A few years have passed since I posted about June’s Junque Garden. We’ve made a few changes: added more repurposed items, and replaced rusted out enamelware pots with some that are less rusted out! The newest repurposed items are a hog feeder turned into a planter, glass plate flowers and old gates jazzed up with brightly colored enamelware lids.
A Hog Feeder Minus Hogs
Bill purchased this hog feeder at an auction in the spring.
This picture illustrates the intended use of the feeder.
The feeder is 30 inches tall so would have required a lot of potting soil and garden dirt to fill it. Bill drilled two sets of two holes directly across from each other in the sides about 7 inches from the top, and inserted two pieces of rebar as support to hold a piece of plywood cut in a circle. He drilled drainage holes in the plywood circle. His idea was to put the soil mixture on the plywood, but I remembered a large enamelware dish pan we hadn’t used this year. I trotted out to the yard art shed, brought it back and it fit perfectly! It even had drainage holes from previous years’ use. We put a layer of gravel in the bottom for additional drainage and...Voila! A repurposed hog feeder planter! We planted vining petunias in the top and rose moss in the bottom trough. Unfortunately, some critter—definitely not a hog—ate the rose moss!
Glass Plate Flowers Pop Up in the Iris Bed
After constructing glass garden totems for a few years I decided to try some glass plate flowers. I used GE II Clear Silicone Waterproof/Weatherproof Sealant, the same one I use on the totems. Once the layers were glued together and allowed to set for a week to ten days, I glued a small flat-sided bottle with at least a one-half inch diameter opening to the back of the largest plate. After an additional couple of weeks setting time, I pounded a piece of rebar in the ground and mounted the bottle opening over the top.
Here are pictures of the flowers I’ve created so far.
Put A Lid On It!
So I did—several, in fact! Two old gates now pop with color after being decorated with antique enamelware lids, plates and pie plates.
Pots Runneth Over With Rain Then Parboil In Heat
Planting of our container flowers was delayed this year by a wet spring. Bill uses a mixture of potting soil and garden dirt in the containers but the garden was too muddy for over two weeks. Once planted, the flowers were nearly drowned by more rain, followed by searing heat. It’s a miracle these poor things survived!
Cricket couldn’t let a photo op go by!
Spring can’t be far away! Seed catalogs are arriving in the mail and the annual issue of Flea Market Gardens has hit the magazine stands!
Time to start planning “June’s Junque” gardens and putting together a wish list of fabulously junky, rusty treasures to prospect for at the Sparks, Kansas Antiques and Collectibles Flea Market the first weekend in May.
Flea Market Gardens magazine is chockfull of eye-catching and whimsical outdoor decorating ideas. That’s where I first saw glass garden totems and was inspired to try creating them. I’m not an “artsy-craftsy” person, but I can glue colorful pieces of glass together.
Yesterday, I strolled around the yard, mentally decorating my junque gardens, wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Skies were sunny, the breeze gentle and the temp a balmy 71 degrees. I remembered a year ago when we were digging out after “Snowmageddon!” (posted 2/6/2014)—13 inches of blowing, drifting snow. That’s Kansas!
Here are a couple of my junque gardens in their forlorn winter nakedness, stripped of most of the colorful bottles, glass totems and other cool junque.
In winter, the old funnels, sans hanging plants, become on-deck circles for birds waiting their turn at the feeders. Unless the hungry birds happen to be blue jays or woodpeckers. They don’t wait; they storm the feeders and run off everybody else. Not much activity at the feeders on such a nice day.
Later this spring, I’ll share my Sparks treasures and June’s Junque gardens!
I’m taking a little break from the Purple Profusion series to let the annuals in container pots fill in and spill out, a process that shouldn’t take too long with the recent rains.
In my essay, “I Am a Farm Wife,” I stated “I like rusty yard art.” In fact, we call our exterior decorating scheme “June’s Junque.” I’ll take you on a tour.
My last post included a picture of our clematis climbing a rusty, junk-yard pile trellis made from an old iron wheel and cot spring. Here’s another picture taken a week later. Clematis gone crazy!
This is our “Anything Goes” perennial bed. It’s filled with wildflowers, a few iris and daylilies, a couple of rose bushes, hollyhocks, larkspur, and too many other flowers to mention. The goal is to have something blooming from mid-spring into fall. The rusty yard art display in the center is almost swallowed up. It contains an old stump, iron wheel, small pieces of farm tools and equipment parts, and a wind vane—no longer functional—featuring a Golden Retriever that my dad made for us years ago.
At the far end of this “Anything Goes” bed is St. Barb, Patron Saint of Barbed Wire Fences—a barbed wire ball with a bovine skull enshrined on the top. As I said in my book chapter, “Don’t Fence Me In,” “Incur her wrath and risk shredded clothes, lacerated skin and cattle wandering all over the countryside…I pay homage to St. Barb, asking her blessing on our fences that they may have the strength to keep our cattle where they belong. But, if I fail to show the proper reverence, she’ll get even.”
Next stop, more iron wheels. When we moved here, some of the guys on our hay crew helped us with the move. They unloaded these wheels out of the stock trailer and leaned them against this shed just as you see them. I liked the randomness of the arrangement.
Anyone need a pit stop? Just kidding! Although this outhouse could be functional, we don’t consider it as such. We converted it from an eyesore to yard art. The siding was corrugated tin—pretty boring—so we gave it a make-over and added some pizzazz! Bill attached old barn boards, mixed together various colors of old paint and rag painted the boards in barn red, white, Jadeite green and an interesting pinkish-lilac hue. Then we decorated with junk, antlers and cattle skulls. Pretty snazzy redo on a rustic outhouse!
Last stop—June’s Whimsical Junque. On one end of the bed are two old iron headboards from a bed. At the other end is one footboard. Because of the layout of two neighboring perennial beds, we could only use one. The side rails are old telephone phone pole crossbars with glass insulators. The centerpiece is my bottle bush, a shorter version of my bottle trees. It’s actually an old bottle drying rack. It’s filled with colored bottles and quite stunning when the sun hits it just right. Other whimsical pieces include glass garden totems I made, metalwork flowers and stalk of corn from a flea market, two croquet end stakes with croquet balls, a flywheel from a hay swather with a section from a rotary hoe as centerpiece, and the garden caretaker, Jerome, the Gnome. He was a gift from a friend. Just look at that grin! You can tell Jerome, the Gnome, likes his new home!
This bottle tree stands to the right of the Whimsical Junque bed.
Hope you enjoyed the tour of June's Junque!
Since retiring from my job over a year ago, I've discovered spur-of-the-moment fun and cool experiences occur now that I'm spending more time at home. One such experience happened yesterday when I ventured out to the pasture near our house to take pictures of our bred heifers lunching at the bale feeder. I wanted photos for the next installment of my "Jellyroll" post, but got so much more!
As I was moving around, trying to get a shot of the bale feeder, one of the heifers ambled up to me looking for a snack. I thought, "Gee, I wish Bill was here to get a picture of this." Then, I happened to look at the ground and found the next best thing—a shadow picture. Then, more heifers joined the shadow photo shoot. What fun!
It appears my shadow nearly stuck her right elbow in a cow pie!
The heifer behind me sniffed in my jacket pocket for range cubes. Finding none, she chewed on the bottom of the jacket! That will teach me to remember the cubes when I go to the pasture!
In this picture, the heifer on the right was licking exposed arm where my sleeve was hiked up, then gently clamped her mouth around it just as I clicked the shot! I jumped and yelped, scaring her away. I had teeth marks just above my wrist, but no broken skin.
None of my current categories seemed appropriate for this post, so I've added a new one called "Fun Farm Stuff." At least it sounds better than "Miscellaneous"!