Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Makeover: The Big Reveal!

A few months ago, I hinted at a garden project I was undertaking. My apologies for being so vague. I wasn't sure if my idea would work or not and I didn't want to embarrass myself if it didn't. 

But it did! And I'm psyched. 

But first, a pretty flower, and it's not even pink! 

This is Hydrangea macrophylla 'Fuji Waterfall'
It was a small, rooted cutting back in April and now it's big and pretty and this is its second bloom!

Okay so here was my dilemma: Check out the total ugliness of these raised bed borders. Icky!

Considering the untreated landscape timbers were purchased last century, (circa 1998), is it any wonder they're so old and tired? Because my focus had for so long been on other projects, every now and then I'd scrape up a few pieces of this and that to hold the mulch and soil in place. Clearly aesthetics were not part of the equation.  

My first bit of inspiration came last year when I spotted these wonderfully, rusty and totally cool containers at Garland Nursery. I love them, but not the price. ($75 for the small one.) 

Then while scrolling through photos online, I saw these (below). Nice but a bit too woody. And fancy. Not my cup o' tea really since I'm a total, die-hard "lust for rust" gal. But an idea was taking shape. 

And I saw these, too. They're a little better but way too shiny and new-looking for my taste.

Then, while "junking" at the local scrapyard one day, I saw these panels of rusty crusty corrugated metal. And the light bulb not only went off, but started flashing. In-time with blaring sirens. 

My son helped me purchase three of them (14 feet x 4ish feet) at five bucks a piece. 

At home, my wonderful son cut them in half lengthwise (with air snips), then in four-foot and eight-foot strips, the size of the raised beds. He already had aluminum pipe so he cut pieces to size and screwed them at each end. 
My talented son's handiwork!

We got them in place and then screwed the four sides together.
~~ VOILA ~~

Still in need of a few buckets of gravel here.

And then to the finer details.

As I said earlier, I'm not a fan of "shiny" and these screws were a bit obtrusive, don't you think?

Patio Paint to the rescue!

First the darker color,

Then the lighter color. And then there were no more obtrusive screws.
I'm still playing with the idea of adding a narrow vertical piece on the corners, to give them that "finished" look but the material I want needs to be just right and, well, hopefully it won't be another century before I find it. 

One other little detail, as you can see on the photo below, the pipe my son used is hollow, perfect for propping some of my miscellaneous rusty pieces.  

For instance, this piece....

And this one... 

In case you're wondering, yes, I'm now on a first-name basis with Gordie, scrap yard guy! 

To recap, Before...

And After... So much better, don't you think? 

I know rusty stuff  and bargain-hunting aren't to everyone's liking 
and that's okay.
Our individuality is what makes it fun, right?


  1. Those are fantastic! LOVE. Great job both of you!

  2. Very, very nice. I thought your previous borders were fine, but these really have pizzazz! You're so creative, Grace!

  3. What absolute fun! A nice bit of whimsy/quirky with the corner tops and great rust! Love the paint job on the screws, well done. I really like Fuji Waterfalls....such a pretty hydrangea.

  4. Hooray for you! They're awesome! :o)

  5. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? And they suit you perfectly! Great job.

  6. Grace!!! These are perfect, kudos to you and your son. You two make quite the pair. I love them.

  7. They're great! What a transformation. Love them!

  8. Very creative and thrifty! I really like them a lot and I wouldn't say rusty metal is my kind of thing.

  9. How I wish I could see your garden In Person! I, too, love rust.
    I like how you aged the screws and topped those hollow pipes, too!
    I'm truly inspired. Thank you. And kudos to your son.

  10. I love these too and I do have some of that old rusty corrugated metal roofing.(-:

  11. As someone who also love rusty things, this is brilliant and beautiful. I especially like the addition of all your rusty bits. So inventive. I never would have thought of raised beds like this but I am going to mentally file this concept away for the future.

  12. Nicely done, Grace! Looks fantastic.

  13. I'm sitting here with a huge smile on my face. My husband would be proud of you for what you and your son did with these rusty panels. They look wonderful in your gardens. Way to go!

    Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

  14. Love it! Huge improvement! I have a few rusty objects in my own garden. I really like the way you placed various rusty objects in the hollow tubes.

  15. waouuuu c'est fantastique cette idée
    j'aime beaucoup
    et puis les objets posés sur les tiges en métal, j'en rêve ;-)
    belle soirée

  16. From eyesore to outstanding. Way to go!

  17. Great job! I love rusty metal things and appreciate your attention to detail - first the metal screws and then the finishing touches for the pipes. And you can change the pieces out too! A wonderful plan beautifully executed.

  18. Love it!!! There's lots of that metal around here ~ for free! Wish I could share with you. Maybe I should try this in a place that needs a retaining wall.

  19. I am all into the rust and the bargain hunting. This is brilliant. What a good, smart, handy son.

  20. I have been working with rusty tin for 5 years and have been pleased with the results but not quite ready to reveal. maybe ill give you a sneak peek sometime. I used it for fencing, raised beds, sidewall facades and raised vegetable beds.

  21. Grace I love what you did here...and a great price. They are perfect and especially the finer details of the painted screws and funky rusted finials.

  22. That's a huge change, Grace! And it turned out fantastic. Nice job!


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