Flea Market Garden Tour!
From time to time, I profile one of many excellent gardeners associated with Flea Market Gardening and we take a look at their whole garden. Mrs. Shannon Smit is a ‘natural,’ although she wouldn’t admit it and has some of our favorite junky things, and lots of new and different creations we haven’t seen, in her California garden. Create bold, beautiful color in all the corners of your garden with Shannon garden design tips! ~~ Sue
“We live in a small town in Central Valley of California. My husband and I were high school sweet hearts from the local school and have been married for 10 years now. We get a kick out everyone’s shock when they see all the hard work and the abundant amount of gardening we have done and then realize it’s a young couple who are the home owners!” Shannon tells us.
Shannon’s home with history
“We moved into our home three years ago, which happens to be my husband’s long time family home. My husband’s father grew up in this house and we are currently the third generation raising the fourth generation of family members to live in this house.”
“Our home is our dream home, it was built in 1910. It has some amazing character, charm and lots of age. Because of the age of the home,” Shannon says, ” I loved the idea of bringing in items that brought out even more of the character and age of the house. We slowly found, were given, made and purchased our “junk” finds from anywhere and everywhere you could think of and found new homes for them in our yard. Then we planted around our finds.”
Shannon’s challenges- the state of her backyard
When we moved in, our yard was mostly dirt, grass and a few old over-grown bushes and shrubs and diseased termite infested trees. We have two very active boys, with a third on the way, and we spend a lot of time outside. We are super blessed to have a large extended family and entertain a lot and we wanted to create a family friendly, relaxing but beautiful space to spend most of our time. My kitchen sink faces the backyard and I was tired of staring at dirt!
“Our garden style”
Shannon says, “My husband likes color and I like a variety of textures. I love all type of gardens formal and informal. As we began our yard transformation we started to lean more into an informal cottage look to help enhance all our great “junk”. We were, and still are, on a very limited budget so we hit the sales! We have a great local wholesale nursery and would plant according on what was on clearance! They actually have me on speed dial to let me know when they place anything on clearance!”
Using claw foot tubs in the garden
Cast iron tubs are perfect for planters with built in drainage holes. They can be painted or not, left to rust or form an aged ‘patina.’ You may need help moving them to their final place and should be leveled for the best look. It’s wonderful to see the legs intact on Shannon’s tub, many junk tubs haven’t legs any more. Since tubs are so deep, you can fill them with sealed containers or empty nursery cans to displace some garden soil.
“We pretty much did all our planting within the last 6 months to a year so all the plants are very young still. We had 3 large Modesto Ash trees in front but had to have them removed due to disease and termites. It was a sad day. I immediately planted new trees, that was two years ago. So even my trees are babies.”
Tip: For how-tos and another garden bench from a bed frame see How to make a bench and planter from old bed frames
Shannon says, “We hope one day to resurface the house, maybe add some stone, or brick or something and then paint. I plan to add planters along the front walkway at some point. Maybe add some molding around the windows too. Lots of big plans,…one day.”
There’s nothing like spending time in a beautiful garden! Interesting, unique garden-art vignettes designed by Shannon are around every corner and I’d love to take a walk through, wouldn’t you? Shannon’s garden will inspire us all to get outdoors and start planning our own Flea Market garden corners. ~~ Sue