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  #1  
Old 05/18/09, 09:47 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Garden decor using what I have

I started a flower garden last year - my first attempt at gardening! It is coming along. It is basically two nice sized areas with columbine, lemon balm, elephant ears, daisies, yarrow etc.

It's an addictive hobby but I love it. What I don't love is that my back yard where my flower beds are located looks pretty tough. I am wondering if there is a way I can "decorate" my area using what I have which is not much. I have lots of plain bricks, some lattice pieces, some rock though not much, wood for burning, and tons of DH's Junk! How can I enhance my garden area to make it look nice and use what I have. I don't want to spend a lot of money and DH is not too helpful with this so I am limited as to what I can do - not mechanically inclined in any way and no carpentry skills. One thing I would really like is a fence of some sort. Our outbuildings have quite a bit of misc. stuff so I just feel like I can hunt around and find things ....but then what?

I hope this makes sense. Just looking for creative ideas here for my garden.

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 05/18/09, 09:55 AM
NickieL's Avatar  
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Lake Station
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I use whatever too... on junk days go around and look at junk piles to see if there are anything to use. I sometimes pick up old bricks. I have some beds surrounded by cut up limbs/firewood, some by bricks, and some by edging I've found. Right now I'm trying to save up enough glass bottles to use as edging around a small bed and in my "rock garden". I've seen one garden around here that uses dishes as edging....plates of all diffrent colors.

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  #3  
Old 05/18/09, 10:36 AM
Custom Crochet Queen
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Susquehanna, PA
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Sort through your hubby's "junk" and look for bicycle sprockets. Spray painted bright colors, sometimes glued 2 deep (larger one in back) and glued to an old broom handle, they make bright floral sculptures you can put into the flower beds as accents.

Got an rebar lying around? Bend it into arches and make a small arbor area. Put your lawn chairs in front of it and transplant some flowers to grow up it. Morning glories and moonflowers make a nice combo.

Use those old bricks to edge in around a tree. Fill in the space with chips made from yard and wood scraps you already have. (if you don't have a chipper, you can rent one.)

Grab hubby's old workboots and turn them into planters! Use old bicycle rims buried half way up to make beautiful arched edging along a flower bed. Spray paint any color you like.

Take a good look in that shed and think outside the box. Tell me what you see in there and I'll give you all kinds of ideas. We never have any extra cash for just playing around with either, so I'm getting pretty good at making new stuff from old stuff. I've even found sources of other people's junk to add to mine to finish a project.........lol!

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  #4  
Old 05/18/09, 11:20 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 249

Thanks so much for responding. You have given me some ideas! Keep them coming.

We have 2 old metal/tin wagons and I thought they might look ok on the edge of the garden to define the space and hide the unslightly things in the deep brush. What do you think?

The bricks are not the nice little red ones but rather they are the large plain jane cement ugly ones. Lol. I thought I could run some small logs thru them and make a fence. ??

Not sure what rebar is exactly but we proly have it.

There is lots of barn wood from a delapidated barn. I have 2 pieces of white painted lattice too. Lots of old bikes. Some bags of mulch. Milk can. An old milker, 2 wagon wheels (metal), an old metal bed frame painted an ugly bright blue - yikes!

I am at work so I have not had the chance to look thru his sheds, etc. but they are full.

Oh, and did I mention several old vehicles near the garden area. OMG! Help!

Thanks much!

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  #5  
Old 05/18/09, 01:10 PM
Custom Crochet Queen
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Susquehanna, PA
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OK-here goes.

1. Repaint the bed frames to whatever colors you like best. Lay boxed flower beds across them, like to grow annuals in before transplanting. Take some of that barnboard and make yourself a sign that reads "Please stay out of the flower beds" and enjoy the play on words.

Ask a talented friend to re-black the milk can and paint a lovely picture on the front. Or do it yourself if you are so inclined.

Turn the cinder blocks up on end, so that the holes point out to the sides. Using more of that barnboard, sealed against the weather, slide boards into the holes--repeat until you run out of boards or blocks. Instant rustic fence.

Repaint or black the wagon wheels. Prop against each other in a corner and let rosebushes or squash or whatever you like grow right up the spokes. It's gorgeous in the spring with flowers on it, used at the entrance to the driveway. Nice accent for the rural mailbox post, too.

Get some really bright red spray paint for the wagons. Sand them down with steel wool and repaint them. Set them end to end, with the handle ends toward each other. Drill holes in the seat area for drainage and plant with small flowers. Make a fairy garden!

Rebar is the metal poles used when building walls with cinder blocks. It bends relatively easily and can be used for lots of great and interesting things.

Got kids? Let them tear those old bikes apart and see what kinds of parts you can come up with. Let your imagination run wild as to how to re-use the bits and pieces.

You know what to do with the mulch...........rofl!

Not sure what to do with the milker except remove the teat attachments and use it for a plant dish. Lemme think on that one for a while.

See? I told you I was good at this stuff! Most of that barnboard can be sanded and repurposed. There are companies that will BUY it from you!!! Check into that. Reclaimed wood is all the rage right now, and you may be sitting on a small fortune. Which means money to get more plants with.

Look in your local pennysaver newspaper for someone who buys junk cars. You can usually get a couple hundred dollars for an old car. More planting and landscaping money, just sitting there waiting to be collected. The best thing? They come and haul the cars away! No work for you, and cash in your hand!

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  #6  
Old 05/18/09, 01:24 PM
Also known as Jean
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MISSOURI
Posts: 1,362

Sounds to me like you have the makings of a lot of great garden "junk" from what you've described.

We live on an old farm with lots of junk laying around and some great actual dumps of several decades of accumulated household debris. I "mine" these dumps during the winter to avoid snakes and poison ivy, but have found several things I use in my garden -- a couple of enamel ware chamber pots; a bottomless coal hod; a chipped, leaking, but great for planting, enamel ware dish pan; an old oil can; an old aluminum tea kettle, just to name a few. I also gather all the broken dishes I can find and plan someday to make some of those "mosaics" folks make with broken tiles and dishes. And there are used tools, wheels, etc to be found.

My DH doesn't much like the looks of worn kitchenalia being used in the garden, but that's tough!

My next project is to take an old bowling ball and make a "gazing ball" by covering it with little flat glass marbles and broken bits of glass. I find TONS of broken cobalt blue glass here --- from Vicks jars, apparently.

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  #7  
Old 05/18/09, 02:09 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks ladies, great input! I love it.

My mind is going 100 miles an hour......

I will hunt through the shed tonight.

Stay tuned.

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  #8  
Old 05/18/09, 09:24 PM
Katie
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Twining, Mi.
Posts: 19,396

I agree with Ninn, find someone that buys junk cars & have those cars hauled away for money! Good for you & DH. The latice turned on end would make a nice trellis for climbing roses too. Ninn had some of the same ideas I would do but I bet you'll come up with some of your own to.
We inherited a junk pile with our farm. In it was a long thing with big teeth on it, it's probly at least 4 feet long, all rusty but I like the rusty look, I used it like an ornament/edging in front of a climbing rose with hostas on either end & my herb planter on one end.
An old wood door probly out of an old barn I stapled old chicken wire to it & have my climbing rose using it for a trellis. I nailed 2 old horse shoes on the door too for decoration.
I use hardwood stumps I got from dh wood pile to put planters on in different heights in flower beds or around the yard, some I set little lawn ornaments on them like squirrel's, etc.
Have fun & just use your imagination.
As long as you like it & it's pleasing to YOUR eye, well that's all that really matters.

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  #9  
Old 05/19/09, 09:38 AM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
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I'll just add a couple of ideas for you...there are plenty going already here!

Any broken dishes or pottery around? They make a wonderful edging for beds. Just stick the old plates into the ground. You can also use the pieces to mosaic the cement blocks. Just a layer of cement or mortar on smush the pieces of crockery. Pebbles work wonderfully, too.

Old flower pots wired together into bell columns. I use various sizes of terracotta pots, upside down, as bells in the trees or on shepherd's hooks. You can paint them with anything, acrylic or oil type paints. house paint. enamels. whatever you have. paint the whole thing, or just put some squigglies on them. Or leave them plain.

dig a shallow hole in the ground, mix up some concrete and smear in the hole...1inch thick or so. Let it set, and you have a concrete bowl to plant in, or bird bath..mini pond.

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  #10  
Old 05/19/09, 08:05 PM
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I am glad I ran across this thread. I also have a lot of junk laying around. You got me really to thinking now. I love the ideas.... Joni

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  #11  
Old 05/21/09, 09:41 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thank you so much for all the input. It's been great to read these ideas.

One thing I really want to accomplish with my garden area this summer putting up some sort of fence to define the garden/back yard area and hide the unslightly brush and weeds. DH is NOT into this so it has to be something I can do on my own.

Or - He has 2 old metal wagons he hauled wood home from a sale. They got plopped down on our acreage and drive me nuts. But I got to thinking that if he pulled them around to the backyard (again, using the idea of using what I have) that I could use them as a "fence". He never says no to me, but just well, I don't know...blah, blah, blah. I think that would work temporarily and of course no money invested so I love that. How can I "motivate" DH to do this for me. And what do you think? Good idea or just go buy fencing? I think it would give the space a rustic look - lol.

TIA

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  #12  
Old 05/21/09, 10:05 AM
 
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Location: New York
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The flower bed in front of our home is 1/2 circle of old iron bed headboard hooked together, looks great.

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  #13  
Old 05/21/09, 10:20 AM
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Location: South Central Wisconsin
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Fences. For NO money, but a lot of time, you could do a wattle fence if you have any source of branches, saplings, sticks...and some sort of vining plant that you could weave between the uprights. Check out http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...022800556.html

or
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organ...en-Fences.aspx

It could be as simple as just doing the corners of the garden area. You could use your wagons as an anchor (visually speaking) in each corner, or on the sides.

with the wattle idea, you can weave upwards, into a tepee shape and grow morning glories or beans or anything that climbs.

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  #14  
Old 05/21/09, 11:01 AM
Hired Hand
 
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I filled an old wheelbarrow with soil & plant flowers in it every summer. An old pair of workboots serves as a planter for strawberries. This year, I hand dug a small fish pond and turned it into a 'water bed' by framed it with a bed made of logs. Use what you have or can find. Small signs can be made with scraps of wood or even rocks. Small branches can be woven together or tied with pieces of wire to make a trellis or small fence.The most important element is imagination. Personally, I prefer a whimsical garden over a formal effort.

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  #15  
Old 05/21/09, 04:31 PM
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Location: MS
Posts: 24,554

Sounds like you have a treasure trove of good stuff! Sure hope you post photos when you get through decorating your flowerbeds!

BTW...this week I started working on an old floor lamp I found in my mom's sheds. I removed the wiring, etc. and sprayed it gold, then sprayed it with a textured brown paint to make it look weathered. It has three arms for light bulbs and a center. The globe is missing so I plan to attach a flower pot/basket on top with some sort of trailing flowers (probably petunias) in it. From the three arms I plan to hang matching birdfeeders (might put hummingbird feeders on it) and place it in my flowerbed.

LOL...even hubby liked the idea.

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  #16  
Old 05/21/09, 05:09 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: NJ
Posts: 47

My "garden" is baskets/pails/buckets/wheelbarrow because I rent, and didnt' want to plant anything completely in case i move....plus I don't have to worry about my mint taking over the world

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  #17  
Old 05/21/09, 10:45 PM
Katie
 
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Location: Twining, Mi.
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Yeah, I want pictures when your done too, I bet it's going to be beautiful!!

Wisconsin Ann, thanks for the idea of making a shallow cement bowl for a bird bath, etc. I'm going to try that one too.

I also use an antique wheelbarrow as a big planter. It's always one of my favorites when the flowers fill in, just planted it today for this year.

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  #18  
Old 05/22/09, 11:58 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 249

Thanks for all these good ideas. I will try to post some pictures at a later date. I did some cleanup and mowing in the garden area yesterday which helped a lot. I made a rock formation within the flower bed in the form of an S for the family name. Simple but effective. I will keep going.....

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  #19  
Old 05/22/09, 06:24 PM
 
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a few pics; i am open to suggestions



http://s71.photobucket.com/albums/i1...in%20Progress/

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  #20  
Old 05/22/09, 07:45 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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ok, i forgot about that...i changed my settings to make it public so hopefully you can look at the pics now.

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