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Friday, March 13, 2009

Garden Art doesn't have to Cost a Fortune! Make It!

Hey All! Today I am going to address the comment left most often on my garden posts that include photos of my own gardens....
You guys are always talking about that "old" bike in the flower bed against the tree...or asking about the other things scattered here and there in my gardens! Today I am here to confess the dirt on How, When and Where I got these things...
These signs (among others) were made by me! I cut two pieces of old barn board, and used chalk to write on them. Once the outline with chalk had been established, I used an old nail to carve out the letters a little bit...I did eventually purchase a rotary tool that makes things go much much faster than with a nail....but still carved the letters in about 1/4 inch into the wood. After that, I used a syringe and some old oil based paint to fill the grooves. A few screws holds them together and that is that! In a future post, I plan to give you some more sayings that would also be great fun on a garden sign. Like my window box?
An old window, some more scrap wood and a little paint treatment made me a few window boxes...get it..."window" boxes! lol These hang on the fence. I use a plastic window box pot to put the plants in and have several small drainage holes in the bottom of the wooden box for water to escape.

The pump comes from an old homestead site on my parent's farm. I added the gold paint, and a pond pump. A few containers and some river rocks collected from here and there made me a cool fountain...and it only cost me $15 in total. Not bad considering a fountain of this size is upwards of $200 here. (oh...and the plants IN the fountain....FAKE)Any plants outside the fountain itself are real live babies!
Now the bike....OH THIS BIKE! I love my bike, but would you believe that it is not that old? NOPE!!! In fact this is a five speed bike that I picked up at a garage sale two years ago for $2!
Allow me to explain. We were going for a drive one day, and happened upon a yard sale just loaded with bicycles. I spotted this one and made sure we stopped! The place was full of people, and no one was even looking at this one. No one, that is, but ME! I snatched it up as the light bulb above my head glowed full strength! My family was embarrassed as I proudly wheeled this baby across the road and loaded it into the box of the truck! All I could think about was the "plan" that I had for this bike!Here is a shot of it right this minute. I thought it would be easier to explain the process I went through to get it to look old if there was nothing around it. I love ya that much, that I was out in the snow taking some shots of it for you! lol
Can you see where we cut the bar out of the center of the bike? A hack saw took care of this for us.
I left the chain wheel...but removed the chain and the gears from the bike itself...
As for the rust....just scraping off some of the paint got that started....and when I water my flowers, I watered the bike too....and the rest is up to nature! There was no basket on this bike, so I was out and about one day and saw these wire baskets...thought it would look great on the bike and just used the plastic ties to attach it. The ties were supposed to be temporary....but have been there for two
Now...the birdhouse.

The stump is the actual tree that the rest of the house was made from. The apple tree passed away and I needed to use that stump for I cut the tree out AFTER I planted the little scrap wood, and a saw...some tree branches and there it is! The roof is hinged and it can be used to hold things. It is too low to the ground for a bird to like, but it at one time did hold a spare key....(not teapot birdbath really made a splash! For instructions on how to make one of your own....please click here for a Tootsie Tip unlike any other! You will also find direction on how to do the tea cup on a stick that I made to match the bird bath!
The old ladder was in bad shape...a couple of fence board scraps cut to size, a coat of paint and some spare screws..and it holds up nicely. I paid $0.50 for it!

I am super proud of my bench. I made three in total when I did it! I had been out shopping and saw a smaller less cute version in a shop for loads of cash. I did an estimate (using my body parts) of how tall and wide etc....and went home and hit my stash of barn board....a few short hours later...and I had a rickety old bench to hold flower pots and trinkets for my garden.
It doesn't seem to matter what I put on it...It always holds its charm! I think I will cry if it ever falls apart and I can't fix it! Did I ever mention that I love power tools?
See that window in my fence? It is part of a group of windows I brought home from helping demo an old house here in town. I had a few of them. I used a couple to make the window boxes, and a couple to make the window hangers and then used one to make a peek hole from the side of my house into the back yard. The bed on the side of my house is HUGE...and it seemed a shame that we never looked at I thought this was a great idea. It gets a lot of comments from the road. I did learn the hard way NOT to wash it with windex...the birds think it is open and have had a few deaths because the glass was TOO clean...(just a warning to those who may try the window in the fence)
This is another window. I made the hanger out of old garden junk and one of my salvaged windows. It hangs in the front under my house number!
Well...that's it for now...I have a few more projects in the making...but those will wait until I have them done, and planned and easily made...then I will show you how!
Have fun making some garden art of your own. If you do...and have ideas....share them...let me know too!
Have a great weekend....
oh yea...
Next Friday is the first Fertilizer Friday of ready!