Don't tell my mother--Mom tends to be a little embarrassed by these kinds of things--but I had a great trashpicking night this week!. As a result, I am the proud owner of this cool new garden table:
My new table formerly served as a spool for some sort of wire--my neighbor 5 doors down must work with wire regularly, because he often puts spools of varying sizes out on his tree lawn during trash day. This is by far the largest one I've seen, and it's the first one I managed to snatch before someone else grabbed it up.
I really like the industrial feel, the hefty screws, and the handle cut out of the top. (Side note: I did NOT use the handle to get it home--there is only one, and trying to figure out where to put my other hand seemed unnecessary when I could simply roll it down the sidewalk instead.) But I don't like the visual "chunk of new wood" effect that the table gives now, and I want to protect it a bit from the elements. So I thought about staining it the same burgundy as the post you see in the right side of this photo:
Or maybe I should paint just the base a bright cobalt, to match the watermelon pot above? That would give me three large, round, cobalt blue things, and I like having things in odd numbered clusters. Of course, deep brown would make a good backdrop for anything, as illustrated by the fence color in the background here:
But maybe I should try a deep, mysterious purple, like the 'Vista Purple' salvia in that cobalt pot. After all, I love how Gail's fence turned out. And, like Gail with her fence, I have the feeling that a deep, deep brown--while much loved on my own fence--is not what I want here.
So how about introducing a new color across that large surface? Maybe the violet-red of the coleus in that pot, or a deep orange similar to the color of these butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa) blooms:
A fresh chartreuse, like the underside of that eggplant leaf in the photo above, might also be nice. Especially if I use that on the base, and just seal the top to keep the fresh wood color. And then, of course, there's the possibility of using some kind of brick or tile to cover the base--should I even think about those options? There almost too many choices... so I guess that I'll just be living with this table for a while until the solution comes to me!
One thing I DO know: If I stain or paint the top of this new table, I'm going to use some sort of semi-opaque or translucent stain. Because in addition to the fasteners, knots, and other natural markings, this spool has been branded with a serial number, and someone had handwritten a note and some more letters on the top in thick marker, too. That's the kind of wabi sabi detail that I really appreciate, so I want to keep it somewhat visible. After all, I think it's fun to have an old wire spool as a garden table... even if I do want to hide just how I acquired it from my Mom!