Wonderful Wheelbarrows

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

Diane’s greenhouse dream

My friend, Diane, of Oakhurst area, CA, has long dreamed of having a real glass greenhouse, and now after many years and a few obstacles, has it standing majestically in her rural garden, ready for use in all seasons. On my visit, she showed me this and future projects in her garden.

Diane's greenhouse

Diane's greenhouse

Diane grew up with a Dad who loved roses, so spending time in the garden was a time for them to do something together. She says, “At the time I believe it was the idea of just being with my dad, but the love of gardening bloomed inside me and I have loved it ever since. My love of roses has not changed either. I think it is the challenge of keeping something beautiful alive. Continue reading

Categories: Garden Junk, My Big Garden Project, Recycling, Wonderful Wheelbarrows | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

‘Dragon’s Blood’ and first snow

OK, I see it now. After several years of growing Sedum spurium ‘Dragon’s Blood’, I have only seen a few of the flowers, which are supposed to give this plant its name. I’ve seen other folk’s examples showing the flowers, so I know it’s possible…but now see the ‘dragon’s blood’ that I do have. And I like it!

Wheelbarrow of Dragon's blood sedum
Wheelbarrow full of Dragon’s blood sedum, Ghost plant and finger aloe.

This wheelbarrow was found on trash day, yes…I wheeled it away! I planted up the rusty old thing and keep it here in the corner of the patio.
One day later…

Snow on the wheelbarrow

Snow, making a frosty blanket on the wheelbarrow of sedum

Categories: Garden Junk, Recycling, Wonderful Wheelbarrows | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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