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!