Friday, July 8, 2011

The Making of a Faux Antique

You know I love gardening, I get a charge out of recycling, and I thoroughly enjoy creating things with my hands.  Well it is not everyday I get to do a project that combines all three, but yesterday was one of those days.

I've coveted one of those antique wheelbarrows you run across every-so-often.  Problem is they want at least your firstborn, plus an arm and a leg for them, and you know how cheap I am.  A year ago, a friend of ours was moving and had a yard sale.  She had a small wheelbarrow, with a flat tire, full of gardening odds and ends.  I bought it thinking that maybe it had some potential.  It sat in the back of the hoophouse all this time, and a few ideas percolated in the back of my mind.

It would be sitting upright, except for the fact it was pretty much dismantled before I thought of taking a picture.  Parts and pieces and just kind of lying there, to make it look something like its original state.

On the last week of school, one of my days took me past Rideau Antiques near Perth.  This place is absolutely unbelievable.  I cannot even hazard a guess as too how many items they would have, but I'm sure that millions would be no exaggeration. There is a yard piled high with stuff that will withstand the weather.  Inside you can barely get through the aisles.  It literally starts at the floor, goes to the ceiling and then the ceilings are obscured by hanging items.  They have anything your little heart might ever desire and then a whole lot more.  I've often wondered why they don't hire someone just to sit and list items on Ebay - it would be a seller's (and a buyer's) dream.  As it is, you get rather mesmorized quickly, because there is too much stuff to take in.

Anyway, once more I have digressed.  I went in with the express purpose of getting a small metal wheel for my potential wheelbarrow.  Of course they had one......they had many.  The one I liked, and ultimately chose is not actually a wheel, but is a pulley or a flywheel off some bygone piece of farm equipment.

So now I had my wheel and my frame.  Another week of percolation and finally the inspiration struck as to what to do.  Fortunately, I still had a bit of rough sawn hemlock inch lumber left over from my garden shed, and it has weathered to a fine patina.

I went on line and googled "vintage wheelbarrow" and lots of wonderful pictures popped up.  I made a file of these, and kept it open for the day.  There were many trips back and forth, just to get an idea of angles and lengths etc.  I wish I had taken a couple more pictures of the process.  But, anyway, here is the wheelbarrow.  Keep in mind the only vintage thing is the wheel, and don't look closely, because I even had to shore that up with vinyl bushings.

The project is far from complete.  The plant in it is temporary, just so you can get an idea of what it may become.  I doubt that it will get properly filled this year.  I want it just to sit and weather for me.  Then it will become a plant receptacle.  As you can see it is sitting between my septic cleanouts.  Ideas are formulating as we speak.  It will probably rest in pea stone and serve as a backdrop to a pond.  And yes, I do have a pond liner, reposing in the back of my hoophouse, purchased at another yard sale for a fraction of new cost, but that is another whole story, for another day.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. Your wheelbarrow is fabulous, and that antique store sounds like my kind of place. As as rule, I'm no fan of shopping, but I can spend an entire day digging through the dusty treasures in a messy filled-to-the-rafters junk shop. It is amusing, however, not only to see things in those shops that I remember, but to see things characterized as "classic antiques" ... that I still use!

    You must have a gorgeous garden. I have good intentions. Take care, and thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate it, dear sir.

  2. Wow, what a great-lookin' wheelbarrow! I love it.


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