Tag Archives: Garden

My Rusty Garden

I’ve said it before, that one of the appealing things about having old stuff around the place is the associated nostalgia.  It gives me a warm, happy feeling.  Which is a very good thing.  An anodised aluminium teapot that I keep on the slow-combustion heater for hot drinks in winter, sparks memories of Sunday morning tea after church in the hall.  And of the old (perhaps they were not very old, but I was just a kid back then) ladies who poured cups and cups of tea into proper tea cups, for me to drink with my biscuits.  When I fill one of my brightly-coloured anodised aluminium cups for a guest, I recall drinking cordial in Grandma’s kitchen.  And I’m taken straight back to my great grandmother’s sunroom when I sit in an old white wire patio chair on the verandah.  So around my garden, to add to the cheer that being amongst plants and nature brings, I’ve incorporated old furniture items that made me smile when I discovered them.

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Since there are various animals living outside at my place, as well as young children about, decent fences are rather important.  And fences need gates.  Just an excuse to obtain more lovely vintage items really!  When it came time to fence our property, my husband and I drove across the countryside to collect old gates that we’d purchased on ebay and at our local second-hand auction centre (OK we didn’t have to drive that far…I don’t want to sound like we were racking up the fuel miles).  They added instant character and charm to the garden.  And now when I wander around outside or open a gate I remember walking along the footpath to school, looking in to front yards and admiring the lovely country gardens.

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We also have lots of chairs outside and around the garden.  I have a thing for chairs.  Not that I get the chance to sit on one very often.  But when I count how many old chairs there are at my place I realise I’m a bit of a chair collector.  They are very useful at least.  And all are carefully placed.  So if you ever happen to visit, you can be sure you’ll find somewhere to sit, inside or out.  You’ll notice with these old cast iron chairs that they have lost a bit of paint.  That is the state that I bought them in.  And that is how I like them.  Otherwise they might look too new.

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Despite appearances, this one is still going strong and is actually very comfortable.

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And on the verandah (the lovely antique wicker chair was a thoughtful birthday gift from my mum)…

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Tables are useful, too.  This is my favourite.  I wouldn’t dare paint it.

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My vintage pot plant stands remind me of my grandma’s back door steps.  Hers was likewise laden with succulents.  And the miniature jade (Portulacaria afra) on the centre shelf originated in her mum’s wonderful garden.

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Note the rust.  Rust is good.

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I just liked the look of this one – a vintage bird cage holder.  I prefer to keep plants in the bird cage (which is actually not that vintage but I did buy it second-hand and it looks the part I think).

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It is just as well I have a large garden to house all this old furniture.  As my garden grows and changes, my collection of old stuff evolves with it.  And more memories are created.

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Filed under Growing the Garden, Living Green

Home for the Holidays

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I couldn’t resist including a little typewriter love in this post – a packing list for last week’s holiday.  To my old house.  Sounds exciting doesn’t it!?

An odd list of holiday necessities it would seem.  Secateurs?  Boxes of cushions? Actually it wasn’t exactly a holiday.   The purpose of our trip was to make preparations for our eventual return to our property and for the arrival of a special house sitter.  There was lots of work to do.

But there were lots of sweet surprises to be had too.  Like the abundance of flowers in my garden despite the fact that it’s winter.   My resourceful preschooler set about collecting them (edible ones only) to make various exotic teas.  (Nasturtium or calendula tea, anyone?) I showed her the delightful red pineapple sage flowers and hinted about their sweet nectar contents.  Needless to say Miss L kept herself occupied with those for a long while.

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Our old vintage rocking horse became a surrogate pet for the week.  ‘She’ was lavished with various garden treats including nasturtium leaves and flowers, of which we have an abundance.  Thanks to my nasturium planting method of throwing handfuls of seeds onto the general designated area and hoping they will eventually germinate.  And of course now they self-seed quite happily.  This could be a problem. But I’ve noticed that as the seeds are too large to be dispersed by wind (they’re about pea size) they tend to fall close to the parent plant rather than spreading all over the garden.  Which is very good of the nasturtium.  (In contrast to the lemon balm which I mistakingly planted in a front garden bed and now discover popping up anywhere there’s a bit of soil.)

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While Miss L was busy with plants and animals I found myself taking pseudo-holiday snaps in between wiping out the kitchen cupboards, unpacking boxes and blindly assembling the timber bunks which I bought second-hand on ebay.  ‘Blindly’ refers to the fact that the bunks came minus instructions…so it was a joyful exercise.  As you can imagine.  (And thank you, Mum, for your amazing dedication, perseverance, and skill.)

The sunny calendulas below were shot in a hurry – those little feet were  getting into a suitable position for flower-picking.  I had to be quick!

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This bright but delicate fungus was growing on a timber log that informally edges the front garden.  It was quite tiny.  But look at that colour!  Nature is incredible, isn’t it?

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And this beauty was  in a pot amongst the other orchids that were given to me by my mother-in-law a few years ago.  Living in absolute neglect.  What a perfect welcoming gift from my home itself.

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Filed under Growing the Garden, Holidays in Nature