier on my back and also everything will be within reach from each side. I’m excited to get to them filled and get busy planting seeds and rust!

Marie's junkola is ready to go in.

Marie’s junkola is ready to go in.

Funnel planters with baby wave petunia's started from seed

Funnel planters with baby wave petunia’s started from seed

A little more Rust, old bike and gate. That new windmill needs to age

A little more Rust, old bike and gate. That new windmill needs to age

Randy, taking a well deserved break with a Blue Bud.

Randy, taking a well deserved break with a Blue Bud.

View from the deck, July 3rd and things are growing and filling in

View from the deck, July 3rd and things are growing and filling in.

“I’m having a blast! It makes me so happy to finally be able to grow more veggies and enjoy my rusty treasures at the same time. I know we’ll be spending a lot more time outside now!” says Marie.

Salad Garden

Salad Garden, July 11

Pepper garden

Pepper garden

“This is the pepper garden with my favorite hanging funnel planters filled with wave petunias I grew from seed.” (see the picture above)

All photos are by Marie Niemann. More detail shots in the slideshow:

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Categories: Edibles, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Garden Vignette, Gardening, Get Galvanized, My Big Garden Project, Recycling, Rusty Rust | 15 Comments

Scarecrows visit DC on the 4th of July!

Scarecrows are a longtime feature in the garden and a popular creation for Flea Market Gardeners. On Flea Market Gardening Facebook page, we’ve devoted an entire album to these scarecrows called ‘Meet the Garden People.’ Four of these ‘crows have become ‘friends’ over the years and love to travel together partying from one end of the country to another.  Last march, they went to Boston for the St Paddy’s Day Parade. Join us for the second adventure!

The Flea Market Gardening scarecrow gang is on the loose again!  This time they’re visiting Washington DC for the Fourth of July celebration. The scarecrows and their creators are, Larry, created by Brian Stephan, Mr T created by Randy and Marie Niemann, Marty made by George Weaver and SAL, made by Nancy K Meyer.

All four patriotic scarecrows

All four patriotic scarecrows, clockwise from top left, SAL, Larry, Marty and Mr. T

Just getting there!

It was hard enough just traveling to DC from the various places from which they came. Larry‘s bags are packed, the taxi’s waiting, he’s blowing his horn; off to Ronald Reagan to begin the adventure. Marty may have some issues with TSA, if you know what I mean.  Marty did not have to fly down . Close enough he took the bus. Due to the hot weather he has made a lot of money watering the neighbors yards.

How DO Marty, SAL and Mr “T” get through airports? Doctor’s statements listing their metal replacement parts; plus pat downs.

SAL is always considered a dangerous weapon and TSA likes to hassle her. No worries…her hands are just handy tools –not weapons.

The four need to find rooms out of town and take the Metro in, parking will be bad and SAL is not used to driving on much more than gravel roads and two lane highways.  Wait a minute…they’re letting SAL drive?   Hmmmm, where are your eyes, girl?  Better take the Metro!

On the Metro, this conversation was heard:

SAL: It will be hot tomorrow…Marty better be sure he can keep the gang supplied with drinking water.

Larry: Water? What do you think bars are for?

SAL: Water was the recommendation of the website Sal checked out. They said nothing about bars

Larry: Water causes rust.

SAL, raising eyebrows: Oh my –never thought about that, thanks for reminding me.  (eyebrows?)


All four are excited making plans for what they’ll do during their visit.  The 4th of July in DC  is an all-day event in the nation’s capital, beginning with a parade along Constitution Avenue and ending with a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument.  The gang want to visit the Smithsonian and attend A Capitol Fourth on the Mall.

Larry reports that last night the gang stayed at the Watergate Hotel and had drinks at the bar while they waited for Marty‘s bus.  Mr. “T” arrived at the hotel and said the only problem was airport security wouldn’t allow him to carry a case of WD-40 on board. He’s called room service for a 6 pack of Blue Bud. Let the party begin!

SAL is so happy to see all her ‘buds’ again.   She has been reading up on DC and is so excited to be here for the first time.  Not sure if they will have time to take in all the sights and a parade and fireworks. But she has a list –you know us gals and our ‘lists’.

This morning, the 4th

Early this morning, men in the black suits started to follow them around. There are a lot of agencies that could take interest in them . FBI, CIA. Secret Service , Homeland security, Federal Election commission. The four decided to duck into the White House Garden…you know scarecrows feel the safest there.  They look and look and can’t find it!

The scarecrows spotted the first lady, then, and requested that she join Flea Market Gardening! They explained the sensibility and creativity of using junk in her garden there.  It’s a pretty green thing to do,” they say.  “Hmmm”….Michelle says, leaving… “I’ll have to let you know. I’ve heard collecting garden junk is quite addicting…”

The gang planting up the White House lawn.

The gang planting up the White House lawn while Marty plows.

After looking over all that lawn, and with SAL‘s tools in hand and Marty plow,  they decided to transform the lawn into a kitchen garden like they’d heard Michelle Obama was intending. Wait a minute ‘Crows,…the White House Garden is in the back!

The scarecrows were so hot by this time. But where has SAL gone?

Marty says,” I heard SAL was doing a historical reenactment and wading in the reflection pool yelling FORREST!!! FORREST!!!!”

Yes, SAL can get her undies in a bunch just like that (snap)wading in the refection pool –oh no!  SAL needs to be a good girl and not be so friendly with the other guys if you get my drift. Now we know why Sal was in the reflecting pool, she was trying to cool off!  It’s 100°F today in DC and humid!

Mr ‘T’ got stove up trying to pull SAL out because he was rusting in his joints! Larry to the rescue!  Uh,…a little late!

Larry to the rescue!

Larry to the rescue!

"Wait, please, officer,...I'll get her out!" says Mr T.  Oh SAL, you've done it again!

“Wait, please, officer,…I’ll get her out!” says Mr T. Oh SAL, you’ve done it again!

SAL explains to the officers,…”I wasn’t thinking…try having a shovel head for a head –not easy, but oh well!  Thankfully they let her go and the four set out for the Smithsonian. Poor Sal, looks like she’s getting quite a rap sheet.

Oops! While waiting for the Metro at the Park and ride the group was mistaken for a Minstrel Group and made some serious cash.

A 4th of July tradition in the nation’s capital includes a live concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and several pop artists performing patriotic music on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. The concert and show is followed by a spectacular display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. The concert is free and open to the public.

Our 'Crows, enjoying the private White House 4th of July picnic

Our ‘Crows, enjoying the private White House 4th of July picnic

Dinner and a Show

What?  An invitation to the White House private 4th of July Picnic?! Yes, Michelle Obama heard that the Scarecrow Patriots were in town and wanted to personally thank them for their efforts in promoting home gardening. Fried chicken, potato salad, chocolate cake and lemonade. Wonder if the First Lady noticed the front lawn plowed into a corn field….no, guess not,…at least, not yet!

Fireworks! Who's up on that lightpole?

Fireworks! Who’s up on that lightpole?

Last event of the day,..the spectacular fireworks show to cap the evening celebrating our Nation’s birth. What now?  Mr ‘T’ got a leg up from Larry and climbed the light pole to get a better view.  Luckily he’s not flammable!

Until the next adventure,..the scarecrows are returning tomorrow to their homes , saying goodbye to their metal ‘mates’, tired but happy!

-The End-

Categories: Red White & Blue, Scarecrows, Something fun! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Red, White and Blue!

Doreen Wagner

50 Ideas for a Red, White and Blue garden!

Red, White and Blue are favorite colors for Flea Market Gardening fans! Here are the best of our ideas celebrating Fourth of July and other patriotic holidays. Which of these ideas would you like to try to display your pride?

It can be as simple as combining red, white and blue petunias or as creative as painting a section of corrugated metal roofing.  Paint applied to terracotta pots chips off nicely after a year or two.  One tip for making an inexpensive flag look old is to ‘paint’ it with wood stain. Of course, this would be for craft flags. We observe flag etiquette!

In this slide show each idea is labeled with the name of its designer or see thumbnails of all the photos below:

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Please let us know your plans and ideas on our facebook page or in comments!  ~~ Sue

Categories: Red White & Blue, Summer | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Jimmye’s friendship boat

Oh, my stars!

Jimmye’s boat garden

Jimmye Lynn Dye-Porter’s boat garden started with a problem area on her property.

She tells a little background, “My home sits on a little over 1/2 acre and in one area near the property line, I get runoff from several directions. Needless to say, it is not ‘mowable.’   I decided to fill in as much as I could with top soil, garden soil, wildflowers and you name it.  One day as I was working, my neighbor who lives behind me was mowing (he owns the big pasture and pond). He asked what I was doing and I shared my plans… he said, “Would you like to have a boat to put in the low spot?”

But, Jimmye had already filled in, mulched and decorated this area with many projects inspired by Flea Market Gardening! Why was she starting over?

Jimmye starts the story, ” All of this was done in the first week of May. I was just sick of looking at the wet area. I had what I would call ‘completion on the original area’, …the one where the wild flowers, a bird bath, container plants and a wheelbarrow are. I was pretty satisfied with the area, then the boat came along. I left the original area, added the boat, then starting renovating it.

“My brain went into high gear when my neighbor first offered the boat.  I knew if he was serious, I WANTED that BOAT!  He and his wife delivered it on May 1st. My son in law came down the next day and helped me get it ‘docked’… and I went to work.”

“It became a whimsical challenge, just adding stuff here and there. I completed the project on May 12th. I worked all but two days and three of the days were 90 degree with unbearable humidity!  Everyone loves it! Other than my son in law helping dock the boat – I did all the work myself. A couple of times, I did not think this almost 65 widow would make it!”

"This is the day the boat floated up in my yard.."

“This is the day the boat floated up in my yard..”

Katty Kat and I spent all day putting newspaper & cardboard down to hopefully kill the grass in this area.

Katty Kat and I spent all day putting newspaper and cardboard down to hopefully kill the grass in this area.

"The red pump came from my childhood home."

“The red pump came from my childhood home. I used it to ‘anchor’ the boat. I added cypress mulch on top of the cardboard, then started ‘gathering’ items from around the yard,” Jimmye tells us.

"I started adding soil and more items from the yard. Lots and lots of garden soil. I added Lantana in the back, since they will eventually be large - red/white& blue wave petunias & red gerbera daisies," Jimmye says.

In progress….

“I started adding soil and more items from the yard. Lots and lots of garden soil. I added Lantana in the back, since they will eventually be large and red, white and blue wave petunias and red gerbera daisies,” Jimmye says.

Brooke and Fisher, two of Jimmye's grandkids

Brooke and Fisher, two of Jimmye’s grandkids.

My grandchildren who live down the road from me, Brooke, who will be 6 in June and Fisher, who will be 10 in August, came down to inspect the boat.  There are 2 pair of boots on the seat on each side of Fisher, these were their first pair of boots, I have filled them with Hens and Chicks, Million Bells, and other succulents.

Oh, my stars!

Jimmye’s ‘stars’ are really her grandchildren!

I added two additional cobalt blue stars, for each of my grandchildren, Jackson who will be 9 in Oct and Kenna, who will be 3 in June… they are Texans! I will also add a small star in Sept. when then new grandson arrives.  If you will notice, the boat is now equipped with Cobalt Blue Satellite capabilities!

"This is the original area and I was happy with it!" says Jimmye.

“This is the original area and I was happy with it!” says Jimmye.

“This is the original low, wet area I ‘filled in’ with cardboard and bark mulch.  It’s a good thing my son in law is in the furniture business – it took ‘almost a boat load of cardboard’ to fill in the low spots. My Granddaughter Brooke and I made the birdbath.  I had tomatoes, peppers, squash, scarlet runner beans, sweet pea, wildflowers and one lone Blue Bonnet!  The wheelbarrow came from my son in law, the yellow child’s rake $2.97 from WalMart and the hanging votive holder are decorated with the Bud Lite Platinum Bottles.”

“I planted sunflowers in the concrete blocks and the ones I transplanted from under the bird feeders.  There is an area about 12 feet between the wheelbarrow and pots and the boat, I am going to add canna, some of my daylilies and Russian sage.  My intent is to link the two areas, in the next week or so, lots of flowers & mulch.  I did move some of the items I had made earlier to the boat.. the rusty chair with the lighted sconce/the upside down tomato cages, the barrel planter. The rest I added after adding the soil & then mulched all around.”

“On the last day, I told my friend, Becky, that I had lost track of time, until I uploaded the photos and looked at the dates, I had no idea I had completed the ‘Boat Project’ in only eight days!”

“AND,” says Jimmye, “this is fact, the only craft I have ever done was needlepoint and cross-stitch and I have not been able to do either of those in about 15 years, due to my diminished vision. SO, this was an entirely new medium for me!”

Jimmye tells us, “I met Becky Norris through FMG, when I would see some of her posts there, or vice versa.  We would laugh at each others responses and then we decided we could be sisters, we have so much in common, even our heights, both 5’2″!  I have really enjoyed getting to know Becky, as well as others at Flea Market Gardening.  Everyone has so much fun and is so helpful and encouraging.  I am so glad I am able to ‘be a part’ of this wonderful group!”


My heart is warmed by your friendship story, Jimmye,…I love all your projects and smile at the thought that your ‘too wet’ area now holds a boat! ~~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Garden Junk, My Big Garden Project, Recycling, Something fun! | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

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