Flea markets and outdoor antiques markets are the ideal places to seek out affordable garden furniture and planters that have a beautiful patina or are covered in lichen. Look out for old pots, watering cans, galvanised troughs, tin baths, cast-iron urns, tools, stone statuary, seating, deckchairs, tables and all manner of weird and wonderful salvaged items that will make a real statement on lawns, terraces and in flowerbeds. Did you know that old aluminium salmon traps are perfect as sweet pea frames? Or that reclaimed scaffold planks make brilliant raised beds?
Good fairs for gardenalia include Malvern Flea, Shepton Flea, Knebworth, Ardingly, Lincolnshire, Sunbury, Newbury, Carmarthen Flea, The Frome Independent, and the Decorative Home & Salvage Show. Remember that reclamation yards will also often yield practical and decorative garden items.
When decorating your garden, apply the same principles that you would use in your home, considering proportions, texture and colour. Remember to have a mix of different materials and don’t be afraid to put things in the middle of the space, rather than just along the perimeter. A small garden doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t be bold with colour or put something large in the space.
SIX OF THE BEST SHOPS FOR GARDENALIA
Claire Langley Antiques
Percy’s Barn, Seaton Road, Harringworth, Northants, NN17 3AF. 01572 747316; clairelangleyantiques.co.uk
North Road, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0AB. 01568 616205; englishsalvage.co.uk
Garden & Wood
Dreamers Cottage, Little Haseley, Oxfordshire, OX44 7LH. 01844 279170; gardenandwood.co.uk
Old Park Farm, Abbey Road, Beech, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 4AP. 01420 560055; jardinique.co.uk
LASSCO Three Pigeons
London Road, Milton Common, Oxfordshire, OX9 2JN. 01844 277188; lassco.co.uk
The Vintage Garden Co
Penn House, Old London Road, Coldwaltham, nr Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 1LF. 07828 814522; vintagegardenco.com