~~ A Flea Market Gardening ‘My Big Garden Project’~~
Frame your flowers with a real bed frame…
Old metal bed frames add unique charm to raised beds. Here’s how you can build or construct a garden frame that will edge a real flower bed in the garden. Maybe this can be your next garden project!
How often have you spied a discarded head and footboard sitting in the corner of a thrift shop or displayed at a yard sale? We’re thinking,…pretty often! Sometimes, discarded head and footboards can be found on the trash day curb.
Two creative garden designs for recycling metal beds for landscaping:
Nancy’s bed frame
Since blue and orange are opposite colors, Nancy’s flower bed just ‘pops,’ as they say! You can see the side view, too,…straight on it looks full sized! Nancy found this bed frame at a yard sale at the end of the day, so purchased it for half price, $7.50!
Nancy’s husband welded the sides shorter and then hooked it together with the original bracket hardware the rails came with. The bed frame is just large enough to fit three Rubbermaid tubs inside for soil and plants.
Nancy designed the ‘bed’ to be much shorter than the side rails were, because, she says, “I have to be able to reach across it all to pinch and water and there’s not as much to mow around! Nancy and her husband have a large area of trees and lawn and her flower bed islands and Rusty treasures have to be easy to mow around. She always says, “I hoe, he mows!”
The flower bed is decorated with two ‘chamber pots’ and wine bottle racks found at thrift shops recycled and attached to the frames to hold a dozen or so blue bottles, which are delightfully found throughout Nancy’s “Blue Bottle Heaven.” Since they both live in Iowa, Nancy and longtime FMGer friend Jeanne Sammons, can meet for a fun visit.
Christy’s bed frame
Christy Morrow says, “We found this head and foot board in the basement of an antique barn and bought it for $17. We then made a platform out of wood and built another box that we placed on top of the bottom platform. This was like a huge planter that we filled with soil. We also made the little pillow area from wood. Plant and you’ve got a planted bed!”
“With Pansies in my new dresser, finally my garden bedroom is complete. In spring the creeping phlox on the bed will fill in and be covered with magenta flowers.
I sunk five pots in a quilt design and they are filled with petunias, so the bed will truly look like it’s covered with a quilt! I’m also going to scallop the Creeping Phlox hanging over the sides once it fills in. I’m so happy with how it came out!”
Planting for permanence
When you create a feature bed like this, having it look well all through the seasons is vital for a good looking garden,…and also a challenge! See how Christy solved this problem.
Christy says, “In spring the phlox is gorgeous,…completely covered in magenta blooms. However, in late summer, it’s dry and looks awful. I know it will return in spring, but with a different flower, it look nice year round. So…I’m thinking of pulling out all the phlox and starting over. I’ll need to think on it for a bit longer.”
“This September, after completely redoing my outdoor bed, I’ve planted the bed portion with Ajuga which will fill in nicely and remain green all year, except in winter. The pillow section is planted with Violas and the dresser is planted with Violas and Pansies. I also put five groups of Pansies in the bed itself for the “quilt design”. I sure hope this “do-over” works better for year-round flowers and greenery.”
Update of Christy newly planted bed to come!
Iron flower beds such as these above, can be a joy forever in the garden,…to play with and change around with the seasons and with your moods. Fun!
Creating with wooden bed frames
Using wooden bed frames requires a few extra steps but the turned rails and headboard designs they have make it worth it! Look for Colonial or Jenny Lind styles.
Take the time for sanding, painting and a final step to preserve your bed frame,…a coat of durable and waterproof polyurethane. Keep the wooden feet off the soil, as that would start the decomposition process. Setting the frame on pavers is the easiest way to do this.
Jan Brown says of her bed frame ‘trellis’, “This old wooden headboard and footboard was painted blue a couple years ago and is looking so pretty this morning with the drift roses inside and pink knockouts on the outside edges of it. The old rusty galvanized metal panels are a pathway, still hoping to cover with white rocks eventually and weeds won’t be able to grow up through the path.
There’s a tomato plant and lamb’s ears in the pot in front of the drift roses and Iris, though they are finished for this year so the blue provides the color. A couple of day lilies grow up against the shed in the background.”
Jeanne Mansfield says, “I took an old, worn bed headboard that I found at a junk store….sanded, painted, varnished and now it’s in my garden!”
“Gardeners spend all day in their beds.”