By Alice Liles
Alice’s note: This story first appeared in my blog Cactus are Cool on Oct. 7, 2016. If you read the story in last week’s Muleshoe Journal, you might remember it was about my own private shopping spree at a friend’s junk pile to find rusty things for my cactus garden. Now you get to see where they wound up in the garden. This story is mostly pictures rather than text, and there isn’t always room for all of them, so I will just show you a few typical examples. But you’ll get the idea.
I promised last week to share with you what I did with the rusty treasures I came home with from my raid on a friend’s junk pile. All but two pieces found a home in the cactus garden, where they will most likely stay. Once the pieces are placed, they just seem to work right where they are, and I don’t move them. So here are the results.
All those little green things in the gravel you are probably thinking are weeds-those are my volunteer bluebonnets that will be beautifully blue in the spring. So of course I have to leave them where they come up.
You might notice that my farmer friend is a John Deere fan, as many of the pieces still have some nice John Deere green paint on them. I promptly went down to the John Deere dealer here in town and bought a can of green spray paint with the intention of adding some paint to some of the hoe wheels. And I may still do that, but after I put them in the garden, I really kind of liked the way they looked, softly worn and used. So, we’ll see.
Next year I may set this piece level in the gravel and plant some trailing succulents in the middle. Or maybe not. By then I will be used to it looking like this and won’t want to move it. I do have another one that I have not found a home for yet, and I might plant something inside that one and leave this one alone.
Another thing I may try in the spring is to stand up one of the springs and put one the solid discs on top of it and then put a plant in the middle of the disc. I am not sure that is a good idea here, however, considering the wind and a few cats and dogs who will wreak havoc with things that are tall and top heavy.
Decorating with hardscape like this is just a matter of plopping it down here and there with an eye for balance and form and what looks good to you. Have fun.
This all happened two years ago. Since then I was invited to make a few more trips to the junk depository and found even more different neat stuff! I have added more plants in the garden and the original ones have grown; the plants and the new rusty treasures complement each other nicely. Come see.