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.
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.
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.
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.
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!