Graniteware Garden

A few months ago I got a phone call from my antique auctioneer uncle. A friend of his was moving from a house to an apartment and wanted to consign some items to his auction. When he arrived at her house to discuss the consignment he saw a large pile of items destined for the dump.

He asked her if she would be willing to give the items away instead of sending them to the dump, then called me as soon as he got her approval.  That represents a bit of a shift for him. While I learned my love of primitive antiques from him, I think he frequently despairs that my appetites have gone a bit far.

But this load goes straight to the heart of why I created Adventures in Junking: reducing landfill contributions through creative reuse or repurpose.

I suspect my fellow junkers will see it as a great score!

The graniteware canning pot is full of smaller graniteware items, and these were the inspiration for a Graniteware Garden.

People who follow Adventures in Junking may remember these wicker chairs were a roadside rescue from last summer, as were the graniteware bundt pan and it’s support (which was the base of a coatstand). But the lovely little graniteware pot stuffed with spring blossoms is part of the haul from Herda.

The lid for the canning pot gets in on the act, repurposed as a welcome with the help of a piece of chalk.

The choice to use the canning pot in the garden instead of the kitchen is made for me.

My lovely antique Red Rose tin had already been rusted through when I rescued it. I had no reservations about using it as a cover or sleeve for plant pots, but its condition limits its function (and value!)



Even though my pots and tins are rusty and rustic, I want them to last.

So I put plant pots inside the decorative tins or pots and pull the plant pots out for watering and put them back after they have stopped dripping.

A lovely rusted antique milk pitcher houses a hosta


Hard to believe someone was going to throw away this lovely old bread basket

The brass mid-century ashtray was another curbside rescue.  I immediately saw a good prospective repurpose, but was surprised to find it. There are many  collectors – hobbyists and professionals – who drive up and down streets looking for scrap metal .. And brass brings a good price.  Recently at one of his antique auctions a brass bed that wasn’t very attractive sold for $50 to a fellow who turned around and sold it to a metal recycler for $150.

From an environmental perspective, seeing antique or vintage brass go to a metal recycler is certainly preferable than seeing it end up in a landfill, the antique lover in me worries that the strong price of scrap metal will greatly diminish the amount of metal antiques we leave future generations.

I am also a container gardener, and as I said, I immediately saw a repurpose in the ashtray. The little ashtray comes off for emptying. I took out  a metal bundt pan that I hung from a tree as a bird feeder last year and popped it onto the ashtray stand, then replaced the ashtray to hold the bundt pan in place.

I filled it with seed and added a metal jar lid filled with water

A little friend shares my love of critters.


A little seed in antique graniteware bowl which will hopefully keep the squirrels away from the feeder intended for birds.


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16 thoughts on “Graniteware Garden

    • Thanks so much. Amazing, isn’t it, that so much of this stuff was headed for the landfill. And the fun has just begun.


  1. I loved this post, Donna. I was at my husband’s farm today looking around at what I could salvage and bring bak home. It makes me so happy to see ladies like yourself who find old things and bring them back to life. I have also taken a keen interest in it and find great joy in bein able to give a new purpose to something that may be seen by others as junk… and of course the landfill is a dirty word. Thank you for joining us and giving us loads of sweet inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a great assortment of dinged graniteware. I use pieces all the time….outside. Great groupings and I love your ideas, smiles—thanks for sharing, Sandi


  3. You always do such a great job of repurposing! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. Hope to see you there again tomorrow morning. xoKathleen


    • Thanks you, Sharon. I’m always thrilled to get these treasures but it does make me a little sad that people were willing to throw them away in the first place. The rose lard tin wasn’t a freebie, though. I bought it – I love it, too, bottomless or not.


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