Everyday Gardeners

Plant. Grow. Live.

vintage garden

Freeland Tanner created this wall art by arranging vintage tools, antique sprinkler, trellis, and used garden hoses on a base made from an old teak tabletop.

Every once in a while, you see something in someone’s garden that hits a chord. The Tanner garden in Napa, California, which we featured in the summer issue of Country Gardens, struck me not for the verdant plantings but for the innovative use of old garden tools, hoses, sprinklers and other cast-off items from gardens of the past.  In the Tanner garden, spades and pitchforks became a garden gate; metal flower frogs became wall art; old faded hoses were braided together to make garlands or used as stems for antique sprinkler “flowers”.

Antique sprinklers sprout from the ends of old hoses that have been threaded over bent rebars to create this fanciful sculpture.

It’s always endearing to me to see castoffs refreshed with new life.

Vintage metal flower frogs are skewered by repurposed bits of trellis for this artwork.

And for me, as Father’s Day approaches, the Tanner garden reminds me of my dad, who collected old tools. He spent years going to farm and house sales, buying boxes of old hammers and saws, bundles of rakes and wide brooms. Dad owned a large brick building, and he would take all his treasures to his “shop,” clean and fix them, and arrange them in patterns across the walls and along display shelves through the center. Dad has been gone for many years now—his collection sold to other collectors.

Shovels, pitchforks, and other garden tools, painted Ponderosa Green, form the core of this unique and emblematic gate.

He would have thoroughly enjoyed the Tanner garden. I know a lot of people who combine nostalgia with functionality and art, which extends to most of our Country Gardens audience as well.

Freeland braided worn-out hoses and hung them in swags to display a collection of vintage watering cans.

There is so much garden goodness floating around the internet, I felt compelled to share! Here’s my weekly round-up of blog posts I found inspiring and highly pin-able.

The Handmade Home

I love the sassy, tell-it-like-it-is way about Ashley at The Handmade Home: “At first I was all, “Awe, a caterpillar!” And then I was all, “Ew, that’s bad. And he’s creeping me out because he’s fat and gross” and I refused to smush him because it a. felt mean and b. I’m still traumatized from a childhood caterpillar guts experience.” But frankly, I love the frankness whether she’s tooling in the garden or re-inventing her home. Read her latest garden update — including how she involves the kidlets — right here.


My Sweet Savannah

I love salvaged or vintage finds in the garden. This potting bench has me on my knees! You have to see it in its entirety on My Sweet Savannah. I’m so envious!


Southern Hospitality 

Confession: I’m not the best houseplant caregiver. But I’d sure give it a go, if only to have the stately fig tree grace the corner of my dining room much like Southern Hospitality has done in her bedroom. The large, textured leaves are quite stylish. See more display ideas on her latest blog post here.

Who is your favorite blogger? Let me know — I’m always looking to be inspired.

PS: Did you catch my favorite garden posts from last week? Here’s your chance.

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