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It's a trend that is more popular than ever, and gardeners throughout Wisconsin are discovering the wealth of possibilities using vintage and antique items to create spectacular, one of a kind garden displays.

So in demand are vintage and repurposed items for garden art, accents, planters and more that entire retail shops have popped up throughout the state that specialize in just this type of treasured garden additions.

Using vintage garden accents and art, many gardeners complement their plant treasures with memorable, whimsical, elegant and unusual items from the past, often those that bring back personal memories of loved ones and family members.

Vintage garden art and accents can take just about any form, from tiny, re-purposed children's toys, cars, Tonka trucks and others to over the top planters and decorations made from vintage automobiles, appliances, furniture and farm machinery.

The popular shabby chic style moves from indoor decor to the garden as many gardeners decorate their beds, borders and containers with weathered antique frames, pillars, chandeliers, planters and more featuring the classic white-washed, distressed look.

Many art show and craft vendors have perfected the art of plasma cutting and welding to create spectacular garden art and more from old metalware, machinery parts, sections of tin or aluminum siding and ceiling, propane tanks, saw blades and so much more.

Even grandma's best china finds its way into the garden as creative gardeners construct elegant garden totems, bird baths, glass flowers and more from vintage glassware and old dishes.

One of the most enjoyable vintage gardening adventures is finding the most unusual containers to plant in. The rustier and more distressed, the better. In fact, pieces with naturally rusted holes and openings make for perfect drainage.

Some of the more unusual examples of plantable containers made from vintage items include old metal picnic baskets, chicken feeders and waterers, wicker baskets, toy trucks, old, vintage boots and shoes, purses, weathered and distressed clay pots, copper boilers, wooden crates, tires, antique washers and dryers, enamelware of all shapes and sizes and galvanized aluminum or tin washtubs, pails, watering cans and more.

Thrift stores, antique malls and specialty vintage gardening shops are all great places to discover unusual pieces to add to the garden.

In addition to plantable pieces, garden art and accents come in many shapes, forms and colors. Virtually anything can be collected and displayed in the garden.

Some gardeners prefer to collect a certain color or style of antique. This may include bird houses, for example, or the old glass telephone ancillators. Vintage garden items, such as old flower frogs, vintage watering cans, ceramics, pottery, marbles, vintage frames, mirrors and more are just a few examples of items that make the perfect garden accent pieces.

Getting started in vintage gardening is as easy as a visit to your local flea market, farmers market, antique mall or vintage shop. You'll quickly discover a wealth of possibilities, making selecting just the right elements a challenge at times. Stay focused, if you're feeling overwhelmed, and seek out specific elements to complete a theme. For example, vintage garden bird houses or birdbaths make an easy starting point.

You'll soon discover the possibilities are endless and you'll even be tempted to create your own repurposed garden art and accent pieces from unusual finds you discover along your journeys.

Many vintage garden items probably exist already right in your own home or attic. You'll discover new ways to utilize items that may have just been simply hidden away in the deepest, darkest corners. Bring them to new life by displaying them in your own treasured garden oasis.

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