Finding a balance between junkola and flowers
A question,.. for as long as I’ve been collecting Flea Market and junky junkola to set in the garden, …has been how much junk to how many flowers. How large a flower bed will do for a wheelbarrow? Where to display a collection of dish flowers?
Small display items can become lost in the shrubbery and too many collected pieces can look barren without flowers or even some foliage nearby. You don’t, by any means, want your collected treasures to look as if they dropped in heaps from the sky onto bare ground. Here are some examples that show good balance between flowers and your Flea Market finds and garden art.
~~ Flea market flower garden design tips ~~
Match plants to the sun
Both sun and shade are conducive to Flea Market goodies. The cool foliage colors under Norma Vanoy’s tree give way to hot, sunny flowers in front of her shed.
Start with a sketch
Sketching can help you ‘think things out’ especially if you are a ‘visual’ person. But,…if you are like me, you garden from the back door out, bit by bit and the garden develops naturally…organically. Favorite flowers, like Kathy Juacek’s, above, can be sketched into different areas of the garden. Do you name each part of your garden? I do. The Meadow, The Cottage Garden, The Entry Garden,…etc.
Do we need these? Maybe! If you have a favorite shrub,…plant a line of them as a ‘backbone’ like Mary has done above,… The deep blue bottles stand out just enough from the deep green shrubbery next to the house and the dish edging provides color when flowers fade.
Borders and islands
In a large lawn area, an island bed can add loads of garden interest. Nancy K. Meyer is the Queen of ‘island beds’ which she cuts out of the lawn around each tree in her ‘park. Each green island creates the background for family treasures like the children’s old bicycles and farm implements from her ancestors.
Below, Vickie Randolph uses rocks of a certain uniform size to edge her garden beds, then accents them with birdbaths and Flea market collections.
Your home, a garden shed, garage or tall hedge can act as a background. Tanya Goldsmith’s raised bed garden looks like a cool jewel in front of her brightly painted shed. Do you noticed the color combo here? Red, White and Blue.
Tanya says, “This beautiful red shed was on a Pond Garden tour put on by Ace Hardware in Merritt Island Florida and is the garden of one of their employees.”
Many flower beds begin 3-4 feet and through the years deepen to 6-8 feet in width. We add stepping stones so each plant area can be reached. Jani Little’s flower bed is in perfect spot to grow wider and wider as she adds flowers and plants.
Remember your garden paths will possibly ‘create’ certain shaped and flower beds. Carol Hall divided her space with paths that determined the shape of her flower beds. Each bed has the same type of log border which unifies the look of her garden.
Edge with low ground cover or a collection of Flea Market junk like dishes or glass bottles, even logs and branches. Billie Hayman edged this bed , in fact created a raised bed for her Rudbeckia and Petunias with brick.
This is a no-brainer, put tall plants in the back of a bed so the shorter ones can be easily seen. Jennie Zavala began with pink roses, planting Hollyhocks in between for the tall elements. Lower growing roses spill into an edging of Daisies and Feverfew. Jennie dotted this bed with a brilliant blue bowling ball, a birdhouse and angel decorated post. Each item has its own space.
Plan for constant color and interest
We usually just consider early Spring bloomers and hot summer color, but don’t forget Fall color. Each season, Jane Krauter changes out the annuals in this bed next to her patio. Herem you see her summer flowers, Black-eyed Susans, Salvia, Impatiens and Feverfew. Violas, snapdragons, Begonias and Daisies are planted in the Fall garden, below.
From top left, Bee Balm, Lilies, iris, Veronica, Begonias, orange Daylilies, golden Blackeyed Susans, Hosta and pink Peonys.
Foliage and form (junk)
Plan for a 60% flowers and foliage and 40% Flea Market finds. Use your treasures like garden accessories ‘jewelry.’ Tuck tables and container plants into larger foliage like Jeanne Sammons does here.
Creating a flow through the garden can be done with paths, or with a series of arbors that guide you from one area to another. Above, Dandi Gentry’s arbors lead you through the garden and each arbor has some rusty treasure that tells a story,…a chicken feeder hanging plant or a flowering basket on a pole.
- Farm implements
- Old tools
- Fairy gardens
- Butterfly gardens
Kim Kick-Leifheit could have added a variety of mismatched Flea market items here, but she stuck to a farm implement theme, using a tall windmill, and pump. Di-Ellen planted this entire area with a fairy garden in mind, giving the space its own dreamy feel.