From antique troughs, watering cans and urns, to curved wrought-iron dining chairs and benches, there are a huge array of garden antiques available from flea markets and antiques shops which make a characterful addition to your home and garden. Here's how to buy a piece of your own...

What are garden antiques or gardenalia?

Garden antiques, or gardenalia, are any piece of furniture or practical accessory that was once intended for outdoor use. Garden antiques are often sought-after for their beautiful patina and are sometimes covered in lichen, rust or moss.

Find out what patina is here.

When shopping, 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?

Before you head off to one of the following markets and antiques dealers, read our guide to how to incorporate antiques into your landscape gardening.

Where to buy garden antiques

Whether you prefer to shop at flea markets or antiques shops, there are plenty of brilliant places to buy garden antiques at affordable prices.

Best flea markets for garden antiques

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. You can also take a look at our flea market diary dates to find an antiques fair near you.

Best antiques dealers for garden antiques

Decorative Garden Antiques

Tina Bird is new to the world of antiques dealing, having started her business in 2020. Her mother and aunt sold antiques at fairs when Tina was a child, and she rekindled her love for antiques and gardening during the Covid lockdowns. She now sells beautiful old benches, planters, jardinières, urns, statues and more from her base near Canterbury. We’re in love with the greenhouse on wheels, made using pieces from a c1930s French grape house.

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Garden Artefacts

Graham Child is a ‘retired’ auction-house specialist who has chosen to keep himself busy with dealing in antique and vintage gardenalia – old garden tools, wheelbarrows and watering cans, metal garden signage, trugs, planters, urns, old clay plant pots, cache pots, garden seating and outdoor decoration.

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The Home Bothy

While folk art is their biggest love, Sam and Barney scour the land for other finds too, including decorative garden pieces. Stock is housed in a large warehouse near Ardingly in West Sussex, where there are cast-iron garden urns and planters, Arras bistro tables, coppers and museum-worthy watering cans among the curious and quirky objects and furniture.

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Lichen Garden Antiques

Lichen specialises in garden antiques and decorative garden ornaments, including urns and planters, staddle stones, troughs, antique benches and statues. Best of all are the beautiful flagstones and paving, particularly the limestone cobbles and slips.

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Martin D Johnson

Based at a large new location in East Sussex (a former nunnery), Martin and Paul source fine and fun garden decoration such as large fountains, statuary, planters, furniture, arbours, and amusing sculpture (dogs especially, as pictured below).

If sculptures are your bag, have a read of our list of the best places to buy antique garden sculptures – and what to look out for when you're buying.

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Violet Grey Decorative

Caryl Tincknell runs her business from her home near Sidmouth in Devon, specialising in French garden antiques. Her stock tends to be a mix of 19th-century furniture, planters and pots. Favourites from her current inventory include several Italian cast-iron tables with marble tops, and a mid-century wrought-iron Parisian florist’s stand.

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