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Thursday, May 26, 2011

life is like a box of chocolates...


 you never know what you're gonna get. 
forest gump

or "find" in this case!



It was on a visit to our local quarry to check out their gravel color (every quarry produces a different color based on the stones they are quarrying) that I made a wonderful find!  As we drove around the huge quarry looking for the gravel I found....



...this pile!  Be still my heart!
I love all things iron, so my heart started to beat faster as I pointed and squealed  "LOOK!" to Dan.  He's fond of iron too, so lets just say at one point the employees drove up to check on us since we had been gone so long and they were afraid we had driven over an edge of the quarry!



This was just a pile of "scrap iron" to them, but to me it was a gold mine!!  I immediately start a running dialogue of all the things that one could make using the large iron pieces!  All the while honing in on this one thing,...



... this huge iron piece!
In my eye I saw a fabulous planter for the courtyard, but in reality it was a machine part for the huge rock crushing machine.  Isn't it absolutely beautiful?!  Ahhh, the patina.




Seventy dollars later ($50 for the "planter" and $20 for the man to deliver it to the house) it arrives.  You can see how big it is as this is a full size pick up truck.




It is then chained to Big Blue to transport up the drive.















This is the "courtyard."
It faces West- the road side of the house, though it can not be seen from the road.   It is bordered by the barn on the left (the bump out is the half-bath which we added that is accessed from the barn room), the kitchen on the back and the reading room in the farmhouse on the right.  This area is one of our many outdoor projects (the gravel is being installed on the barn room terrace as I type)  that we are working on right now.  We started to landscape only last Fall starting with the front bed.   We are also working on putting in a bed to the right of the courtyard in front of the reading room and living room bay windows.  Everything in this "front drive" bed will bloom white.
The courtyard will be laid with grass and there will be Limelight Hydrangeas planted in front of the air conditioning units to hide them.  I will plant three Maiden grasses (Miscanthus sinensis "Gracillmus") that grow to six feet in the iron planter.  The large ornamental grasses will provide soft, graceful movement to an otherwise static space.




I find the planter to be a wonderful focal point for the courtyard.
Here you see the grasses sitting in the planter, hydrangeas sitting in front of the ac units and the front drive bed all waiting to be planted!
Gotta run...  the plants are calling!

~
I'm being told people are having trouble leaving comments in blogger.  I've read that if you sign in with your google account and unclick the "keep me signed in" box that you can leave a comment.  I, too, was having difficulty leaving comments and this has been working for me.

62 comments:

  1. I am convinced I need a big blue...then I can just drive it to our local Habitat store...


    LOVIN the courtyard and all the fresh new spring green. And that iron pot.....POIFECT!!!

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  2. Wow - this "planter" is beautiful! When I first saw the picture of the pile of old iron, it was the first thing that caught my eye. What a terrific find. Once again, you have made a treasure out of nothing. I love your home and am really enjoying your blog. We are moving to a new town about 150 miles away in a few months and your story has inspired me to jump in and make a new home. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. What a find! I start jumping up and down when I find "junk" piles too. It's like a treasure hunt.

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  4. Omgosh, I love this for a planter, what a perfect day to find such a treasure and the price, is more than RIGHT!! I think you have a real treasure and your plans for the courtyard sound wonderful!!! Kathysue

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  5. Like minds... When I saw the picture of the iron pile the three huge pieces immediately caught my attention and I thought PLANTERS! Then I thought of Donna at FJI! You are going to have a gorgeous courtyard when everything begins to bloom!

    ~ Tracy

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  6. Great find! It'll look amazing there. Love that you're repurposing it!

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  7. That was a fun adventure, you have a great eye! Thank you for taking us along! The planter looks perfect there and your home is so beautiful

    stylishserendipity.blogspot.com

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  8. We live about a 1/2 mile from a metal salvage company. They won't let you go nosing around on their property AT ALL! (We know. My friend tried it and got told to leave.) So there might be tons of salvagable stuff people like you would swoon over! Good for you saving that piece and finding a nice use for it!

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  9. You found a real treasure! I think my husband and would have done the same thing if we had spotted something as unique as your new planter. It makes the perfect focal point. Thanks for sharing your adventure. Stacy@RedDoorHome

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  10. What a find! Please show us a picture of the ornamental grasses once you get them planted.

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  11. Love this post!!!!! What a neat piece......this is so cool. I love iron too, and I cannot wait to see what you do with it. How wonderful to see something come back to life and be given "new life"!! Love it!!

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  12. I. AM. A. JEAL. OUS. WRECK.

    icantstandit!

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  13. ...testing...testing...testing...laney

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  14. joan, what a find. but it takes YOUR eye to see it...donna

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  15. Lucky, lucky you! You have great eye for things like this -- and what a steal for the size of the thing! And how nice that you can leave it out all winter without worrying about cracking! That thing will be there longer than the house holds up.

    Camille

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  16. Totally hearting all of that iron! WOW.

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  17. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: "thinking outside the box", love it! Also, there is nothing like a white garden...white bleeding heart, soloman seal, may apple, lily of the valley, to name a few. I cannot wait to see the courtyard, as I know that it will be beautiful! Cindy

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  18. Oh. My. Gosh. It's all too perfect. What a great eye you have. That outside area will be such a charming spot. Wish we lived closer. Your house and yard would keep me treasure logging for days. I tell you this whole adventure needs to be a book. Every piece has a story that is waiting to be told.
    xoxo Dianne

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  19. You are too funny! I'd go right past that pile and not give it a 2nd thought! Great idea! I'm so happy you chose Limelight Hydreangeas! They are my absolute favorite next to Endless Summer Hydrangeas. Limelight is everything perfect! They have a wonderful flower that goes on for a long time and changes it's looks as it get's closer to fall and then you have dried flowers you can take or leave. I love their color and performance! Living in a northern climate has it's challenges and I am so thrilled with Limelight! I planted 3 more last year and can't wait to see blooming again! Good choice!!

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  20. What a great find! Can't wait to see this space come to life! Do you feel every day that you're living your dream?

    Hugs,

    Gail

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  21. You are a girl after my own heart...scouring a junk pile for a treasure. I can't wait to see it filled with flowers. Unique and beautiful!

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  22. i love that you repurposed that big iron piece - and i am amazed and in awe that you could see the potential in it. your blooming white garden is on its way to pure loveliness.

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  23. oh what a lovely find...looking forward with you...can't wait to see what is next...
    -xok.

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  24. What an incrediable vision you had!!!!! It is going to be PERFECT!!!! Love the grasses and the hydrangeas are one of my FAVES!!!!!!!!!!!! I ahve about 10 hydrangeas and wish I had 20! XO, Pinky

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  25. Great find! And the perfect excuse for hubby to put Big Blue to work! :)

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  26. I love it all and I love your having such "vision" .. being able to look at something dirty, rusty and tossed aside and seeing it in a new environment, among beautiful things .. besitos, Candice

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  27. I am also visiting quarries and looking at gravel colours at the moment...
    Not the most exciting part of a project, but what a great find you made!

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  28. Great find...thank god for 'big blue'...I can just see my hubby's expression if I had been in your shoes...he doesn't quite get it...you know my desire for old and crappy...his eye would have been rolling around in his head! Robx

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  29. What a great eye you have to picture your new planter in the heap of scrap. Wonderful addition to your courtyard. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. that is an awesome find!! You and Dan make an awesome team always having fun finding the best pieces for your house! I think I need to send my husband to "Dan" school- maybe learn a little home improvement, a few antiquing skills, and now scrap pile digging :)

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  31. I 've been trying to stop by for days...it would have been quicker to drive!

    Love your quarry find and the description, start to finish! I've never seen a junk pile I didn't want to adopt. Your charming rusty tub reminds me of a planter my parents have which was originally used for boiling laundry when my grandmother was a little girl. Is there anything better than repurposed and recycled artifacts? It makes life so much more meaningful. Whenever you step into your outdoor room, a memory will accompany you.

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  32. Just found you fromt Brittany's post over at Gallery No. Eight today! Love your home, and LOVE that find. Before you showed what it was you were focusing on in that pile, I saw that and thought - that's cool. Then when you showed the close up picture I thought "Would make a cool planter!"... So glad you brought it home! :) Officially a new follower!!

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  33. You are a girl after my own heart! I would love to go shopping with you! I LOVE that planter, so funny how you eyed that pile of iron. I love your blog and appreciate you giving us all the details. Thank you! Carol

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  34. But are you going to be able to sleep knowing you left two more back there at the quarry?

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  35. for the love of a houseMay 27, 2011 at 12:07 PM

    Gail- Yes, I truly do!!!

    LindsB- We're still waiting for y'all to drop by;)

    Flo- Yes, it really does. In fact I did go back and pick out one more to use as a firepit, but then we decided we didn't want to do a firepit area.... but I "do" still think of that one;)!

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  36. it's magnificent! really. i so can relate to your joy in rescuing such a piece. keep up the lovely work.

    michele

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  37. I miss our Big Blue...we sold it...to my father-in-law. I guess we can visit. ;)
    Love your "planter"!

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  38. What a great planter and finding it where you did! Lucky you

    Jeannette

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  39. What a great find! I love it and it looks great in that space.

    Holly

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  40. WOW! That is one great buy. Thank god I don't have a Big Blue or Red, I'd be dangerous.

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  41. Be steel my heart! Great find...will always be jealous of Big Blue! I've been known to get all misty-eyed over scrap piles! But having Big Blue to lift and separate...sighs!

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  42. That's some planter! I can just imagine the excitement of seeing that wonderful pile of iron.

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  43. You have such a good eye, Joan. I might have been drawn to some of those iron pieces, but I wouldn't have known what to do with them. I can't wait to see your courtyard when it is finished!
    Claudia

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  44. ok... now this is the funny part... the guys at the quarry - thought you were crazy to take that home! I just know it! hahaah! It is absolutely PERFECT in the courtyard! AMAZING find! And that was an awesome price. It is going to look gorgeous and like a piece of art in the courtyard, for sure! Love it!
    Have a pretty day!
    Kristin

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  45. Kristen- you are so right! they kind of looked at us like, you want a price on what???

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  46. what a find! finds like that make a house a home in my mind. it looks fabulous already. did you find the little limes?

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  47. Wow! You have a really good eye! I would have just walked straight past that! I am now thinking of a million and one reasons why I need a big blue too!

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  48. What a fabulous find!! Can't wait to see the full courtyard reveal!!

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  49. Great blog! Wonderful to find kindred spirits!

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  50. What a great find! I want one!

    www.ajbarnesonline.blogspot.com

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  51. Jennings and Gates- nice to meet you!!

    Randy- there is still that other one, shall I have it shipped to you;)

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  52. Wonderful treasure you have found!!! and you did a great use of it!!! how lucky you!!
    hugs

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  53. What a lovely find! We don't have a courtyard at the cottage - but i could see making a beautiful fire pit! I will have to check out the quarry's around us!

    We made our first trip to the town dump - and Irish thought I was crazy as I wandered around looking for treasure!

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  54. You are brilliant! what a beautiful piece for your beautiful home.

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  55. Love the huge rusted iron thingy you found but I have to be honest here I would have never seen it as a planter...good job! Now go back there and grab those tall wire things now those would make great arbors or a trellis for climbing roses. I hope you, Daan and Ella are enjoying our warmer, much warmer, days!

    Hugs Debra,

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  56. Lol! First, I can relate to the thrill of a junk pile. Second, I LOVE the "planter"!! Three, I'm not sure whether I'm more jealous of the planter or the fact that you have a tractor to play with!! This was a totally entertaining post. I always love visiting your blog :)

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  57. What a find...it makes the perfect focal point and what a great idea to use it as a planter. And it fit perfectly in the back of a pickup truck...it was meant to be!

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  58. What an eye you have! It looks so great and the fact that it now has a new job is wonderful...you rescued it, and gave it a good home!
    xo J~

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  59. I love your house and enjoyed your postings about hunting for your treasures...you have a great eye and it's wonderful you have a great partner in crime. I could move into that house and not change a thing...it is perfect! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work. I will keep dreaming.

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  60. Being a quarry worker myself I know they make great fire pits too. Its a cone liner and there made of magnesium. They dont get glowing hot.

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