flea market finds for your gardens and other creative ideas

ianna(Z5b)June 11, 2010

This is a fun new topic. Tell us of your flea market finds for the garden. What kinds of repurposed containers, chairs, tables, decors have you discovered and what did you do with them? What creations have you made of these things. Post photos if possible.


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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

I love these kinds of things but am limited because my hubby HATES re-purposed items, anything "shabby" looking of any sort. Vintage he loves, but it must be of the era he likes surrounded by items of that like era. Which I do like too, but I like to repurpose things.
A few years ago I mosaiced a bunch of old found terracotta pots with vintage dishes. He HATES them with a passion. Now all mosaics are OUT, lol.
What I have stuck to my guns about it washing machine drums. My friend recycles washers, and he gives me the drums from broken machines. I'm storing them now, but plan on using them as GIANT planters (once painted) on the patio. They should work for large shrubs.

Table that had the top stripped off of it, so I painted it like some fabric I had - it's on the porch, but we sit here to look at the garden :)

Old vanity bench I used to have in the garden:

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 3:27PM
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Ianna, fun topic and I hope you will show yours as well.

Girlgroupgirl, my DH doesn't get the shabby thing either. He's always asking if I want something painted and I often 'let' him so it looks 'nicer'. I have mixed feelings about shabby as like things to be cared for but a little patina is nice IMO.

We love shopping in second hand venues so I'm always looking for things I can use in my garden as well as in my house and either repurpose or use as is. Since I live in the country I can do the casual fun style I like with no neighbors to care. It adds to the enjoyment of gardening for me and IMO makes a garden more interesting. However we are limited a few yard sales and there are no good thrift stores or flea markets. I'd love to find some nice vintage patio furniture.

Some of the things I've used, am currently using, or plan to use are: 2 large children's wagons I use to move anything that doesn't need a wheelbarrow, plant pots (terracotta, plastic, and metal), an old bench and a small old table (still in a state of peeling paint and not pretty), a well-scrubbed shabby old wooden chair I've used on the verandah as an end table (and sometimes in my house), several barnboard framed mirrors, lanterns of various styles, a concrete Green Man I hang on a tree, rusty cast iron 'thing' that I use as a small table base or plant pot holder, rusty angel (now painted), rusty crowns (now painted), some metal weathervanes, several concrete stepping stones, several shepherd's hooks, a vintage tin bathtub that I planted in and decorated as a fairy garden last year but I cleaned it out and not sure how I'm using it this year, a like-new tin washtub that I haven't used yet but may use as a planter, china plate plant markers, old glass insulators on top of rebar as hose guards, hose guards made from the handles of an old fireplace tool set, a couple of old shabby birdhouses for 50 cents each that I recently bot. I also buy old tomato cages and DH cuts them for light-weight perennial supports.

I obviously need to take some new pics but will post a few I have.

Here's my Green Man that cost $5 at a 2nd hand store years ago. He was natural concrete (very heavy) so I painted him with Patio paint and it's held up well. I used to think things like this were awful but after I read the mythology I kinda like him. These figures are apparently often carved on churches in Europe.

This little garden angel was rusty and not pretty so a coat of spray white improved her. I think she cost about 25 cents.

Hose guard using old insulator on top of metal post from old gate.

Here's a plant pot and cast iron 'thing' I bought separately but the pot fits well. I just potted some perennials there last year but have annuals in it this year. I've also sometimes put a mosaic glass stepping stone (not a bargain find) on top as a side table on the deck.

I now have too many things to use in my garden but some will go in, on, and around my garden house eventually and in the new beds. I no longer want a cluttered look but have a large area to 'decorate' so it will be spread out.

I've made over 50 glass garden totems and sold a couple of dozen. Still have lots for my garden but haven't yet put them all out as I'm not finished moving plants and it's been raining too much lately to do so. Link below. I've also made lots of glass garden flowers but still need to make stems for them.

Here is a link that might be useful: my totem slideshow

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 4:00PM
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themayocynic(NV Z5)

Not a flea market find, but is repurposing: I have a bunch of extra curtain rod finials that I plan on turning into garden ornaments or hose guides. I just need to find the right size rod to stick them on.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 4:57PM
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Luckygal,i also have that same angel,picked her up at the GW several years ago.

Here's my favorite b'House,or was,as DH(not) threw it away.Anyway i had married these 2 pieces together.

Found on someone's trash on trash day;

And here's the angel from GW:


    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 4:57PM
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aimeekitty(9-10, SW 18)

love that head! that's an amazing trash find! Hope to see more fun stuff in this thread, I'm enjoying looking. :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 7:55PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

Well, I have made a few things out of items that would have been thrown away...

Terra Cotta pot candle holder. The little pots came in one of those 'mini greenhouse kits' years ago. They are way too small to grow anything in, so I screwed them into a wooden sign (painted over it). Tea lights fit perfectly in them. Then I went and tucked a few evergreen branches under it, but I can always change them out and put flowers around the pots.

"Living" wreath I made last year out of an old hanging basket, wire, and some natural materials like twigs and bark. Planted a few sedums etc. in, but only a few made it over the winter.

Also made an old, rusted out BBQ in a Bucket into a planter. This year I want to find similar buckets and tubs to plant tulips in this fall.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 9:39PM
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thanks ladies and please keep them coming. I'm always always curious about what we can add to the garden and think the best items are ones we make or find in garage sales or flea markets.

GGG - love the set up and your colour scheme. The one with your vanity seat reminds me of a display at Canada Blooms

Luckygal - if only I had that skill to make totems as you do. That head sculpture is quite a find.

CMK - before I add to anything, I lOVE your garden. I love that field feel. Clever use for that barbecue basket. I might do something similar with an old barbecue pit. I love succulents too. check this wire basket I made into a planter

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:02PM
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gardenbear1(6 Ma.)

My last flea marked find was a cool bird house, I have around 16 houses in the back yard and all are being used


    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 10:23PM
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hosta_house(IL 6)

I found a post at Lowe's for this Butterfly House I just got. I like the red roof but I think I'm going to paint the post and roof to match this weekend.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2010 at 11:17PM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

I want to go Yard saling with you all. You picked up some great buys! I love birdhouses and butterfly houses. Amazing what some people discard and others find a use for.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 1:42PM
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christinmk z5b eastern WA

-ianna, thank you for such a nice compliment about the garden!
Really love your succulent basket. What kind of soil did you use in yours? I used some of that 'soil-less' mixture that came with the hanging basket. Wondering now if I should have used something different, since it dries out so darn fast.
Are those Echeverias in you basket? Do you overwinter them indoors?

Found an old pic of that BBQ planter. This year I planted some Corydalis sempervirens and a coleus in next to the heuchera.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:04PM
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CMK - I used cactus mix for this project. It does dry out fast but then these succulents need to be a bit dryer than regular plants. Perhaps mix in some of those hydrating gels in your soil so it lasts longer between watering.

Yes my echeverias have to be overwintered indoors. I also try to propagate as many as I can since these are sooo expensive over here. I;ve several young plants in my basement under lights now. I've been meaning to take them outdoors.

YAY -- I'm going to a fleamarket in the morning... All these finds are giving me an urge for find some unique planter. I actually wanted to search for a iron grate or something similar so I can put in a window on my gate door.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 9:27PM
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lisa33(6b Bucks County PA)

I love fleamarkets and yard sales! Earlier this spring I trash picked an old wooden chair with a broken cane seat. I put a galvanized bucket into the seat frame where the cane originally was and filled the bucket with nasturtiums (I drilled drainage holes in the bottom of the bucket). It looked really cute, and I was looking forward to the nasturtiums climbing all over the chair back. Unfortunately, I didn't consider the fact that the chair was largely veneer rather than solid wood. The whole thing fell apart during a few weeks of rainy weather.

I picked this up at a yard sale last weekend along with a nice strawberry jar and a cool frog for the garden:

Behind the birdbath you can see the old iron gate I picked up for my potager. Also, you can see one of the pair of huge, handmade Italian terra cotta pots I got on Craigslist for a song (something about the perspective of the photo makes it looks small, but they are really huge).

I just read in Fine Gardening a tip from someone saying they collect old crystal doorknobs and insert them in the top of bamboo poles to decorate their stakes. Sounds great.

Good luck fleamarketing, Ianna! Now I'm feeling motivated to hit some yard sales tomorrow.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:44PM
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remuda1(7b Hood Co TX)

Found this little chest at a garage sale for ten dollars. It was a kind of *white*? When I bought it, LOL. It will stay on my porch and serve as storage for my pruning shears, trowels, gloves, etc. May decide to change the yellow to red and red to yellow though......just can't decide!

Also got this little child's desk. I am thinking I will put it right in front of a trellis and let something climb up and all over it. More storage for gardening items under the seat. Need to paint and seal it first though.

Also got one of those old metal chaise lounges with the wheels in the back of it. I had looked at several of these at the antique shops, they wanted $100.00 and up. This one was $20.00


    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 12:18PM
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whoa.. Kristi. What a find!

I just got back from a fleamarket and well - instead of finding that unique planter..I ended up with wooden lawn bowling balls and a large egg basket. Looks fantastic as part of my home decor.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2010 at 8:40PM
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