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August: Along the garden path part 3 – vintage in the yard.

Welcome back diners! I hope you’re enjoying our beautiful, albeit hot summer. Its a bit hot for me, as a PNW native I tend to melt at 76 degrees, which has not been particularly good for the dirt pile currently in the driveway. The veggies in the new vegetable garden are loving the heat, and the doe continues to feast on the yard.

It appears that Daisy (now short for Dastardly) has adopted us.  That is her, just casually laying around the yard.   My SIL Cindy, said she must like my energy, I’ll take that as a compliment! 

Just last weekend, my FIL Mel, shared his secret-sauce recipe for keeping the dear from eating the plants: Per one gallon of water add a strained egg and two tablespoons of garlic powder.  Thank you Mel, I’ll give it a try!  I am leaving water out for Daisy during the extreme heat. I am sure this has been a stressful summer for all the critters.

The yard art however, is doing just fine. Here are few of my vintage items –

A pair of old iron bench ends borders a path.

I love these vintage fountains.

An old grate in a side garden. I love to plant fuchsias in the garden. This little one is two shades of pale orange.

Ah, rain drops on roses! Come back at any time rain, the yard misses you.

A vintage tet-a-tet bench with this super cute floral pillow. Pardon the hoses, watering in process! Yes, that is horse-tail. We have a bumper cop each year, and i just learned that the early brown shoots are edible (kind of like asparagus), and a tea can be made from the late season frilly shoots! Not sure if I am quite ready to try any.

This is a vintage, depression glass ceiling lamp shade. I inverted it and attached it to a unique bottle. Place old bottles or vases over a piece of iron re-bar to ensure they stay upright. It works well for small yard totems as well.

Beautiful nasturtiums! For Christmas last year Stephen got me a lot of seeds. And I do mean a lot of seeds, but I love to throw them everywhere, they are such a great summer flower. Don’t forget that all parts are edible, the flowers look great in salads, as do the leaves. I recently learned that the stems can be chopped and have a similar flavor and texture to chives.

So, my most favorite pieces of vintage yard art are from a bit of my own childhood. For those who were raised in the South Sound area you will remember Never Never Land at Point Defiance. It opened in the early 1960s and closed in the mid to late 1980s, It was called a “theme park,” a variety of nursery rhymes and fairy tale characters in a 30-acre wooded area. The characters were all child-size and many had an interactive element to them. The old photos were retrieved from Goggle.

The entrance to Never Never Land with Humpty Dumpty

This was Peter Pumpkin-eater and his wife. You could enter the pumpkin and hang out with her in the pumpkin shell

The old woman who lived in a shoe, for the visitors it served as a slide!

There was even the witch’s candy cottage with Hansel and Gretel. To get out, you had to climb through the oven! My mom was rather surprised, and i think a little shocked, to learn of this not long ago. Oh the things we did as 1970s kids!

Never Never Land was the creation of a Canadian artist, characters were hand-made from fiberglass. There were three of each so they could be easily swapped for repairs. Originally, the characters were painted in pastel colors, but as the paint ran out and budgets thinned, the park service painted them in whatever colors were available.

The characters were pulled out of Never Never Land when it closed, and they were stored under the Pagoda in the Japanese Garden. In 2011, the Pagoda was severely damaged in a fire and the park staff found the cache of abandoned figures. Many were sold to a Tacoma antique store, Broadway’s Best (now closed), where I giddily purchased three figures. The three I have are in various states.

I do not know which character this is, he is painted in the original pastel colors. He is currently holding up a large maple tree.

This is Tom stout “who pulled the kitten out” of the well. I really do not remember this particular nursery rhyme, but he needs a bit of repair, and has the more modern, brighter paints. He stands over the water feature in the bog garden.

And finally, Mrs Pumpkin-eater, free from her pumpkin shell at last!

She is an unpainted character in the original fiber-glass. I was hoping to have a lovely summer array of sweet peas cascading down her perch, but the hot weather had other ideas – next year!

We can’t forget about winter-vintage either. This is a pair of choir boys that I acquired several years ago. I love to put them out during the Christmas season.

Thanks for tagging along in the garden with me for a look at vintage items in the yard. Please share and comment on your yard ideas, having vintage and antique items is the ultimate in sustainability, and its fun to imagine old items used in new ways!

Before we leave, a special thank you to reader Margaret C for the wonderful daily reflection from July.

Here is a quote from the July 15th reflection guess who’s coming to dinner? “Today start using and enjoying the beautiful things that already surround you in your home. Don’t save their loveliness only for other people to recognize and appreciate.” This is the heart of why I produce this blog, to surround each of us in beauty! And, as I write this on August 11, Stephen just informed me that we share a birthday, so happy birthday to you Margaret C and thank you for the beautiful sentiment.

Hope to see you back later in August as I try my luck at my first lawn-picnic! Until then, enjoy something beautiful. ~d

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