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Friday, February 17, 2012

Repurposing Antiques for the Garden

Roland and I went to a large bi-annual antique show the other weekend down in Puyallup. We didn't find much to brag about this time and in fact, we paroozed through the place in record time. However, I did run across an item that will be very useful in the garden, even though it wasn't originally intended to be used there. In fact, the vendor made it really easy to get that ah-ha moment by setting it up for it's new use. I believe that it was originally an old brass cream bottle holder, only now it contains 6 small Terra-cotta pots.

As a veg gardener, I don't relish the idea of schlepping starts back and forth from a cold frame to the house every day this spring in order to gradually harden off the tender little potentials to eventually live outdoors. Cardboard boxes get soggy and things tend to slide around. Garden products available for this purpose are often made of plastic and are awkward to lift out of a cold frame. So, when I saw this item, I naturally had to have it. For around $18, I felt is was worth the expenditure and now I have yet another reason to poke about antique malls, garage sales and thrift stores; a rather favorite, albeit costly hobby of mine (along with several other favorite, compulsive, expensive hobbies of mine).  It's much easier to put out the bucks knowing that the item has a practical use, not just something that sits on the shelf looking pretty, although I have plenty of that too; artifacts of shopping therapy.

The bottle holder allows me to carry 8 two inch pots of starts and being made out of brass, won't corrode in the great outdoors. Since this discovery, I found another metal 6-pot holder in an antique mall. This time I have to buy the pots for it, but it will hold slightly larger pots, perhaps tapered 4 inchers. Because my starts are sitting in a window sill, I don't have the luxury of watering them in place, so the handle on these wracks makes it easy to carry over to the kitchen sink for a good soaking.

I love the idea of repuposing. It goes so well with the whole organic thing and the items have a charm all their own. In this case, it will be very convenient to raise my baby Red Zebra tomatoes and other starts.

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