January 2007

January 2007

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Recycled garden art or gaden junk?

I am a believer in recycling.  Some may call me a junk-picker. I suppose I inherited the disease from my grandfather and father.  I hate to throw something away if I can think of some other use for it, and I love old stuff.  So, while I'm waiting for my spring flowers to bloom (most of the snow has finally disappeared) I thought I would share my "found objects." I enjoy finding unexpected things in gardens. Do you like a well trimmed, organized, everything matches garden or do you like an eccentric garden as I do?
Some of you might be gasping - how could you put this treasure outside?  Yes, I suppose we could have tried to get a little money for it, but how neat does it look in my garden? My green peppers love their home. My brother bought a house in the country, one of those places where past owners threw their junk out back on a junk pile, and this was one of the pieces of junk.

Decorating a bowling ball to use in the garden might be considered kitschy, but I enjoy gluing stuff on old bowling balls and setting them in my garden.  This one is covered in colored stones.

The bowl portion of this birdbath broke, so I planted a fuchsia in it. That was about 5 years ago and this is the same plant. I bring it in every winter.

Some might consider this junk.  Another treasure from my brother's junk pile. He dragged this broken, old washing machine out and placed it in my garden as my Christmas present one year. He knew I would love this more than any store bought gift.

Here's the lady of my garden. My husband used to clean out unpaid storage units and was able to keep anything he found.  This was a keeper. My niece used to be a bit frightened of her, as many small children would, but she pays her no mind now.

A pot belly stove with a crack in the belly. No longer able to hold a fire, but great at  holding my mini-rose in a rescued, rusty, hole-filled bucket.

What do you do with a gas grill that doesn't work anymore? Turn it into a potting bench! I took out the gas burner, put in a plastic dish pan to hold my potting soil and there you have it! The cover keeps my soil nice and dry.

I'm a sucker for these old stools. I have 2 of them in my garden.

Got this for $5 at a yard sale last year. I couldn't pass it up.

Another yard sale find. An old radio flyer - perfect for my impatiens.

Another wood burning stove - right out of my grandfather's workshop. Victim of another crack.

My granparent's pump - it was no longer needed when city water came out their way. It sits up so high because there is a very long pipe attached to it. I couldn't dig down deep enough to bury it all.I hope you enjoyed my "junk". I have much more - old milk cans, tractor seats, wheelbarrows and stuff I don't even know what it is. What kind of junk do you have in your gardens?


  1. I think you have just the right amount of items to give interest. I really like the lady and the reuse of the gas grill. Our old grill is a "sideboard" by the new grill and is often used to work on plants too.

  2. I love your garden look. We're junk collectors as well. Hard to throw things away when I know they'll just sit at a dump. There's an old plastic sink sitting in the garage that I told hubby I would use as a planter. He looked at me funny but hey, it's already got drainage!

  3. You've got some real treasures there. I like them all--but especially the old stove. It brought back memories of an old rusty one at our old house--I put pots of bright red geraniums in the grates-it looked fantastic.

  4. Sue, I tried finding a place for one of the stoves in my house, but my house is also full of treasures, so out to the garden it went.

  5. I love those ideas! Looks pretty neat.

  6. I personally am a 'neat' person gardener, not in plant type but I don't have a lot of non-plant or non-pot material going. That said, I feel very very strongly that a persons garden should have the soul of the owner and contain whatever that gardener feels fits the space. Its the only way for our gardens to be reflective of us!!!

    This topic is actually the only time I got in a huff about another blogger and quit reading a blog. :) (a blogger was pretty insistent that her way of gardening was the only 'pretty' way, and all others should be banished from the earth) I say go on with your creative self. More power to you. (though I am partial to not letting that coke paraphernalia rust... what would Pickers say!!??)

  7. Definitely garden art... If I were more into flowers and had a bigger yard, I would totally have old stuff to plant in and have my yard be more of a room with decor. Such beautiful pictures!

  8. Terrific use of old unwanted items.. garden art to me. Happy Spring!

  9. Loving your garden and accents.
    I have a few things like a old milk box from the 50's that stays outside for storage.
    But your right if want items to last...bringing them in durning the winter is a good idea.
    You have some great stuff !

  10. Jess, I agree with you - to each their own. I have to rein myself in when it comes to helping my daughter and mother with their gardens, they like things neat and tidy!
    Just let Pickers into my yard/house! (I might actually get rid of some stuff)

  11. Bonnie these are great pieces in your garden!
    Gardeners flow with what they love and you love these pieces and it shows .. I a little odd ball mix up with different garden art pieces too but my garden is small so I have to be careful not to crowd it too much .. my favorite thing is obelisks .. different designs .. all over the place for vines or just plant supports .. I have one in my KIA right now that is quite tall .. I had to fold the back seats down .. I'm sure husband has glanced at it wondering where the heck am I going to put that now ? haha
    We all love our treasures and it doesn't matter one bit if anyone else does or not girl ! : )

  12. Great, great, garden decor! Good job on recycling what other people call junk.

  13. I've seen your garden in all seasons and can vouch for its eclectic beauty- it mirrors your personality perfectly!