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

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

Becky’s big patio project

Becky Norris

Becky Norris

Becky Shaul Norris recently documented her patio project for us here at Flea Market Gardening this Spring.  At each stage she updated her progress and posted more photos.  Here on our blog it’s easy to show her entire project in one post!

“The work has now begun,” Becky tells us. “I am going to make a patio in this corner of my garden. I will be making twelve cement pavers with stained glass embedded in them, and the remainder will be filled in with brick that my best friend gave to me. I only need to set 178 of those hundred year old bricks!”

Becky posted pictures of the stages of this project.

“Gardening is a matter of your enthusiasm holding up until your back gets used to it.”  ~Author Unknown


Becky's garden area before

Becky’s garden area before

“My husband does not like the fact that I have a gas powered cement mixer that he has to start it every time but at least I do the rest! But I can only last to mix two batches per day. I have 8 squares made and 4 more to go before I can start leveling the soil and applying the base sand. That will be the hard part for me. I am not good at getting things level!”

Molds make four pavers at a time

Molds make four pavers at a time

“This photo shows a row of four molds.  My husband made four molds for me.  He used 2 x 4 lumber to make the molds, but he ripped the boards down to the thickness of the bricks so that when I poured the pavers they would be even with the bricks that I was using.  This made it much easier for me to have a level layer of sand to lay everything on, and I would not need to dig and get the layers even.”, Becky says.

Two of Becky's designed tiles

Two of Becky’s designed tiles

She says, “Today I molded the first four of twelve cement pavers I will be using in the patio. I have made stained glass designs to put in each paver. These pavers will be unmolded first thing tomorrow. I will then put glass designs in the next molds and mix more cement. I figure it will take me three days just to mold the pavers, and then I have to prepare and level the ground before laying all the bricks. I have to be patient. I want to do it all in one day.”

“In the process of making the cement pavers, I used one sack (92 lbs) of cement per two pavers. I make the glass designs by cutting and fitting stained glass, and I also used plain glass such as from a photo frame, to paint in a reverse painting method on the glass.  For the pieces I painted I used craft paint enamel which is baked in the oven for an hour. ”

Antique bricks, given by a friend and waiting to be installed, all by Becky herself.

Antique bricks, given by a friend and waiting to be installed, all by Becky herself.

Becky shows us, “These are part of the bricks that I will be using in my new patio. Can’t wait to get it in place because it will give me more places to put more plants. What can be better than more plants??? Chocolate maybe, but nothing else for me!!!!  It will be a big job, but I am up to the work. I enjoy doing this stuff so much. Can hardly wait to get it done.”

Lily, made from stained glass pieces and set in the concrete pavers.

Lily, made from stained glass pieces and set in the concrete pavers.

Becky says, “The lily was made with clear glass that I reverse painted on the back with enamels which you bake in the oven. I am hoping this paint will last and the cement will not damage it. It will be in a shady place most of the time so I don’t think I have to worry about the paint fading. All hubby has to do is crank the cement mixer and then he goes to sit down. I unmolded them this evening. Had a few chips on the edges tonight. But I just used a chisel and scraped the edges. They really look like they are very old. Really cool looking. I still have more of the lily panels to mold and then I can get started on the brick work!

Fleurdelis pattern

Fleur-de-lis pattern

Becky says, “This is one of the pavers that I molded yesterday and removed front he mold this morning. I molded four more pavers today. They measure 16 inches by 16 inches. They are still wet and very heavy. This is not as easy as I thought it would be, but I am doing this with no instructions and making it up as I go along.”

Don’t you admire Becky’s do-it-yourself spirit?  It’s very much the Flea Market Gardening way!  There’s one sure way to complete a project that way you like and that’s to do it your own self. And Becky seems to know her limits.  She portions out the work in the most efficient way while saving her back.

Contact paper masks the glass from the concrete

Contact paper masks the glass from the concrete

“I was not sure how the paint would do with the cement but it is working beautifully. NOTE:  The painted side of the plain glass is the side which went against the cement.   I laid out my design, right face up, and then covered it with a piece of contact paper.  After the paper was applied I laid the paper with the glass in the mold face side up, with the glass towards me.  (YOU CAN SEE THIS ON THE BLUE CONTACT PAPER)” Becky says.

“After the cement was mixed to proper consistency I just poured it into the mold and smoothed the top.  I took the mold off after about 12 hours.  At this time I removed the contact paper and I used a scrubbing sponge, the kind with the green pad on the yellow sponge, and removed any cement from the glass.  I also took a file and smoothed the edges of the paver.   I let the pavers dry for about two weeks before I laid the pavers and the antique bricks.”

Becky at work

Becky at work, figuring out her pattern and laying the bricks

“After I had all the bricks laid in the area I poured polymeric sand between all the pavers, swept the pavers clean, and made sure all cracks were filled. I then watered the sand and bricks according to manufacturer’s directions on the polymeric sand mixture.”

Bricks and pavers in their pattern

Bricks and pavers in their pattern

The finished patio will have few pieces of furniture so the pattern will show

The finished patio will have few pieces of furniture so the pattern will show

“We have put the bird feeder pole in place and the patio works great at catching the seeds, and it is also a focal point of the garden now.  I love my new area and I can sit and meditate and just enjoy the flowers around me.”

The finished pattern

The finished pattern

We love your patio, too, Becky and appreciate all your hard work. Thanks for sharing your work of art with us!  ~~ Sue

Becky's initials and her husband's, intertwined

Becky’s initials and her husband’s, intertwined

Here are two more photos of Becky’s whole garden and the decidedly uncommon path she also made from a common concrete mold:

Becky's garden

View of Becky’s whole garden area

Becky's fabulous path

Becky’s fabulous path

Categories: Garden Art, Hypertufa or cement projects, My Big Garden Project, Paths, Recycling | Tags: , , | 43 Comments

Annie’s galvanized “tipsy pots”

Galvanized tubs containers, combined with ‘tipsy pots’ is a genius idea and two of our favorite things at Flea Market Gardening!

Annie Steen has ‘upped the ante’ with her galvanized ‘tipsy pots’ and has added  water flowing from the middle tub pouring into a little stream that flows into her pond.

Annie's fabulous creation

Annie's fabulous creation

What is her secret?

First of all, inspiration from another FMGer, Jeanne Sammons who posted her galvanized tipsy pots last year here on Flea Market gardening. Annie says, “Here is my friend Jeanne Sammons ‘tipsy bucket planter… Isn’t it beautiful?”

Jeanne Sammons galvanized tipsys

Jeanne Sammons galvanized tipsys with beads for 'water!'

Annie Grossart-Steen says, “I put mine at the top of the waterfall of the pond, with clematis growing in the back…I have no idea whats going in them yet, but I have a few weeks to think about it. Thanks for the wonderful Idea!”

Annie’s ‘how-tos’

“The rod I used is a 1″ electric conduit steel pipe. I drilled holes in the buckets, ran a pipe through the bottom tub into the ground and stacked the buckets. The buckets are screwed to the center rod, and that rod goes through the bottom tub about 2 feet into the ground.”

Tipsy tubs, ready to be planted

Tipsy tubs, ready to be planted

Annie used a galvanized watering can, a coal bucket, two medium sized tubs and a large wash tub, drilling drainage holes in the bottoms.  Galvanized is a term used when  steel or iron has been coated with zinc to prevent rusting, and it’s just fine to plant in!

For terracotta tipsy pots, a rebar or other thin pipe is pounded into the ground about a foot, then the pots are threaded and tipped this way and that onto the bar. Soil is added and flowers planted.  Push the bar down into the top pot so it doesn’t show!

“This sits right at the top of the waterfall of the pond, and I ran a hose up to the coal bucket and the water pours right back into the pond. Can’t wait to see it planted with the water spilling over….am I crazy or what…” Annie asks.

Galvanized 'tipsy pots' Photo by Annie Steen

Galvanized 'tipsy pots' Photo by Annie Steen

Ann Elias also saw Jeanne’s idea and acquired the ‘raw materials’ needed.  She says, “After seeing the photo of Jeanne Sammons tipsy bucket planter…I had to go check out my stash in the backyard by the fence which I placed there last year.”

Ann Elias's 'tipsy pot-to-be'

Ann Elias's 'tipsy pot-to-be'

“I got these from my Mother-in-laws garage when getting her house ready for an estate sale. I have a watering can somewhere in the garage. I can’t wait to make one and plant it…and then bring my mother-in-law over to see what I did with her treasures. THANKS so much to everyone here for all the inspiration!” Ann says.

Thanks especially to Jeanne and Annie.  You’ll inspire many to do this project.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Get Galvanized, Recycling, Water feature, Weekend Project! | 15 Comments

Getting galvanized…in the garden

Sempervivum arachnoideum Hens and Chicks 'Cebenese' in an old bucket

Sempervivum arachnoideum Hens and Chicks 'Cebenese' in an old bucket

Galvanized metal is simply steel in some form that has received a thin coating of zinc oxide, which simply prevents containers from rusting when exposed to the elements. This makes it perfect as a planter for bright succulents or spring annuals on the patio.

This galvanized strainer pail, found at the Flea Market, is filled with Hens and Chicks ‘Cebenese’, Sempervivum arachnoideum. The little chicks have a spidery web attached to the spines. The muted coral of the blooms contrast well with the blue grey steel.

What about growing vegetables in galvanized tubs? Is it safe?
Johanna Silver, Sunset test garden coordinator says,

“All of the professors I tapped from UC Davis saw no problem with gardening in galvanized containers. …. Zinc, which is a trace chemical in the soil, poses little risk to the plants, and won’t accumulate to unhealthy levels for humans in the crops.”

So don’t worry if planting veggies; they’re perfectly safe and your galvanized tubs will be long lasting as well!

Osteospermum, Salvia 'May Night' and graniums in a galvanized palnter on wheels.

Osteospermum, Salvia 'May Night' and geraniums in a galvanized planter on wheels.

Set by the front door, this galvanized planter, found at a tag sale, is the perfect size and proportion and has the added advantage of having casters, so it can easily rolled away to sweep. Filled with seasonal flowers it brightens the entry! Next time you see galvanized containers of any size at the Flea Market, better gather them up and get galvanized!

Also see my galvanized tubs used as a vegetable garden and an onion farm!  For ALL our galvanized garden ideas, go directly to our Get Galvanized photo album on our FMG Facebook page.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Garden Art, Garden Junk, Get Galvanized, Recycling | Tags: | 6 Comments

Why do I love junk?

You know a junk lover lives close by...

You know a junk lover lives close by...

On our Flea market gardening page on Facebook last July, Wanda Bailey wonders WHY she buys the junk she buys?

There have been references to this being a support group for Junk buyers, hauling home all sorts of free and cheap stuff that no one else wants. So, think about it and tell us WHY you like buying junkola and how you got started doing so. I have to think about that one, too. ~~ Sue

Jackie Wilber I love junk because it’s free, preserves history, can be recycled, and uses my eclectic sense of creativity to transform it. Enough said :)

Pami Taylor Hmmm …. I could make a small greenhouse with all those windows and doors …

Jacqui Rogers Judging by the above pic all you need now is four walls – I think that explains the lov of junk to a TTTTTT

Linda Harrison I look at these windows and remember the magazine article that showed the frame on a wall with cute vintage evening bags hung in each ‘frame’….already had the window and 2 purses but had to find more purses….then there was the solid door turned into a table on HGTV so hauling things homes is a sign of great creative mind, a desire to create beauty out of (tr)ashes… ;-)

Jane Weeks Pictured stuff isn’t junk! It’s wonderful bits of history that can still serve many useful purposes. (I have quite a few old windows, too, but I used some in my new (read ‘using old stuff’) kitchen cupboard wall!

Patty Fitch Hicks The whole reason I like junk is that I see good use still in it. I do love the patina of past years too. Makes a place feel like its been there forever. It’s never really junk to me but things that just need to find a new use or new home where they can still be used and appreciated. Like in my garden…lol

Penny Duckworth Why I bring home junk, it reminds me of simpler times. also it needs to be loved by someone. I was the first of the baby boomers, things where hard to come by still and my parents would re-purposed items. You didn’t run out and buy new.

Penny Duckworth Also the old was better made than today products

Wheelbarrow full of sedum

Wheelbarrow full of sedum

Patricia Short McCall Elkins Revamping, recycling and finding new ways for it’s use! Creativity is inspiring and uplifting!

Brenda Skime I love having pieces that, if they could talk, would have such stories to tell!!

Zola Denio Can’t stand to see good old things that can still be used, destroyed—Who knows—we might need them 20 years from now!!!

Nicole Frye Seebart It makes my heart happy! I love to think about the people that worked hard to craft the item that I save from the garbage. I love old needle points, linens, etc. & I’ve just found the last one I needed to frame

several up in an old 9 pane window to display in my home. I enjoy things in my home that you can’t just go buy at Target, the hunt is almost as much fun as displaying it. You can’t find that quality anymore & when it is gone, it is gone forever. ;)

Flea Market Gardening I guess I started going to swap meets as a young girl with my neighbor-friends and saw how they valued old things, then an old German neighbor gave me a child’s dressing cabinet in exchange for me driving him to synagogue every Saturday. I hadn’t thought of that in a long time. I still have that cabinet. ~~ Sue

Susan Coffey Kirby Just ’cause it’s fun! You can use the left side of your brain & let your creative juices flow!

Marilyn Ward The two best wheelbarrows I have are junk finds – hard rubber tires, rusty or peeling paint, but they do a lot of hard work. The one I bought new a few years ago has a pneumatic tire that will NOT stay inflated, so it’s unusable; I drilled drainage holes in it, and it’s going to be filled with sedum and succulents. I love JUNK!

Donna Herman I like primitives and I like crafting so I love combining them….everyone that comes to my home always says you have such neat stuff…and i say to them “see that “junk” pile out there ,without that I wouldn’t have this”….lolololol

Betty Lee Wiggs Junk is a part of history, our past. Lots of times it brings back wonderful memories of those years gone by and the “remember whens”. Just look at something and try to think of three different ways to use it. Now getting the time to use it is something else.

Flea Market Gardening Did anyone start by reusing old family kitchen things? I still love using my Mom’s old stand mixer and my Grandma’s red wooden handled kitchen utensils. ~~ Sue

Marilyn Ward In a corner of my bedroom stands a rusty old dress form that is always dressed for the season – cotton dress in the summer with a straw hat; hand knit sweater and skirt in the winter with a wool hat. I picked ‘her’ up from a friends garbage pile many years ago.

Trudi Wilbur Ooooh I ♥ those windows and doors! I love creating things so to have all the junk laying around just keeps my mind going. :) Creating is my way of balancing life.

Jeanie Merritt I was my father’s son.( let me explain) He had 5 girls and no boys so I, being the oldest, got to be the one who helped him with the gardening, drove the tractor, helped him change the spark plugs in his car, etc, etc.. AND he loved flea marketing and auctions… so along I went. Sometimes I was embarrassed as a young girl helping dad haul all of the “junk” back to the truck and into a shed at home until he “figure out” what to do with it..I just shook my head and didn’t voice my opinion( you didn’t in those days if you were a child). Now I am my father…. Going to flea markets and auctions and carrying” junk” home until I figure out what to do with it…If Dad were still alive he would be smiling!!!!

Donna Herman When I was young(and dumb)we had a old man that lived in the same town ,he was known as the “junk man” of the town and people would wonder why he would want all the “junk” in and around his yard….i could answer their questions now for them……CAUSE HE WAS HAVING SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!

Sal Salamander When my father was alive he had a flea market with a good friend, my grandmother had an Antique Store. It is in my genes.

Robbie Tatro Some of you will get to be on TV! “Hoarders” The one lady who lost her cat years before her episode but it had died IN her house. That memory keeps me from going over the edge.

Marie Niemann It started way back when I was a kid and would bring cool stuff home I found on the piles people would put out for the trash pick up. Going to the dump was more fun than going to a carnival! Still collecting and will not stop even if I win the lottery! When?

Kathleen Groh Levy Marie, I’m with you! I am a junker from way back. To me the biggest attractions of junk are (1) the hunt for a treasure that costs next to nothing or costs nothing at all and (2) finding a unique and oddball way of using it to decorate. Both are amazing and fun challenges.

Donna Herman Robbie..I am scared of just that very thing….shhhh!!! lol

Dianne Harbin Voss Started out because we couldn’t afford new things! Now I just love being creative and a little crazy!

Joanne Nixon I think I inherited the gene…my dad collected tools, my mother collected shoes…and I love junk…my daughter called me a “hoarder” ….what a silly thought….lol. my dad bought a case of tuna thinking what a great buy it was….turned out it was tuna CAT food…and they didn’t even have a cat…….that was one of the funniest things he ever did….I still think about it when I see “tuna”..

Flea Market Gardening Yes, Robbie and Donna, when your family tells you that the people from ‘American Pickers’ is coming out to put you on the show but the ‘Hoarders’ crew shows up, you know you’re in for an ‘Intervention’! ~~ Sue

Donna Herman Hahaha! Thats a scary thought….and I have to say something about “American Pickers,” ..first I LOVE the show..second I think they have gotten us pickers/junkers some respect…lol

Kathy Witherington Gilbert I really dont know ,it is a strange desire,maybe because I see a idea to be creative and make smething,mabe because it is great to mix with new things in a project to get that eclectic look, or maybe it is because when I see these woderful treasures I know it is something you cannot find at your locale chain store !!

Grandma's motel chair and grandpa's old tools

Nancy K. Meyer Most of my garden RUST are friend or family memories. I garden with Hostas, Rust and Memories. Plan on typing out a detail list this winter to go with my many garden photos. Don’t know if anyone cares about the stories, BUT I do~~~ will give me a winter project.

Renee’ Barclift Most of the new stuff they make nowadays is junk.

Sal Salamander Hey, love the chairs in the photo…

Sue Gerdes Why i drag junk home? what a silly question, the junk from years ago has quality that we don’t make anymore. everything is mass produced and we live in a “throw away” society. things from the past are not hollow they are solid, they are not pressed they are cut and welded with such wonderful designs and elegance. junk that I drag home is made to withstand time and wear. I love making things from these beauties, to breath new life into them and save them from the dumps and to show others what can be done so they can do the same and say with pride “I made that”. look at all the good things saving junk does for us, we can save space in our landfills and save buying materials from stores and make something no one else has and it gives us pride….I also drag junk home cause i am cheap. ;o) ~Flea2Fab

Debra L. Martin I would pick it up or buy that stuff. good stuff. I see a green house just laying there. Yes I am a junker and I lov it!

Annie Grossart-Steen It’s all ’bout the Quest for Me~ and the places we go and the people we meet along the way….The junk is just a bonus! It’s not knowing what your going to find that makes it so much fun!!! Have a good Day :)

Wanda Bailey I think we just feel bad for the things that get tossed aside, and think we have to rescue them.

Kirk Willis Some of my favorite memories are going garage saling with my Dad and aunts… We didn’t have much growing up…and neither did my parents. So, garage saling was a blast. I inherited the gene! LOL But….I have a photo of my work table in the garage… it is overloaded with treasures…almost an embarrassment! LOL I thought of posting it here to motivate me… I am a SUPER neatnick except for my work area! :o)

Debbie Groff-Childs Because it is fun to find good things and then even more fun to find things to do with it :-)

Old galvanized planter by the front door

Old galvanized planter by the front door

Robbie Tatro Wanda, be very careful with men. The ones that need to be rescued CAN’T be! Although my husband and my dog were both second hand hounds and quite the keepers.

Nell Howard Stelzer I have always liked old junk ! I love crafting and repurposing,in the house and in the gardens !

Lynne Glover Mann I grew up with parents who never threw anything away and repurposed everything. Later in life Daddy would go to auctions and buy box lots of ‘stuff’ . It was like Christmas going through them when he got home. I have continued the love of junking and have it throughout my home and gardens and now even started volunteering at a place called the ‘Scrap Exchange’ a reuse, repurpose organization that strives to keep ‘junk’ out of the landfill. Junk is a part of my life :)

Gail Brunke I love out pickin’ and rescue that Old stuff… growing up on a farm and just knowing you didn’t always have the money to buy new, you repaired and repaired … each piece has a story and when I pick it up in my hands & hold it that piece begins to talk. It’s in the blood :)

D Diane Weiss It has character. Some of the old distressed colors cannot be copied! Almost anyone can make something out of almost nothing! Just takes some imagination! The old adage – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure rings TRUE!!

Wanda Bailey Robbie…my husband and two of my dogs are second hand hounds …I wouldn’t trade them….except for the one dog…he bites! :0)

Debra L. Martin my first memory of picking/junkin was out looking for old wood from the torn down outhouses. so Mr. Davis could build us girls a playhouse in the back yards. Ohhh it was a beautiful site and veer colorful …loved it!

Robbie Tatro My mom came to visit and saw all the old auction stuff my husband bought. She lived thru the depression as a teenager and adult. Mom said, “It was old crap back then,it’s old crap now, let’s go to Walmart and buy something good!” I still have that old crap furniture and can’t help but laugh at the memory.

Kathleen Hussey Switzer because,deep deep down in my soul.I am cheap..LOL

Brenda Small I think you must have a very creative mind and be able to think outside the box. Making something completely different than what its original intended use was gives me a happy high. Saving things from the dump is also a good reason. The thrill of a cool find…My mind races to think of something amazing I can make it into. Just plain fun and creativity! Since I was very young I have looked at life in a creative way..guess it rubbed off from my Mum who was always making stuff out of anything. An inexpensive way to keep 5 children busy when there was not a lot of money around.

Dianne Harbin Voss Years ago, I was out for a walk in the neighborhood…I saw a whole set of whicker furniture waiting for the garbage man to come by…I RAN home, told my husband and he got in our little Mazda and drove over…after he crammed what he could… into the back of our car, tired one chair on the roof and drove with one arm out the window holding on to the other chair, (our car was a5 speed too)…it was quite a sight, let me tell you…but it was a great set and we used it for years!

Vicki Childress I love junk…. for most of the reasons listed above but most especially because of treasured memories from my past. My parents and grandparents were great at making do or remaking and repairing things. I think their efforts showed great skill and ingenuity. I remember my grandpa whittling a replacement spindle for one of their dining room chairs. He also “fixed” a leak in an old enamel washpan by covering the leak with a bit of warm wax. Today I really love having different things that remind me of those days. I was a grown woman before I understood or could begin to realize that my grandparents were very poor. I had always considered them very rich. I wish my grandpa knew that!

Melissa Pride does there have to be a “why”?? :)

Garden Whimsies by Mary I’m with you Melissa!!!

Why do YOU love junk?  ~~ Sue

Categories: Garden Art, Garden Junk, Old doors and windows, Old windows, Recycling, Rusty Rust | 10 Comments

A place for the bowling ball garden orb

Looking at our photos here I was struck (wham!) with an idea for where to place my bowling ball. Remember this old rusty peacock plant holder….well…  What do you all think?

Take one decorated bowling ball..

+ a rusty ‘peacock’ pot holder

=  a fancy peacock!

For how-to’s on decorating a bowling ball like this see this post, Garden orb of modest means.  ~~ Sue

Categories: Blue in the Garden, Garden Art, Recycling, Rusty Rust, Something fun! | Tags: | 1 Comment

I ‘brake’ for succulents

A few months ago, I found this rusty brake thingy in front of our car in a parking lot. Of course, I lifted the heavy thing and set it in the back of our small truck bed. In the dusk, I couldn’t tell if Tractor Man rolled his eyes.

Ghost plant and sedum

Ghost plant and sedum fill the mystery car part.

Rusty brake 'container'

The rusty brake became a 'container'

It was a Red Lobster parking lot! High class, don’t you know? If anyone had seen this before me there might have been a struggle.

Rusty brake 'container' on log

Rusty brake 'container' on log

Now, here it is in my garden planted with pearly grey-green Ghost Plant, Graptopetalum paraguayense, Dragon’s blood’ sedum and set on a log beside a path. ~ Sue

Categories: Creative Containers, Gardening, How to: Easy projects, Recycling, Rusty Rust | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

Building benches and paths of desire

Places to sit in the garden? You’ve got to have them. Especially when the place is affectionately called ‘Rancho Relaxo.’

First the paths…

We took our time to figure out where to lay out paths and the words “paths of desire,” I’d read about stuck in my head. Paths of desire are where you really want to go.

“Landscape designers sometimes talk about “desire paths”: the paths traced by people’s habits of movement from one place to another, the paths that make clear where we want to go, and how we want to get there.” Dominque Browning in “Paths of Desire”

Regardless of where a professional designer would lay out paths, it’s good to let a little time to go by and figure out where you want to go on your place and build your paths there.

The first places to sit were old furniture I got curb shopping or from friends. These we put on the patio, …we had two, one the same level as the house and one down a level, built from stamped concrete in place of the deck that we had originally planned.

Old furniture from trash day

Old furniture from trash day on lower patio.

We had two level 70′ long leach lines as the start to our paths. The rest of the place is on a slope. Each year we’ve ventured further out building a network of paths in order to be able to walk out without tromping through weeds. I laid out a path going through the garden planted around the lower patio. Continue reading

Categories: Beautiful Benches, How to: Easy projects, My Big Garden Project, Recycling | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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