Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Secret Garden

Over the long Labor Day weekend, we used the opportunity to get another home improvement project started. Not that we don't already have half a dozen projects already started.....It's been one of those summers. Delays. Bad Weather. Lots of life stuff going on. No trust fund.You know how it is.
But one project we have to do whether we feel like it or not every year, is stain the deck. Now you might wonder why I am showing you photos of bird houses, an old wood stove and a coal cart wheel. But I'll get to that...
Back to the deck. This is Champ. He is one of the reasons why we have to stain the deck every year. Little feet with claws.
Plus, the deck is on the 'weather' side of the house.
Every time we have to stain it, Hubby has to replace any weak boards and then pressure wash it.
This takes some time.
So I had to find something to do while pup sitting.
These two are terrified of the sounds of hammering and pressure washing. So while Hubby worked hard, I snuck up to his Work Shed to do a little sprucing up around it while he was otherwise occupied, far enough away from the 'terrifying' sounds so these two could relax.
Now, this is Hubby's little domain - the Work Shed. He doesn't want me 'fussing it all up with flowers and all that'. But I can't help myself. He tolerates that, but he doesn't like anything too 'girly'. So I have found a compromise.
Yes, that's right. Hubby loves anything rusty. Who knew? So I have been sneaking things into his little world for quite some time now and so far he hasn't objected. Sometimes he nods his head at me and says something like, 'Looks good'.
So that has encouraged me.
First I filled this old washing machine with some very exuberant ivy a few years ago.
The old milk crate in front ,which is full of spring daffodils, I slipped in last fall.
Hubby and my (then teenage) son's found this old wood stove at an abandoned home site in the now defunct coal mining town down by the river. They also found this old coal cart wheel lodged in the river bank where there was once a bridge.
They came home with these 'treasures' and put them in front of the Work Shed.
Look at all that beautiful rust!
I love the embossed scene of this cabin in the woods with the smoke curling out of the chimney.
I kind of left this leaky watering can up here to see if Ol' Blue Eyes would move it, but he hasn't, and now this pretty little wildflower is growing in it (ooooops! Did I leave soil in that watering can?)
There are no flowers yet, but next spring there will be tiny pink ones.
This old half barrel ended up here a long time ago, so I happened to have a spare wisteria vine hanging around and now it is climbing onto the front of the shed. He hasn't said anything yet. I think he likes it. The whiskey barrel has lots of rust on the bands.
The pale leaves are variegated St. John's Wort. They have very discreet yellow flowers.  
 He did agree to hang these signs he made for a little antique shop that I once owned. I closed the shop but kept the signs.
So being inspired to add to all the rust and 'old stuff', I had put these unused old cooking kettles and tubs on the shady side of the Work Shed to use as planters. I had forgotten about them, but when I started clearing away old blackberry vines and weeds, I found a little 'garden' growing! Two little ferns had sprung up, and some wildflowers had seeded themselves into the old kettles filled with soil. Moss had formed a groundcover.
There was even a hanging basket all 'planted' with wildflowers ready to hang!
 All I had to do was tidy things up a bit.
He won't even notice that all that rust has pretty little flowers this Spring.
So while he worked away at cleaning and repairing the deck, I tidied up the woodlands around his Work Shed.
With one of my little 'helpers'.

And if I'm lucky, maybe I'll get a nod and a 'Looks good.'
 I like a man of few words.


  1. Dearest Karen,

    What a lovely storytelling. You keep a reader really interested till the very end. Great ending about the man of few words!
    Lovely place you created, even with those rusty things around. Love that old stove, how beautiful the work on its front. Times gone and its maker is probably smiling down from the heavens that someone is still 'loving' it!
    Hugs to you,

  2. Love the vintage items you have placed around the gardens. Beautiful vintage stove and your creativity in using it is wonderful.

  3. Oh I agree with Mariette...what a wonderful piece of storytelling...I enjoyed reading all the way to the end...and the photos....oh my goodness...I would not mind living in his shed! What an interesting piece of information that you owned an antique shop...I can see that. How very talented you are at arranging rusty things so that they are a thing of beauty.

  4. Oh my goodness. I just love the landscape in your neck of the woods. Makes me miss BC! Chris is so a man of few words, which makes me crazy by the way :), but I never get the "looks good". I usually get "Does that look good?" Only if it's something really really awesome. Always a teaser. Maybe he'll soften with age?

  5. Karen you are hilarious. Devious, and hilarious. The old stove with the embossed scene is so beautiful! I agree with Mariette, someone up there will be so pleased that you're making the most of their old stove.

  6. Rust compromise - thanks for the chuckle!
    Love what you were doing while the deck got cleaned and mended and stained.

    Wishing you a golden late summer,

  7. That old stove is quite a find. All your decorations add a lot of charm to the shed without being too fussy. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. LOVE this post & all the photos, Karen!!!
    Hubby is hoping we'll build a workshop for him next summer. I'll be sure to keep rust in mind. :)

  9. What a wonderful story,
    step by step,
    and with photos!
    Love what you've done to "his" domain :)

  10. I love what you've done with your husband's space. It's pretty, but not too feminine. It's hard for a man to understand a woman's need to be surrounded by pretty things, but I think Blue Eyes (and Norm) indulge us somewhat.

    By the way - have I missed the ending of the story of Blue Eyes, or have you not posted that yet? :)

  11. Thank you for your lovely and interesting comments on the Work Shed gardening. I really enjoy reading them!

    And Stacy Lyn, I have not continued the story this summer, but look for that soon!


  12. Oh my gosh Mom, that is so funny. I can picture Dad now, grinding his jaw and smiling at the same time trying to be manly. I agree with what Stacy Lyn said, they indulge us. My poor Eric is surrounded by feathers, crowns and jewels but he loves it no matter how girly it is. At least that's what he makes me think. *grin*

  13. Hello Karen, me and my brother's were doing a yard job for a person and found the exact wood stove!, it does not have the bottom rack but it has every thing else I think O_O. Do you know the name of it? or where we could get part's from?.

    1. Hi Anggie, I'm sorry, but I don't know anything about it or where to get parts for it. I know they were common here in WA State during the 80's and were sold new in hardware stores then. Wish I could give you more information :( Thank you for visiting my blog! xo


Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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