Adventures in Salvaging, Part 4: Westwood Gardens Auction

When we thought we were about to buy a house in October, I saw an ad in the paper. The local big garden center was auctioning off its surplus plants. I made big plans to go and get a headstart on landscaping. As you can imagine, a house that has been rental apartments for fifty years (or eighty) doesn’t have a lot of landscaping, but it does have at least three huge dying trees that I hope can stay upright until spring. Anyway, we ran into a snag, and I didn’t have a house at the time of the auction. I went anyway, with our neighbor, who is, among other things, a master gardener.

Lacking a house, despite being an auction junkie, I managed not to buy too much — just two huge hydrangeas (Dooley’s, $8 each, currently parked in my mom’s labyrinth garden), four fly swatting chairs ($12.50 each), a pair of hypertufa/concrete birdbath like things with a definite Prairie style to them ($60+20), and a marble-looking planter with figures cast in it ($15). It still filled our truck up because the fly swatting chairs wouldn’t nestle.

Good thing we both had trucks because our neighbor filled up his truck with Japanese maples (some beautiful ones) and the like. (We took just his truck for the day — Don and the Little One came at the end to help load up my stuff when I realized that the chairs wouldn’t nest.)

Our stuff:


Of course, now that it looks like we’ll have a house after all, I’m wishing that I would have been able to buy for it. I’m thinking of an Asian-influenced garden (with 1950s flyswatting chairs), and need to, ahem, buy some books about Arts and Crafts gardens so I know what I’m doing. I think we’ll put a gingko in the parkway* — there aren’t any on our street, so that will add some diversity.

My prairie birdbaths have been installed at my parents’ modern house (where, unfortunately, they look very good – the gourds were grown by the Little One and my mom, and arranged by the Little One), but I bet I can make some hypertufa birdbaths in my copious spare time.

The flyswatting chairs have some surface rust, but should be just fine — and, at $12.50, they’re cheaper than the rustier originals we’ve seen at flea markets.

*Do you know where the parkway is? I didn’t, until I moved to Chicago. It is not the driveway. Nor is it the scenic road running along the Blue Ridge. Rather, it is the small bit of dirt between the sidewalk and the street. A useful term, but not in the answer dot com definitions.  (See my glossary for more.)

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One Response to “Adventures in Salvaging, Part 4: Westwood Gardens Auction”

  1. Sandy says:

    Those are the best patio chairs EVER!

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