Junque it to me, baby!

eggplant dish, tire planted 003

Above:   My tire planter cut with a steak knife!

I have somehow contracted a bad case of the Fred Sanford Syndrome. In fact my garden is beginning to resemble that very junk yard of l970s television infamy. Not many plants, but a lot of junk – which I prefer to call “La Junque.”


Now that summer has arrived and it’s time to bemoan the mud and bugs, drought and floods, my thoughts turn to getting my hands dirty again. That often involves perusing the area flee markets and garage sales to pick up some object d’art dating to the last century.  They add interest to those boring corners of the garden, and the rustier, the better.

My friend, Margaret Ann, called me the other day to ask if I knew of a product that would cause rust to occur more quickly than usual.  She wanted instant rust on a new iron bench she had purchased.

garden unk How’s that for a changing world?  Looking like “new” has become passé. We want things timeworn and venerable – with a rich imaginary history. Even better if you can say it came from your grandmother.

I do have a mountain of river rocks fished out of some stream by my grandmother back around the Great Depression.  They are more valuable to me than those other rocks – the ones they call a girl’s best friend.

You can never have enough rusty old bikes, wagons, tricycles, pots and baskets.  Thank goodness for the pack rats of the world who save this stuff for us to collect. My latest acquisition is an old plow given to me by my favorite quasi-farmer – Doss Brodnax.  I tried to hook it up to Rebel Dawg to plow the garden, but he refused to budge.

Believe it or not, many of my finds are picked up along city streets during my morning walks.  My favorite was an old glider that someone had printed “SET HERE” on the backrest. Priceless and free – what a deal.

I’m especially envious of those gardeners who have plants from their mother’s and grandmother’s gardens.  My mother wasn’t a gardener which accounts for my rudimentary garden skills.  No one ever taught me how to be a gardener so I’ve had to learn from trial and error – mostly error.

Now I’m hot on the trail of an old water pump I need in order to create a water feature in my back yard.

I asked my friend Kay to let me know when I get too much stuff.  I don’t have that ability to discriminate between “enough is enough” or just too much!  She called me one day and said “I think you have enough.”  That’s all she had to say, I moved the rusty old bike and the tire planter around back.

5 thoughts on “Junque it to me, baby!

  1. Emily,
    Is there any way you could just use a picture of an old fashioned water pump to create a theme, and have a drip or even some other type of water feature in the vacinity for the sound part, at least while you’re waiting to find the real thing? (No, not that indiscrete little boy again, please!) I’m sure you know already how difficult the real water pumps are to find these days, but a picture of one should be fairly easy to locate.

    Hey, perhaps they make fake old pumps that look like the real thing and are already made into a water feature. Have you googled for these as yet?


  2. Dear Fellow Junquer…..I also pick up stuff off the side of the road. I’m having a garage sale this weekend, and will display a lot of my finds. PURE PROFIT!!!! I LOVE IT!!! Last weekend I went to a sale and bought a couple of things from a woman’s “box-full-o-goodies” and commented on another item in the box. She told me to come back that afternoon and I could have the whole box!! JACKPOT!!! What I couldn’t use, I’m selling. You have inspired me to even sell broken chairs that could be used as planters. I’m no gardner, so I’m just gonig to “suggest” uses. In someone’s trash last week I got a great old wall cabinet. YARD SALE!!!

  3. Actually, someone left a pump on my back porch today. That column appeared in newspapers and someone in Maben saw it and had a pump he wasn’t using.

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