Garden Vignette

How to plant a rusty wheelbarrow for the garden

April-

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.

May

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.

July

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.

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

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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Junk garden weekend project-Dutch door

Saturday– Hmmm, Tractor Man gone for the day? Having coffee and wondering WHAT to do today. I love having a day when nothing is planned.”

Jeanne Sammons's barn door

Jeanne Sammons's barn door

Here is friend, Jeanne Sammons’s barn door which grabbed my attention. I first put it in my ‘Idea’ file, but then thought, ‘I have some of the things to make this!’ I might just go get the bottom half of my old Dutch door and the paint. Luckily it’s warm enough to paint still. I just HAVE to replicate this door.

Jeanne says “Here’s an old barn wood door that we rescued … I painted it white, added a board frame & grapevine wreath, an old freezer basket, a branch of Curly Willow & took it to daughter’s house with Fall Mum…picture a few yrs old … barn wood is fun to recycle!”

Dutch door before

My old Dutch door before, found on trash day.

Sunday– Pro-ject!! Here is my ‘beginning’, the old bottom section of a Dutch door, which I’d like to transform into a display like Jeanne Sammons made up. Saturday, I scraped and washed the spiders off. Wish I’d seen the spiders before I picked it up and carried it to the shed.

You all should have seen me carrying it down from the goat shed,…on my head! It was heavy and I thought that would work. Actually my head still hurts! I don’t know how women do that on a regular basis!?!?

Eyew...spiders!

Eyeew...spiders!

See the spiders? I wish I had seen these before carrying this all the way from the shed on the hill. Probably have some down my neck!

Dutch door after scraping and sanding

Dutch door after scraping and sanding

Monday– I brought down an old Dutch door to use as a background for a garden vignette and washed and scraped off the chippy paint. Some areas are bare wood. You can see that it’s possibly had a red undercoat. The question is should I paint this or leave it? Does this side look interesting enough to keep with a clear protective finish or should I start with a fresh paint job?

The door hardware

The door hardware causes me to choose the white side to work on first

Here is the doorknob hardware on the white side. NOT having to take this off and move it to the other side OR finding a new handle more decorative are two good reasons to maybe use the white side.

Dutch door before-the white side

Dutch door before-the white side

I believe I will be looking for clear varnish. I will take friends’ suggestions to scrape off more loose white paint. After one coat of Marine varnish, I will head to the junk stores in town to look for a wreath and an old wire basket.

Raw materials found at junk stores

Raw materials found at junk stores. You can see that the varnish has turned the door quite yellow,...NOT what I wanted.

Tuesday– Back from the stores with some possibilities… I found two items that can possibly be used in place of Jeanne’s wire basket….didn’t find quite what I wanted but will experiment with these. Jeanne used a wire freezer basket, lined with moss.

(See her original picture) The basket would hold a potted plant like Jeanne’s mum and a branch. I also found this wreath for $2 and will take off all the ribbon and stuff on it. So which container, the pale yellow metal basket or the black metal thingy?

Below is another look she put together using a sun plaque. I have a chipped ‘old man inter plaque I could use.

Jeanne Sammons's barn door with the sun plaque

Jeanne Sammons's barn door with the sun plaque

Test one

Test one

I’ve added the plaque to the center of the wreath. This light brown side has the light yellow metal container for contrast, I thought…. Drain holes could be drilled and plants added. Hmmm,…not sure…

Test two

Test two

I like the white side better, so will keep experimenting. The pinky-white side turned a bit too yellow, so I’ll be sanding some off. I was disappointed in the Marine varnish and will look for paint to transform the door, now better protected, back to the creamy white.

Dutch door finds a place in the garden,

Dutch door finds a place in the garden.

I leaned the door against this tree…it looks good here, I think, and so will try one more option going simpler. This looks a bit busy to me,…not the look I saw in Jeanne’s original idea.

Dutch door with a terracotta planter

Dutch door with a terracotta planter, decorated wreath and branch

Wednesday– After toning down the color which had turned too yellow, here are the suggestions from friends that I used:
-Some Manzanita branches were added to the wreath to add color.
-The Old Man Winter plaque was removed for being too terracotta and busy. I painted that so may see if it fits in later.
-The metal basket was replaced with a larger planter filled with thyme. I’ll be looking for a longer wire basket for Spring.

The finished door in the garden

The finished door in the garden

So, here’s the Dutch door in its place in my Winter California garden. I love it! I’ll be able to change the door around to the brown side when I want, as well. I’m very happy with the result and the difference is it looks easy for Jeanne and it was hard for me! Ha!

Categories: Garden Art, Garden Junk, Garden Vignette, How to: Easy projects, Old doors and windows, Weekend Project! | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Junk garden weekend project-Dutch door

Saturday– Hmmm, Tractor Man gone for the day? Having coffee and wondering WHAT to do today. I love having a day when nothing is planned.”

Jeanne Sammons's barn door

Jeanne Sammons's barn door

Here is friend, Jeanne Sammons’s barn door which grabbed my attention. I first put it in my ‘Idea’ file, but then thought, ‘I have some of the things to make this!’ I might just go get the bottom half of my old Dutch door and the paint. Luckily it’s warm enough to paint still. I just HAVE to replicate this door.

Jeanne says “Here’s an old barn wood door that we rescued … I painted it white, added a board frame & grapevine wreath, an old freezer basket, a branch of Curly Willow & took it to daughter’s house with Fall Mum…picture a few yrs old … barn wood is fun to recycle!”

Dutch door before

My old Dutch door before, found on trash day.

Sunday– Pro-ject!! Here is my ‘beginning’, the old bottom section of a Dutch door, which I’d like to transform into a display like Jeanne Sammons made up. Saturday, I scraped and washed the spiders off. Wish I’d seen the spiders before I picked it up and carried it to the shed.

You all should have seen me carrying it down from the goat shed,…on my head! It was heavy and I thought that would work. Actually my head still hurts! I don’t know how women do that on a regular basis!?!?

Eyew...spiders!

Eyeew...spiders!

See the spiders? I wish I had seen these before carrying this all the way from the shed on the hill. Probably have some down my neck!

Dutch door after scraping and sanding

Dutch door after scraping and sanding

Monday– I brought down an old Dutch door to use as a background for a garden vignette and washed and scraped off the chippy paint. Some areas are bare wood. You can see that it’s possibly had a red undercoat. The question is should I paint this or leave it? Does this side look interesting enough to keep with a clear protective finish or should I start with a fresh paint job?

The door hardware

The door hardware causes me to choose the white side to work on first

Here is the doorknob hardware on the white side. NOT having to take this off and move it to the other side OR finding a new handle more decorative are two good reasons to maybe use the white side.

Dutch door before-the white side

Dutch door before-the white side

I believe I will be looking for clear varnish. I will take friends’ suggestions to scrape off more loose white paint. After one coat of Marine varnish, I will head to the junk stores in town to look for a wreath and an old wire basket.

Raw materials found at junk stores

Raw materials found at junk stores. You can see that the varnish has turned the door quite yellow,...NOT what I wanted.

Tuesday– Back from the stores with some possibilities… I found two items that can possibly be used in place of Jeanne’s wire basket….didn’t find quite what I wanted but will experiment with these. Jeanne used a wire freezer basket, lined with moss.

(See her original picture) The basket would hold a potted plant like Jeanne’s mum and a branch. I also found this wreath for $2 and will take off all the ribbon and stuff on it. So which container, the pale yellow metal basket or the black metal thingy?

Below is another look she put together using a sun plaque. I have a chipped ‘old man inter plaque I could use.

Jeanne Sammons's barn door with the sun plaque

Jeanne Sammons's barn door with the sun plaque

Test one

Test one

I’ve added the plaque to the center of the wreath. This light brown side has the light yellow metal container for contrast, I thought…. Drain holes could be drilled and plants added. Hmmm,…not sure…

Test two

Test two

I like the white side better, so will keep experimenting. The pinky-white side turned a bit too yellow, so I’ll be sanding some off. I was disappointed in the Marine varnish and will look for paint to transform the door, now better protected, back to the creamy white.

Dutch door finds a place in the garden,

Dutch door finds a place in the garden.

I leaned the door against this tree…it looks good here, I think, and so will try one more option going simpler. This looks a bit busy to me,…not the look I saw in Jeanne’s original idea.

Dutch door with a terracotta planter

Dutch door with a terracotta planter, decorated wreath and branch

Wednesday– After toning down the color which had turned too yellow, here are the suggestions from friends that I used:
-Some Manzanita branches were added to the wreath to add color.
-The Old Man Winter plaque was removed for being too terracotta and busy. I painted that so may see if it fits in later.
-The metal basket was replaced with a larger planter filled with thyme. I’ll be looking for a longer wire basket for Spring.

The finished door in the garden

The finished door in the garden

So, here’s the Dutch door in its place in my Winter California garden. I love it! I’ll be able to change the door around to the brown side when I want, as well. I’m very happy with the result and the difference is it looks easy for Jeanne and it was hard for me! Ha!

Categories: Garden Art, Garden Junk, Garden Vignette, How to: Easy projects, Old doors and windows, Weekend Project! | Tags: , | 4 Comments

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