Saturday, July 14, 2007

Creating Containers/Accents with Cast Offs

Yesterday on Friday the 13th my only two-year old digital camera died. How am I going to blog without a camera?!! I know if there are no pictures I don't waste my time reading a blog. Because a blog without pictures is just.....just...well, boring. So today I have pulled pictures from past years to illustrate my topic.

If Saturday mornings find you standing in a driveway awaiting the 8:00 a.m. opening of the big sale, then you probably already have a treasure trove of interesting items to use in your garden or on your deck. The majority of items require some work, mostly paint. But if you're willing to put in just a little effort you can get some unique items for your own garden.

Other people's cast offs have found a loving home on my deck.

Like this hose container that was reborn as an herb pot.

It sits on the deck all winter. Each year the sage, chives and French tarragon come back.

This tall indoor plant holder is another cast off from a friend.

I love the height it provides for a small container that would otherwise be lost among the big guys. Different height containers are so important to create a harmonious display.
One year I found a two-tiered homemade wooden shelf. You can't see the shelf in this pic, but you can see how it allowed differing heights of the plants. (You will probably have to click the pics to read the captions. Just hit the "back" button to come right back to this post.)

This full whiskey barrel was a favorite for about 10 years before it finally caved in.

The long wooden window box with the callas below was a great find! It has been home to the callas for at least 5 years. It provides a nice long line of blooms.

This little bunny was a buck and gave me quite a few years of whimsy before he finally broke in '06. I have quite a few watering cans just 'cause I think they are so cute.

The old grill has been a favorite for many years. This year is the first that I did not use it because I cut down on the number of containers I planted. Again, it provides that much needed height to give interest to a display.

This green metal tub is the one I now have the Tropicannas in on the deck. It was a steal for $2.00. Even my bistro sets were castoffs from the hotel I work at. I have 2 sets. I think employees could purchase them for $25/set. They are very heavy duty. They retail for around $200/set.

The wooden set was a garage sale steal for $15 for the ENTIRE set. The table I have on the deck is part of the set, too. They were a redwood color, but I repainted them all white. The glass-topped table here is not part of the set. It was a rare full-price retail purchase.
But the coffee can centerpiece was a secondhand find. I filled it with twigs for the centerpiece so that I would not have to walk out here to water it. This was about 4 years ago when I was "in to" pastels. (As you know I am currently into the hot colors.) I made all the pillows.

Whenever I see these milk cans priced cheaply I grab them! I have about 6 and I have never paid more than $5 for one. They are not easy to find for that price anymore. I usually see them for $20 and up.

Here's one of the milk cans with a wagon wheel I found about 18 years ago (I actually bought two of the wheels). I was thrilled to find these wheels! When I bought them, I spent a considerable amount time & energy removing the rust and painting them blue to match the house shutters. Now the shutters are green and I like the rusty look and so I just let them go back to being rusty. I saw a wheel at a garage sale I went to last month. They wanted $125. I paid $5 each.
Right in the front is a piece of driftwood (another piece that came free from the hotel when they redid the pool area a few years ago).

Over the years I have had a lot of fun finding and using all these bits of garden whimsy.

I don't do go to garage sales very often any more. Most people now think all of their junk is priceless (they get that idea from antique shows, I think). But every now and then I stop at one.

If I am lucky enough to find a treasure, it still give me a big kick.


  1. I am so sorry to hear about your camera! I can't read a garden blog that doesn't have photos (what's the point, I ask myself). I think you did well putting this post together with photos from your archives. I hope you were out shopping for a new camera today. ;-)

  2. Sorry about your camera! I'm taking it's more than the battery. Any warranty? If you have to buy a new one, I just love the Canon we have for the close ups and details. It will set you back a few, but I think I must have take a few thousand photos already with it!
    Love all your good finds. It's great to recycle too!

  3. Oooh, Zoey! What awesome finds! Isn't it fun that they all have a story?! How boring to just say you got them at such & such store... I love that my home happens... evolves... unfolds. So much more exciting!

  4. You are quite the bargain hunter. I have trouble seeing the possibilies when I look at stuff at garage sales. But you clearly have a knack for it. I especially like the use of the old grill as a planter. It does add height to the container garden!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  5. Great finds here, and you must have lots of pics stored on your computer!
    Good luck camera shopping!

  6. You have some great stuff, Zoey. Like you, I've pretty much stopped going to garage sales but my garden is full of my "finds" from previous years. I did stop at one yesterday which I couldn't resist because it was in the ritzy subdivision across the road and those people have good stuff. I paid $8 for a concrete flower pot filled with concrete flowers. Damn, it was heavy! And then I had to lug it around the yard to find a good spot for it.

  7. You're very creative with your containers. I never seem to have luck with container gardening. Maybe I should remember to water them?

  8. Bum news about your camera. I'm currently researching an upgrade to my 'starter Kodak. It was fun to relive your past gardening successes. Until PP came along, I wasn't nearly so bold to just put things in containers and wait for the results.

  9. Hi everyone,
    Still no camera! Thanks for all the comments. I so appreciate all of them.

    Willow, I was reading your comment and trying to figure out what the heck PP was???? Then it occurred to me that you must mean Perennial Passion! LOL. If that is indeed what you meant, I am thrilled that I inspired you to try some containers!

  10. This was fun - you definitely have a way with containers! I am so jealous of some of your "finds" - I absolutely love your metal tables and chairs - I'm on a quest to find some for myself!!
    Hope you have a camera soon - I love all of your photos!

  11. I love all your containers. And your porch is so full of beautiful flowering plants! Now I know not to toss our aging grill whenever I get around to replacing it. It will make a fantastic planter, with its two shelves serving as plant stands!


I appreciate you taking the time and effort to leave a comment. I will try to answer any questions you have. Please note due to Blogger changing word verification so almost nobody can read it, I have had to change to no word verification and only allow registered users to comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...