One of the joys of Spring is heading out into the garden again. Here in the Northeast daffodils and tulips are popping up and forsythia swirls are beginning to brighten the landscape. Trees are unfurling their leaves and every new day brings more color, more sun, more warmth.
For those interested in adding uniqueness to their gardens, vintage items abound right now in antique shops and centers–everything from snappy red-handled garden claws, French garden ornaments, and colorful flower pots to weathered birdhouses, painted benches, rustic watering cans, and decorated wooden totes for holding gloves and seed packets and tools.
There are online garden treasures as well. Checking Etsy.com and slotting “vintage garden” into the search bar elicited 14,394 items recently (although many items listed are “garden” in theme, such as vintage clothing, photographs, and household items–try checking “relevancy” instead of “most recent” above the pictured items).
Attempting the same search on Ebay.com pulled up 6,447 items to look at–if you have the time and patience–and here the number is probably more realistic, as Ebay doesn’t handle as many purely decorative items as Etsy. Prices here tend to be a bit kinder to the wallet, although if you don’t want to pay the “buy it now” price you have to wait sometimes days until the end of the auction. A true test of patience, which may send you reeling back to Etsy, where the price you see is the price you pay. Instant gratification.
Checking two antique centers located in Hooksett, NH and Goffstown, NH, just outside of Manchester, provided a plethora of visual garden beauties for locals.
At From Out of the Woods Antique Center in Goffstown, where 80 dealers’ wares, beautifully chosen and arranged in three stories of a lovely red, restored barn, we found a vintage trowel ($8), yelloware strawberry pot ($50), French bistro garden chair ($42), wood carrier with terra cotta pots ($49), old birdhouse complete with nest ($49), and an 8-foot wooden slatted bench in old green paint ($110).
At Log House Antique Center in Hooksett, advertised as the largest antique center in southern New Hampshire (15,000 square feet of antiques and auction items on three levels), we browsed through numerous booths overflowing with a little bit of this and a little bit of that–a fun treasure hunt kind of place. Garden items spotted included a white wicker table and four chairs ($185), green-painted wheelbarrow ($200), metal watering can ($22), galvanized tub for flowers ($36), charming metal hanging planter ($10), and a cleverly designed easel made out of gardening tools ($110).
From Out of the Woods Antique Center is located at 465 Mast Road in Goffstown (603-624-8668) and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Log House Antique Center is located at 1158 Hooksett Rd. in Hooksett (603-626-0605) and is open weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., weekends 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on nights when they’re holding an auction (call for a schedule).