In which, I clean up my potting bench

The difference between trash and junk
I posted a picture of my terribly messy potting bench area on my FB page, Flea Market Gardening, and asked for help with what I should do with it. They posted tons of ideas and I’ve been working on it for the last couple weeks. Here is the “before”:

An awful mess...and unuseable

An awful mess...and unuseable

Why do we pile things up against a wall like this?

Even worse, weedy and depressing

Even worse, weedy and depressing

I bit the bullet and cleared everything out of the area, which is on the side of our 8×16 ft shed. It looked worse than before! This shed is seen as you enter the back patio area and where friends usually arrive. Distressing! I read through the comments again that the Flea Marketers had offered and went out to look over my stash of junk behind the goat shed.

Junk or trash?

Junk or trash?

Steinbeck liked it and I like it

If I seem to be over-interested in junk, it is because I am, and I have a lot of it too — half a garage full of bits and broken pieces. … I do have a genuine and mostly miserly interest in worthless objects. My excuse is that in this era of planned obsolescence, when a thing breaks down I can usually find something in my collection to repair it — a toilet, or a motor, or a lawn mower. But I guess the truth is that I simply like junk. — John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley

Before moving from Fullerton, a small suburban city in Orange County, California to here, when I’d find an old wheelbarrow or old window in the trash, I would snag them and carry them home. I once made my walking partner, Dori, help me carry a nice wooden screen door home to our houses which were set opposite each other on the street. One trash day we found two identical wooden birdhouses, one for each, and an old ladder for her garden (I already had several) and she was a bit more sold on scrounging. Yes, I like junk. It’s amazing what you can find when you look, and I actually can’t explain it, but I have been reusing junk for a long time in the garden.

Finding 'good' junk and starting to get ideas

Finding 'good' junk and starting to get ideas

After looking through the stash of old windows, shutters, doors …and some of the old wood found around the place over the years, I set up an arrangement of them on the bench and we (Tractor man and I) went to work putting those up and adding some shelves.

Shelves up, all the good stuffola set out and suggestions taken

Shelves up, all the good stuffola set out and suggestions taken

Good Junk:
old window
shutters
black shelf brackets
old wood for shelves
Boraxo soap holder
wrought iron twine holder
Bauer pots
rake for a tool holder
mailbox
old crate
galvanized tubs

Bad Junk:
Nursery pots
too cute doodads
broken chairs
plant tags and labels
rusty stakes
broken cupboards
broken pots
broken stool
old baskets-broken
wheelie bin full of trash
old plastic pots

During all this was found, a home for my seedling trays, possibly

During all this, was found, a home for my seedling trays, possibly

I sorted through all the junkola and separated the good stuff from the trash. The nursery pots that can be, will be recycled and the rest taken to the dump. It feels good to get the potting bench functional again and more presentable and I’ll post again if we make more progress. I hope to find a faucet for the sink so it can be hooked up to a hose to make the sink really useable.

I like this area. It will be easy to work here.

I like this area. It will be easy to work here.

To do:
it needs plants around
lower shelf on bench
hook up faucet
find a better chair
gravel ‘floor’
add color somewhere

To Be Continued…

I’ve been posting together with my friend, Anna Looper, on a Facebook page called Flea Market Gardening. She’s East Coast, I’m West Coast and we have a blog of the same name. Fun!
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