Friday, June 3, 2011

Collections- part 1

 It is no secret at my house that I collect a lot of stuff.  Some may call it junk, but I love my collections.  My collections tend to either be plant based or old garden "art".  I do have a rocking horse Christmas ornament collection, but that doesn't really count.

Water cans from the Barber and Greg
So among other things, I collect watering cans.  I started noticing watering cans in magazines and elegantly decorating the front stoops of friends' gardens, many years ago.  About the time that I first started gardening... I always wanted a nice old can, but for a long time all I had were plastic ones and a metal one that came from the local Pamida.  Useful, but certainly not elegant in their demeanor!

I, of course, yak on about things like this all the time.  I tell people who I know frequent garage sales and auctions to pick one up for me if they see it.  This basically led to NO watering cans, but that is ok, because when one did show up, I really appreciated it!!  Fred's cousin, the Barber, was kind enough to present me with my first one.  I was and remain so excited by it and very very grateful!  Love that thing!  I had coveted other people's lovely old cans- and finally I got one of my own.  So, sometimes when there is a trickle, the flood gates open!  Since then I have found several at flea markets, and I have gotten some from friends, relatives and sons!

This year so far I have been the lucky recipient of 2 new ones- another one from the Barber and one from the Mad Middle son.  Lucky me!

One of my collection
Not only are watering cans varied in shape and size, but they are also incredibly useful!  And none of these were more than $20, for the few that I bought.  I love how well they are constructed, their beautiful shapes, practical form, and how well balanced most of them are when full.  Oh if things were so well built today- at least things that don't cost you an arm and a leg!

Of course there are related items that can be included in a watercan collection- like coffee pots, oil cans, gas cans, minnow buckets- it goes on and on.  Much of this is driven by what I think I can plant something in!!  Love containers in the garden, can you tell?

Water can, old oil cans and gas-type can

My long necked can, plus my original gift

Old can from flea market
Painted can

So, to address the plant side of my collections, I would like to introduce you to the humble hen and chick.  Also know botanically as the sempervivum, this is a fantastic little guy.  Semps will hold up under many poor conditions that would make short order of more fussy plants.  And you have to love a plant that shoots off tons of babies without any apparent effort.

Before you look at these photos, please ignore the weeds, grass, weird fence looking things and the like.  The fences are to keep those 4 legged rodents called deer away from my lovely hens and chicks, and the weeds are ......  well, just there still.  I am working on that!  I have many of my semps in containers of various sorts, because I like to pop them into pots when I feel the need.

Not a true sempervivum- but similar- love the roller babies

Aren't they cute??
I enjoy them very much and am always looking for new varieties.  The only drawback to these is that you cannot keep them well in containers in super cold winter areas.  They do much better if they are put into the ground and then can be transplanted back to the containers in early spring- way before frosts are over.
I love summer!!

I want to encourage you to check out a new gardening blog that is hitting the scene.  It is the Sproutoff blog, which is being written by members of the Sproutoff gardening forum, of which I try to regularly visit.  It is a great site for garden questions, information and just general discussion and friendship.  This link will go to the Sproutoff blog.  There are several hotlinks to the forum on the blog, but here is one for you as well.  Sign in as a guest or join- you can either be a lurker or a participant!

So, until next time.... collect joy where ever you are!

1 comment:

  1. Love your collections and the hen and chicks. I always meant to grow some after Teresa used to, but never have. Maybe I will this year. Thanks, too, for the Sproutoff forum link! I need that bad! We are planting our garden today!

    Happy Summer Deb!!

    ps. link up one of your project posts on my link party over at Sunday's a nice way to get new readers!