More Garden Knickknackery
Worn Out Chinese Bucket
This old bucket is on its last legs & if it eventually falls apart, I'll see what I can do to patch it back together. The more beat up it gets the more wonderful I think it is. I use it quite a lot & though I have to treat it a bit gently, it's good to gather twigs in or as a catch-all for small tools being used in the garden on a given day. I found it in a very expensive antique store but they didn't want much for a beat-up bucket & were probably mildly annoyed that I found the only cheap thing in their store.
I'm not much for regular concrete geegaws in the garden but this wee toad caught my fancy, perhaps because I have studied the western toad in the wild, & kept it as a pet, & this flattened toad-sized concrete medalion hit a positive nerve for me. The toad sits unobtrusively at the foot of the akebia arbor almost hidden by a decaying length of birch log.
The World Turtle
This one's a bit more practical than the little toad. It's a crockery stepping-stone in the shape of a turtle, surrounded by leafmold from the choke-cherry it's under.
A sturdily woven basket left outside to "wear out" in the weather can be delightful. Without really planning it, this basket ended up more or less permanently seated in a location on the front porch that is just its size, & where it's very handy to grab for assorted uses. We use it pretty regularly to gather garden rubble, such as the sharp leaves of a holly tree we don't like to leave as mulch, or pruned bits off a stabby rose. But the basket seems always ends up back in this spot. Eventually it may be displaced by one or another potted plant, but who knows. In the meantime, a neighbor's cat is frequently to be seen sleeping in this basket, & once we even caught two cats sleeping in it.
Nothing Beats Rocks
For anyone with a packrat's tendency to set loved stuff around the yard, nothing beats Mother Nature's very own rocks. The colorful rock on the back stoop was one of a huge batch we got at a yardsale for $200 for a carload so many rocks we ended up making two trips. The old guy selling them said a rockhound he'd rented a house to abandoned the rocks. He told us, "$200 is a good deal, that big piece of petrified wood right there is probably worth that much all by itself." Well, I'd bought lots of rocks from quarries, aquarium stores, & rockhound shops, so I wasn't about to dicker. The grey stripy rock to the side of the stoop is from a quarry we visited near Gig Harbor, where they also sell Stonehenge type menhirs, but unable to afford to put a monolith in our yard settled for one stripy rock.
One day while digging a hole for one or another shrub or perennial, I dug up this piece of metal. If you look closely you can see it is embossed with the image of a kitty with its paw reaching under the lid of what might be a baked bean pot. I suspect it's from a garden chime mobile. I ran a string through the hole at the top & hung it from a branch of the Choke Cherry.
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