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5 Ways To Find and Use Junk In Your Garden

5 tips to get “in the know” as a Flea Market Gardener

Everyone started somewhere on the quest for garden junk. You were bitten by the junkola bug at a Flea Market with a friend, spied something on trash day and unashamedly snagged it for your own, or were influenced by the old familiar belongings, too good to toss, from treasured grandparents. Here are a few ways to encourage this habit!

1) Look for finishes with character

If an item is already rusty and the paint is chipped, you don’t have to worry about protecting it from the elements. Also, if the finish is too polished, just leave it outside. A couple of seasons in the weather will give it the look you’d like.

Rusty and crusty,...good junkRusty and crusty,…good junk

2) Basic safety

Beware of sharp-edged and rusty metal pieces. Wear gloves when handling rusty containers and old glass windows and doors. Seal old painted surfaces on any pieces you think might contain lead with clear varnish or remove the old paint completely and dispose of it in a trash bag.

Wear gloves around rust, sharp metal and glassWear gloves around rust, sharp metal and glass

3) Shop your neighbors’ trash

Scout for “treasures” the night before “large item” trash day. Call your municipal waste authority for the next pickup date. ‘Shop’ in the fancier neighborhoods on their big item trash days, to increase your chances of getting classier castoffs.

Make sure your friends and understanding neighbors know your passion for garden junk. It’s amazing what will show up on your doorstep.

I'm afraid that. yes, my stash of old doors, windows and shutters was found on trash day!I’m afraid that. yes, my stash of old doors, windows and shutters was found on trash day!

4) Provide year-round focal points

Create an outdoor scene for when the weather turns cold, rainy and even snowy. Set a colorful table outside a window and lay a centerpiece that’s weather proof and cheery.

Colorful winter interestTry colorful winter interest like the watery aqua blue of these weatherproof insulators, with chippy painted terracotta. Pine cones are the surprise!

Tip:

To protect perfectly aged wood during the winter, be sure to brush on a sealer to prevent rot. Try eco-friendly SoyGuard Wood Protection Water Repellent & Sealer from Amazon. To preserve an aged patina on metal, apply a rust inhibitor, such as American Accents Clear Top Coat from Rust-Oleum.

5) Go for Color!

Pick items in eye-catching colors and interesting shapes that will create visual interest in the garden long after plants have withered. Forever, I’ve been in love with the basic primary colors of vintage Bauer flowerpots and stick to those colors in the garden. Find fun, inspiration colors of your own, by deciding what in your house or garden you absolutely love color wise!

Stick to a color theme like with my vintage Bauer pots, turquoise, blue and chartreuse mixed with terracottaStick to a color theme like with my vintage Bauer pots, turquoise, blue and chartreuse mixed with terracotta

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Sierra News Online

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