Thursday, October 4

This Week's Finds

Coming home from running errands on Tuesday night, I passed an interesting-looking pile of trash. My car slowed down and pulled into a driveway several doors down in spite of the little voice in my head saying, "Come on. That's not really a leaded glass window! Who would throw that out? It's probably just one of those interior bifold doors where the plexiglass is doctored to look like it's leaded."

"I knew it!" My boyfriend laughed, "As soon as I saw this, I knew you'd turn back to look."

Well, good thing I did. It's not quite a leaded glass window-- but it is an oak cabinet door with leaded glass! Many of the old houses around here were built with these cabinets surrounding a large dining room window. I can't see where the knob used to be on the "good" side, but on the interior you can see the telltale holes from the hinge hardware.

Why would someone throw out anything this cool? Good question. Apparently they were annoyed by these two little cracks in the glass... even though I couldn't push any glass pieces out when I tried. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it when I first brought it home... but upon measuring I discovered that it happens to be 5ft tall. My own large picture window happens to be 5ft wide. So even though its panes are hexagonal and my own leaded glass windows have oval designs I think it will look lovely hanging at the top of my dining room window.

When we picked up the leaded glass, we found these interesting Asian screen panels stacked up underneath it. There are four of them, with these carvings on the front and a simple line-drawing-style carving (brown lines on a black background) on the reverse. The feet of each panel are brass, but they must have hung from something as well because there is an eyebolt at the top of each panel.

One panel looks like a fist went through the line-drawing side and cracked a bit of the ornate side. I don't particularly like the soft colors but I like the cranes and leaves... so I'm going to fill in the crack and repaint the panels to liven it up and hide my fix at the same time. Not sure where they're going quite yet, but the repair will be a winter project so I have time to think about it.

These last finds actually did lighten my wallet--but thanks to end-of-season sales, it didn't take out a huge chunk. (Less than $30 including tax, so not too bad at all.)

Here you see (4) 1-gallon euphorbia 'Efanthia,' (3) 1-gallon 'Purple Volcano' savlia lyrata, (2) pints of hens-and-chicks, and (1) 5-gallon 'Petit Bleu' caryopteris. All are destined for my front garden, where I hope that they will happily reside near the likes of culinary sage, oakleaf hydrangea, and 'Golden Sword' yucca.

The giant pile to the left of the shrub and salvia consists of euphorbia flowerstalks. They had become so unwieldy and top-heavy that I'm sure many people didn't even know what kind of plant was under all of that stuff as they perused the clearance aisles. I was amazed at the amount of detritus produced so I included it in the picture.

By the way, the half-eaten chewy on the lower left is my Assistant Gardener's contribution to this composition. Apparently it's not enough that she steals garden produce--now she feels she has to have a say in my blog posts, too! Next thing you know she'll be telling me what to plant against my new fence... :)


Annie in Austin said...

Your curbside finds look very interesting, Kim - and no matter what you do with them, with an initial investment of zero, you can't lose.

I looked up the caryopteris and it appears you have a winner - dark green glossy foliage and doesn't need too much water.

Good luck!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Ki said...

That's a pretty good haul for $30. This year I saw a lot of euphorbia in the big box stores. I thought they would have them for the end of the season sale because no one seemed to want them but I guess they got to be too scrungy and they just tossed them out. I was expecting to pick up a bunch for a song. :(

What great trash your neighbors throw out. If you want to fix the two cracks in the glass panes, you could try the automotive store. They have windshield crack and chip repair kits. The resin used in the repair kit has the same refractive index as glass so if you can force it into the crack you shouldn't be able to see it anymore. I repaired a bullseye chip in our windshield using the kit so the car would pass safety inspection and it did. I did some dumpster diving too and picked up a bamboo screen in which the bamboo part came out of the wood frame. I glued it all back together and it looks quite elegant. That was a great find. It's quite amazing what great stuff people throw out. But, I got word from the rear admiral not to pick up junk anymore. ;) The captain of my ship.

Unknown said...

Annie, that's so true. I used to tell my former husband (who was initially horrified at my trashpicking habit) that I could find a much more expensive hobby if he preferred. :)

Ki, thanks for the idea--I wouldn't have thought of the car windshield repair kit, but that would be perfect! I laughed at your comment about the euphorbias. I was waiting on the same thing, so when I found out that my favorite garden center had gone from 50% to 75% off of all perennials I figured I'd better jump on it.

I need my own rear admiral to crack the whip over here, too, I think... or else I need to win just enough at the lottery to open a store of refurbished trashpick finds and build a huge clientele! :)

Green thumb said...

Great finds, dear Kim. I wish there are more of such garage sales in India too.

Anonymous said...

'Petite bleu' is an excellent caryopteris that shouldn't ever get huge and ungainly - ours has been holding steady at about 24-30". And around here everyone puts the good stuff out early for trash day in hopes that someone will want it - so there's no shame in taking it! A former housemate once put something out that was taken by a fancy-mercedes-pants. And we are all very proud of our trashday finds just like you. Score!

Melissa said...

Yeah for you!! I am thrilled for you!! How fun to find great stuff in the trash!!

I agree with this: or else I need to win just enough at the lottery to open a store of refurbished trashpick finds and build a huge clientele! :)

I am definitely in the same rear admiral thinks the ideal plan would to buy a place with an old barn on it that I could fix up and use as a studio. ;)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Lucky you! The best thing I found curbside was a clean blacktopping bucket. To add insult to injury, my dad claimed it was his, so I had to give it to him. :) Great end of season bargins - I've been avoiding my favorite nursery for fear of impulse purchases. As for Coco's contribution to the photo, well, you know, everyone's a critic.

Unknown said...

Awesome finds, Kim! The Petit Bleu caryopteris IS a dandy plant; I've become a big fan of caryopteris and now have three of them, various cvs. The only thing I ever pick up from curbside is bags of leaves....I just don't have the bargain hunting gene when it comes to garage and yard sales, flea markets, or dump days, I guess.
Your assistant gardener is a HOOT--and the other guy is pretty funny too. I found a brass plaque one day that said My husband may be the captain, but I'm the admiral! I should have bought it--better admiral than War Department! ;-)

meresy_g said...

Nice finds. I can't believe anyone would throw out that window. I trash pick as well (but not as often as I like). Sometimes I am too shy. Two days ago a farmhouse with 5 acres put out an auction sign (Nov. 10) and family members are cleaning up and throwing stuff out in huge rollback dumpsters Every day I drive by and see old doors and windows sticking out of the dumpsters. I desperately want to stop and ask permission to sift through their trash. Perhaps today is the day. Great plants too. I will have to post soon on my clearance section finds.

Unknown said...

green thumbs, I take it you live in a very rural area? Having grown up in the country myself, I didn't know anything about the wonders of trashpicking until I moved to the city... it amazed me when I saw such cool things set out on the curb!)

kris, I'd been having trouble finding info for 'Petite Bleu' so I'm glad to hear from someone with experience! (And maybe I should go pick up 2 more to cover more ground... hmm.)

Your comment about people setting things out ahead of time in the hopes that someone will take it reminds me of the time I trashpicked one of those old sewing machines--you know, wrought iron base, heavy carved wooden top with a sewing machine inside. I lifted that thing 4 different times, trying to figure out how to actually fit it into my car... and every time I caught sight of the house I could see the curtain swing closed because someone was watching! I thought about knocking on the door and asking for help, but I finally managed to upend it into my trunk, upside-down... lol.

me, wouldn't that be FUN?! I agree with your rear admiral that you need a separate studio. We all do, I think... just having someplace devoted to creativity is such a wonderful support.

mr. mcgregor's daughter, lol at your Dad claiming the blacktopping bucket! I'd have made him promise to bequeath it to me in his will, at least. :) (And yeah, everyone's a critic--and I tell the dog all of the time when she gets all mouthy on me that she's got too much of an opinion for her own good. *grin*)

jodi, I have admired caryopteris from afar but this is my first! Which one is your favorite--I might be amenable to trying on more. Or two more. You know how that goes. lol.

meresy_g, I say go for it! If you find something you like, you can always offer them a nominal fee for it, if it eases your mind to do so. That said, I have sometimes been shy, too. Especially trashpicking in the ritzy suburbs--I often wonder what people driving by in their Escalades think of the crazy girl trying to cram a grandfather clock into her backseat. *grin*

lisa said...

Great finds, Kim! I'm a hard-core scrounger myself, and I've decided that I will do a lot more of it when I retire, and sell the excess on Ebay. (Maybe sooner than that!) Wish I could post about late-season plant scores, but I'm much too weak-willed and wallet-poor to even go NEAR a garden store right now! :( Tis' a situation of my own making-the drunk in charge of my budget has been found guilty of gross miappropriation of the descretionary fund! Retribution will be swift! (I speak of myself, of course! ;-)

Silly Goose said...

Dumpster diving is a fine hobby. My DH is way better than I am. Spotting something great and then thinking fast enough to stop and get it is a special gift, girl!

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

I still love your garden assistant!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

Connie said...

Wonderful window! It even compliments the plants you have it sitting next to in the photo, so I am sure it will look great...whatever you decide to do with it. Good score!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a great find! Lovely old door.

If I were you I would listen to your garden assistant's advice as to what to plant against the new fence :). No doubt it will be something edible.

MrBrownThumb said...

Very nice.

There's an old police station near my house that was converted into apartments a long time ago. Last year the new owners took out all the old windows, lead and stained glass and put in new windows.

One day I was looking out the window and saw the pile of "cool" windows at in the alley and put on some clothes to run out and pick them up.

By the time I got down there two men that drive around in pickups looking for junk were fighting over the windows. I didn't feel like adding to the mix.

Congrats on your find.

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