There’s just something about the look of rusted iron in the garden that makes it feel right, especially in a new garden where there is no sense of maturity, and the trees have yet to tower over the landscape.
Take our gardens for instance, they are only 5 years old and still haven’t reached their maturity. The shrub borders are gaining height every year, which do add a sense of age, but still not the kind that those hundreds of years old legacy gardens one would find on a European tour would evoke.
But I have found that when I place an iron piece in any area, that garden immediately takes on a sense of age, even though it may be a newly planted bed.
I am a collector of odd pieces of iron and I like using the color brown to mix in the garden, much to the dismay of many of my friends. Even though I complain that my husband is a junk hoarder, I fall victim to it as well. But I don’t consider my iron pieces junk. I know that they have aesthetic as well as monetary (junk) value.
The fact that I use discarded iron in our gardens even follows the principles of permaculture with the thought that it is a natural element which came from the earth and it will return to the earth. It is biodegradable unlike other man-made substances (PVC).
I recently visited a blog Daffodil Hill Photography where I saw a stunning photo of a hummingbird which was the subject of all of the comments, but I found the photo of rusted pipes more intriguing. Odd for a nature lover like me.
I believe my enchantment with iron happened because it is an element that evokes a sense of permanence even though it will eventually in time disappear. It would take more than a hundred years for an iron fence to rust into a state of disrepair, this I know because I have one from a cemetery that is even older.
Maybe since I’ve had to move several times and begin each garden anew, I could not gain the garden maturity that I so much desired, hence my love of iron. My plans are to continue to collect and use iron in the gardens to impart a sense of age and hope that when I’m no longer here, that my iron and the specimens that I planted will remain as a part of the Crabtree Gardens legacy.