The term ‘gardenalia’ describes antique collectables related to gardens and gardening – they are great items to scout around for at car-boot sales, flea markets and reclamation yards. You can find beautiful galvanized metal watering cans, lichenencrusted statues or French metal bistro tables and chairs that have turned alluringly rusty with the passage of time. Look out for old metal washtubs, watering cans and pails that can be used for planting. They don’t have to be in perfect condition – it’s a bonus if there are holes in the base, as it saves you having to drill new ones for drainage. Ageing metal gates look great propped up against a wall as a support for climbing plants, as do old metal cart wheels. A birdcage makes for a quirky planter and even weathered tools can be turned into a feature. Sourcing such items is great fun; you might spy an unusual piece and have a place for it instantly, or you could buy it and let it adorn your garden until inspiration strikes.
Styling gardenalia is all about using your creativity. Utilise careworn furniture, such as side tables with peeling paint, as plant stands; store vintage pots in crates; give old tins a new lease of life as storage for seed packets, while vintage baskets can hold garden tools.