Sunday, February 21, 2010

Junk that's really not

The Flower Lawn & Garden Show at Bartle Hall is one of my favorite places to pick up ideas, garden ornaments, and today, some old fence posts, maybe a few ducklings, almost a pair of dogs, and, oh, yeah, possibly an old camper. Brion Rothlisberger of ClassicScapes blew away the competition with his tribute to unwanted items finding a new use. I hardly had a chance to snap a few pictures because his space was a crowd magnet. Everyone stopped to marvel at the creativity and reuse of beat-up old things...yet I can probably count on one hand how many people would actually put something like this in their yard. Why do so many people love quirky ideas but choose to paint their homes beige and plant a few twigs and ugly bushes?

Idea 1: Camper as outbuilding. Brion salvaged this Scotty camper from a junkyard that still, in our opinion, has many years of life left in it. The interior got a little wet, so the upholstery may need to be cleared out, but it's got space for two beds inside, plus a kitchenette with (turquoise!) cabinets, a fridge and microwave. My dad's always wanted his own caboose -- isn't this kind of similar? We could set this up by our pond with a shaded patio and Adirondack chairs. Who wants to sleep over?!

Idea 2: Dump truck spa. Never underestimate the usefulness of a big hunk of rusting metal. Brion dropped in a liner and ladder, added a deck, complete with car-seat loungers, and created an instant pool. While this one's a bit smaller, shallow and, well, more crude (hey, the guy only had a day to put it together), some Brooklyn designers did a nice job making swimming pools out of some old dumpsters. It's a heck of a lot cheaper than the markup most pool companies charge... 

Idea 3: Tire sandboxes and planters. Who needs to buy pots -- these suckers have the best drainage I've seen yet! Swiped from the side of the road, they make great enclosures for plants, and I visited one farmer last year who lined them up around his vegetable patch to prevent soil erosion and planted peach trees in them.

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