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A Flea Market Garden: Art or Junk?

Simply growing flowers and plants is not enough for a Flea Market gardener. If you have hung an old weathered sign in your garden or filled a galvanized bucket with petunias, you may be one! For some of us, we have an innate desire to grow plants in a variety of odd containers, in old tool boxes, in wire baskets and in wheelbarrows.

We decorate bowling balls, collect old tools hung on a fence and have a strange affection for rust. We are attracted like crows to anything blue and sparkly. Glass plates, metal lids and trays are used to hold water in shady places in the garden.

Some gardeners hang plants on their porches. We do, too, but don’t stop at that! We hang buckets, wind chimes made of old silverware, teacup bird feeders and rusty funnels.

Flea Market Garden 2

We are in our element at junk shops and flea markets, yard sales and thrift stores and usually have a running list of wants and wishes. Old wooden patio furniture, small dressers, antique ironwork and china. What’s on your list?

So, is all this garden art or just junk? We say both! Something about the unexpected just appeals to us… We put a higher value on reusable treasures of old and re-purposing Flea Market finds is a challenge that brings us joy. Our parents and grandparents instilled in us a thrifty nature that can’t be cured and we will always ‘see’ possibilities in a myriad of miscellany.

Flea Market Garden 3

The real trick is in knowing when enough is enough. Having a good eye for design can prevent this:

Flea Market Garden 4

More our style is this garden vignette:

Flea Market Garden 5

Tips for good Flea Market garden design:

  1. Group like items for a cohesive look.
  2. Use different types of containers with the same color flowers to unify the design.
  3. Use only three items on any one surface to feature them and reduce clutter.
  4. Stick to an odd number of junkola elements, 3 or 5 or 7.
  5. Use tall elements at the back, short items in front.

Starting from Scratch? See our Facebook album, “Garden Vignettes” for some good ideas.

Luckily many of us are also creative and artistic, if not quirky and funky and have a natural sense of what to put where. Here’s to junkola in the garden!

Flea Market Gardening’s short, free newsletter, “Hi from Flea Market Gardening” is for creative gardeners who want to be kept up to date with the latest articles, tips and how-to guides relevant to gardening with ‘juntiques’ and recycled or salvaged treasures. It’s published Thursdays at 1pm, with the week’s posts, by Sue Langley, the founder of Flea Market Gardening and our team.

Enter your email address to subscribe to Flea Market Gardening on our main page here.

Check out Sue’s wildly popular Facebook page.

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