Make a garden planter from a mailbox!

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Gardening Fun – Recycle a mailbox!

You might have heard of a mailbox planter, but have you seen a mailbox that is a planter?  When I saw Myra Glandon’s mailbox transformed into a planter, I filed the idea away for future,…I really loved hers!  All I needed was the  old mailbox to start my own project.

Myra Glandon's delightful mailbox gave me an idea

Myra Glandon’s delightful mailbox gave me an idea

I totally ‘stole’ the idea from my friend, Myra, whose mailbox planter is in our Marvelous Mailboxes photo album. I have had her idea in my file for EVER, I loved it that much. She gave me a few how tos

A friend snagged this mailbox for me

A friend snagged this mailbox for me, nice and heavy and perfect for my future planter

When driving with a friend past her bank of mailboxes, we turned to see a workman replacing an OLD with a NEW mailbox for my friend’s next door neighbor. ‘Hmmm, would they be tossing out the old one,’ we asked?
He didn’t know and said ask the neighbor. I protested,..’no, don’t bother,…really! Oh, no, please don’t ask!’ But my friend had already walked over to talk to her neighbor’s house saying, ‘if it was for me I wouldn’t, but for you….’   Oh, my! Embarrassing!

That’s how this mailbox eventually came into my possession. I love it,…it’s big and heavy! I know just what I’ll do, and you all will see the result…someday soon.

Lesson:
It pays to let your friends know you like old junk for the garden..

 

Drill to make an opening for the saw

Drill to make an opening for the saw

Here is the old mailbox now ready to have a piece cut out of the top. Tractor Man cut out the opening with a hack saw and then graduated to a sawsall.

Tractor Man saws near one of the ribs in the side

Tractor Man saws near one of the ribs in the side

 

Remove the cut out piece once it's detached

Remove the cut out piece once it’s detached

 

Leave a two inch rim so it will hold soil

Leave a two inch rim so it will hold soil

 

I used pliers to fold over the raw edges

I used pliers to fold over the raw edges,…oof, this took the most effort

 

Now the fun part comes

Plants and paints were picked out

Plants and paints were picked out

Spray paint and plants were all I needed…I wanted teal paint, about the same as Myra’s and chose hardy Martha Washington geraniums and Sedum for the plants.

 

Spray paint is fun and easy and while many times I'll leave things rusty, this time I wanted color!

Spray paint is fun and easy and while many times I’ll leave things rusty, this time I wanted color!

 

Paint the flag a contrasting color

Paint the flag a contrasting color

 

I set the mailbox on a stump

After planting, I set the mailbox on a stump near our back door entry,..where our friends come in

 

My finished mailbox planter

Here it is in all it’s splendor, my finished mailbox planter!

I loved doing this project!  and here it is! Many thanks to my friend, Lisa who snagged this mailbox from her neighbor and to Myra for the idea!

More Mailboxes in the garden

Post a mailbox in the garden..no more trips to garage for garden tools

Jeanne Sammons found this old mailbox

Before Jeanne Sammons found this old mailbox

Jeanne Sammons says, “This mailbox is out in my Secret Garden.   I moved my little garage sale bird from the stump to on top of the mailbox.”

Jeanne's mailbox with letters cut from old license plates

Jeanne’s mailbox with letters cut from old license plates

 

Jeanne's mailbox now can hold tools and save her the trip to the garage

Jeanne’s mailbox now can hold tools and save her the trip to the garage

 

Marie muses over a mailbox

Marie Niemann' started with this nicely rusty mailbox

Marie Niemann’ started with this nicely rusty mailbox

 

Marie's 'finished' her garden mailbox with rusty chains as decoration

Marie’s ‘finished’ her garden mailbox with rusty chains as decoration

“Thanks to my sweet hubby, …he helped me get it properly secured in my raised gardens. Not only do I like the look of it here, I love the usefulness of it in my garden to keep a few of my garden tools and gloves.” Marie says.

 

Still more on garden mailboxes

Marvelous mailboxes in the garden

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Pumpkin totems, stacks and towers

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We’re pumpkin crazy!

And pumpkin elegant, too.  Simply going vertical changes the ‘pumpkin game’ completely!  Since these orange squash are our favorite items of Halloween and Fall décor, you need to know how to stack it up!

These are easy projects we all can do in a day or a weekend!

Sheila Bowden's pumpkin stack

Sheila Bowden’s pumpkin stack

Sheila Bowden’s pumpkin stack is the focal point of her porch display.  Three vertical elements, the scarecrow, pumpkin stack and the wooden wagon filled with Fall leaves fill the space with Autumn splendor and whimsy.

 

Sue Loring's pumpkin tower

Sue Loring’s pumpkin tower

Sue Loring‎ says  ‘Colors of Fall’ means pumpkins at my house. Lots and Lots of pumpkins!  A metal rod or conduit pipe used as a stake stabilizes the tall, tall pumpkin stack. See the project below for how to.

 

Tami Williams's striped pumpkins

Tami Williams’s striped pumpkins

Wouldn’t Tami Williams’s striped pumpkins make an amazing tower?

 

Faux pumpkin tipsy

Plastic pumpkins can be used for tipsy pots and cement pumpkins.  For long-lasting cement pumpkins, the plastic container is used as a mold and eventually cut away.

Yvonne Pepsin pumpkin tipsies

Yvonne Pepsin pumpkin tipsies

Yvonne Pepsin explains how she made her pumpkin tipsy pots: “You drill holes (2) put wire on and twist to secure for each pot. Anchor with a piece of wood laid at bottom and a steel rod (anything you can attach to wood and pumpkin) going through it and bolted and also at base of bottom pumpkin.. Soil or dirt in pot helps to balance it.”

 

Sharon McMath's pots show stake how to

Sharon McMath’s pots shows how to position the tipsy pot stake

 

 

 

Pumpkin tower done last year for by my front door.  ~~ Sue Langley

Pumpkin tower done last year for by my front door. ~~ Sue Langley

Pumpkin stack seen at Whole Foods

Pumpkin stack seen at Whole Foods looks a bit crotchety…doesn’t she?

 

Linda Bare's faux pumpkin topiary

Linda Bare’s faux pumpkin topiary

Linda Bare shows off “The pumpkin totem I made last Fall.”

 

Pumpkin people!

Myra Glandon started this party.  Party of the pumpkin people!  She started and two more came  soon after!  Just see…

Myra Glandon invents a new stacked style

Myra Glandon invents a new stacked style

Myra Glandon‎ says, “Meet Nosey Rosie. You don’t want her sticking her big nose in your business!”

 

Beth Knight makes the third rendition!

Beth Knight makes the third rendition!

Beth Knight‎ was so inspired by the photo Myra posted that she had to do one too!  She says, “I already had the pumpkins…what fun!  She is Polly pumpkin. A friend made the little bench from pallets.”

 

Kaycee Sterling‎ adds even more details

Kaycee Sterling‎ adds even more details

Kaycee Sterling‎ says “Monkey see, monkey do…   Thanks for the inspiring ideas!”   Think about going ‘up’ in your garden when decorating with Fall pumpkins in all these different ways…

 

More about FMG Pumpkins:

Pumpkins in the Fall garden, the rusty and the heavy!

Have you ever baked a pumpkin?

Glassy, classy pumpkin globes

What to do with your Halloween pumpkin,.. after

Flea Market pumpkins: Crazy love

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Have you ever baked a pumpkin?

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Here’s a good reason to do so:

Why wait for a holiday?  Get a pumpkin as soon as possible if you haven’t grown one this year.

pumpkin bars

Pumpkin bars

Why toss a good pumpkin?

When you have a pumpkin left over from Halloween and Thanksgiving, what can you do with it? If it is still firm, you can bake it and use it for making holiday treats, saving some of the puree in the freezer for later.

How to bake a pumpkin

  • Cut pumpkin open and scoop out the seeds. Place pumpkin halves facedown in a baking dish. Add 1/2″ of water to pan: this helps keep the pumpkin flesh moist.
  • Bake at 450º until you can pierce the skin with a fork (about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • Scoop flesh out of shell with a spoon.
  • Once the pumpkin is cooked, simply use a food processor or blender to whip it into a pumpkin puree.

You can store unused portions of the pumpkin puree in the refrigerator, or freeze in ziplock bags until you are ready to use it.

 

This recipe is a favorite  that two teen girls I know baked on their own this Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 c vegetable oil
  • 1 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 c sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t ground pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t baking soda

Frosting:

  • 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 c sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using an electric mixer at medium speed, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix at low speed until thoroughly combined and the batter is smooth. Spread the batter into a greased 13 by 10-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting. Cut into bars.

To make the icing: Combine the cream cheese and butter in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars. The girls decided to sprinkle the frosted bars with cinnamon.

 

Too far gone?

If my pumpkin has not held up well, I heave it out into the garden to reproduce itself naturally.  This is an informal, to say the least, form of ‘wintersowing’.  In some years, as I walk in the late spring garden, I have seen a beautiful pumpkin vine, three feet across with several lovely blossoms forming on it. These vines make a luscious treat for a lucky deer since I have no fences to prevent it.

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Recommended book: Handmade Garden Projects

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Handmade garden projects is what we do here at Flea Market Gardening, so I was glad to discover this book, Handmade Garden Projects, written by Lorene Edwards Forkner and published by Timber Press.

A Flea Market Gardening Book Review:

Take the example in the book, Handmade Garden Projects and you’ll find that with a few simple tools and materials you may already have, will transform your garden in a unique personal way.

With more than 30 clever projects never before seen on Flea market Gardening, all with simple instructions, you can put all your own creativity to work and recycle at the same time.

Handmade Garden Projects: Step-by-Step Instructions for Creative Garden Features, Containers, Lighting & More is the full title.

It’s a high quality, mid sized paperback book of 221 pages… with a load of color photos at a price of$19.95.  At Amazon, it’s priced at $13.31.

The contents include:

  • Pathways and pavers
  • Trellises, and wire plant supports
  • Fountains and fire pits
  • Stacked herb tower, hypertufa troughs, and a unique woven metal and cedar planter
  • Plant markers and hose guides

My favorite project was an unusual chandelier of wire fencing and vintage glass porch light covers.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0167624cd370970b-pi

 

Another favorite, very unique project was the delightful fireflies made with magnets, lithium coin batteries and led bulbs!

created at: 04/23/2012

“Dazzle evening garden party guests with a fanciful flight of homemade fireflies. By day the informal cluster of shepherd’s crook–style hooks studded with craft magnets looks like a piece of metal garden art, echoing the rusty color of nearby plantings. But after dusk it’s pure magic. I position LED (light emitting diode) bulbs and lithium coin batteries at each magnet along the hooks and fireflies appear to float above grasses and groundcovers along the edge of my front walkway.

You can purchase the metal hooks at most garden centers. Shop around for a good price on 3V lithium coin batteries which are typically required for watches, keyless locks, and small electronics; you’ll save a bundle buying in bulk online or at discount electronics store. Any small craft magnet will do.

Order extra bright, white 10mm LED bulbs online; a package of fifty bulbs only set me back about twenty dollars, plus shipping. Diffused-lens bulbs cast light in every direction, while non-diffuse bulbs have a less-satisfying targeted beam. Each LED bulb has a life-span of several hundred hours; I’ve had bulbs that have lasted continuously for months needing only to have their battery replaced as the charge dims. Maintain the longest battery life by storing magnets separately from lithium coins to avoid prematurely draining their charge.

MATERIALS

  • 36-inch metal shepherd’s crook–style garden hooks
  • 1/2-inch craft magnets
  • 3V CR2032 lithium coin batteries
  • Extra bright, diffused-lens, white 10mm LED bulbs

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Set hooks in place. Arrange the hooks in the garden at staggering heights, into a suitably informal but pleasing cluster. Stick a small craft magnet at the tip of each hook, adding more magnets along the shaft if you want.

2. “Light” your fireflies. Slot a lithium coin battery between the terminals of a LED bulb placing the slightly longer terminal on the “+” side.

3. Place fireflies on hooks. Position one LED bulb and battery at each magnet, taking care to sandwich the wire terminal securely between the magnet and the battery to ensure that the bulb remains lit.

 

More books by Lorene Edwards-Forkner:

  The Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Pacific Northwest
  Canning and Preserving Your Own Harvest: An Encyclopedia of Country Living Guide

 

  Growing Your Own Vegetables: An Encyclopedia of Country Living Guide
  Hortus Miscellaneous: A Gardener’s Hodgepodge of Information and Instruction

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Visit ‘Little Shop Antiques’ in Autumn

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Let’ go shopping!

Is Halloween a favorite day for you?  If so, you’ll love visiting Laura Goines’s Little Shop Antiques in Fall,…she loves Halloween, too! She has wonderful and simple ideas anyone can do.

Spooky entrance to the shop

Spooky entrance to the shop

Laura Goines tells us, “My husband and I live on a farm in Southwestern Ohio, in Brookville. I operate an antique shop in the old outbuildings; my husband is a custom furniture maker. Part of the draw to our shop is the gardens around and the decorations for the different seasons.”  .  Laura has a Facebook page for her shop The Little Shop Antiques and Gardens/ R.S Goines maker of fine Furniture.

Rows of corn stalks lead the way

Rows of corn stalks lead the way

 

Add a scarecrow to an old bike...

Add a scarecrow to an old bike…

Laura says, “Add a scarecrow to an old bike for instant autumn charm!!  The wreaths are made from items that dry well, bittersweet, boxwood, sweet Annie and such.”

The woodshop decorated with bats, spiders and spooks

The woodshop decorated with bats, spiders and spooks

“Halloween is a personal favorite of mine.” Laura says, I like traditional Halloween decorations done with an antique twist. Natural decorations such as pumpkins, hard shell gourds and whatever else I can gather add to the look.

 

Hang witches hats from branches and trees

Hang witches hats from branches and trees

Hang witches hats from branches and trees. Your guests will wonder if there are invisible witches around to chill their bones!

“Expect scarecrows in barrels, Skeletons made from old wood turnings, gourd goblins, and more!! Don’t worry though, nothing is too scary.” Laura assures us.

Go ahead, have a seat

Go ahead, have a seat!

 

Rusty iron pans hold creepy creatures

Rusty iron pans hold creepy creatures

 

Bulb planters as candle holders, kinda different don't ya think?
“Bulb planters as candle holders, kinda different don’t ya think?”

 

Pumpkins heads wrapped in burlap

Pumpkins heads wrapped in burlap

 

Make an eerie raven and birdcage scene

Make an eerie raven and birdcage scene

With a little black paint, some old goblets, and a black crow or two you can replicate the look, seen recently in a Pottery Barn birdcage for practically nothing.

A crushed rusty bucket holds dried corn stalks, berries and a raven!

A crushed rusty bucket holds dried corn stalks, berries and a raven!

Laura uses all her dried garden clippings, berries and cornstalks for Halloween decorations.  Why not make a bouquet of dried flower clipping right from your garden for some muted colored Halloween arrangements?

 

The last of the garden's flowers droop

Let the last of the garden’s flowers droop

 

Insulators and mossy covered pots. See the little pumpkin in a funnel ‘cage’

Insulators and mossy covered pots. See the little pumpkin in a funnel ‘cage’

 

A skeleton drives a carriage and 'tombstomnes are held up with stacks of bricks

A skeleton drives a creepy carriage and ‘tombstones are held up with stacks of bricks

 

Laura's U-Neek shutter man

Laura’s U-Neek shutter man

 

Collection of coal shovels

Collection of coal shovels…

“Somehow I ended up with a collection of coal shovels. I chalked a different face on each one. I can see a chalked up snowman scene this winter.”

A sly witch sneaks by

A sly witch sneaks by….

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