Of iron in the garden

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.


About crabtreegardens

I am a passionate decorator and the head gardener at Crabtree Gardens, LLC, which is a five acre naturalized garden located in Drums, PA. I advocate chemical-free, low maintenance gardening methods and working along with nature. I'm a freelance garden writer and member of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.
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5 Responses to Of iron in the garden

  1. The Jagged Man says:

    Thanks for the mention, it was very kind of you.
    The shot you took above is well composed. The contrast is visually pleasing and well balanced as I assume your gardens are. Very nicely done.
    I for one think your placement and use of old rusty things is great I appreciated it.

  2. a3acrefarm says:

    Lovely photo. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. I feel the same about rock. Love your blog.

  4. I agree with you. The iron, and many other old pieces can add great visual to the garden space. I have a number of sculptures here on the shore and people always comment on them and how they add to the space. Glad to have visited today and viewed other postings on you Blog. Jack

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