When I was out thrifting the other day I ran across a wooden ladder and all of a sudden a light bulb went off in my head. I NEED a wooden ladder in my garden. Now.
Not to climb up to the top of the tree and pick some apples, THAT would be silly. No, to decorate my garden with.
Garden art, if you will.
Bear in mind I had no intention, thought, dream or inkling about a ladder in my garden until the skies opened up at the thrift store and shone a bright Heavenly light on the ladder.
And then . . . that was ALL I could think about.
Now, my only problem is whether to paint it or not.
Originally I thought of keeping it au-natural. Nakedness never hurt anyone.
But then thought a punch of color might be appropriate for the garden.
Mary at Home Is Where The Boat Is has a GORGEOUS green one (to go with her GORGEOUS potting shed).
Barb at Our Fairfield Home & Garden not only painted these, but grouped them together into a bird loving piece of art.
On the non-painted side of the gardening fence, Pamela at Flower Patch Farmhouse left this ladder in its natural rustic state which I'm equally crushing on. I'm a sucker for naturally weathered wood.
And Carlene, the Queen of junk gardening, at Organized Clutter uses hers to display her unique planters.
And, although it's not technically "in" the garden, I could hang my wooden ladder like Beth at Unskinny Boppy did on her patio. That might look pretty darn cool hanging above my dining table on a starry summer night.
So what are your thoughts?
Naked and natural?
Or painted and perky?
Update: I painted it AND stuck a dollhouse/birdhouse on it!!!
Some related DIY Gardening posts you may enjoy:
Repurposing A Toy Truck Into A Planter - one rusty toy truck found at a garage sale started the whole thing
Vintage Snack Set Bird Feeder - finally something to do with all those old glass snack sets you practically trip over at the thrift stores
DIY Tomato Cage Bottle Tree- if you always wanted a Southern bottle tree, but didn't want to pay big bucks to buy one
Paint! And I NEVER say paint!! Also - you live in Indiana, right? Where it gets windy and stuff. It would be a good idea to drive a good sized piece of rebar into the ground and fasten the ladder to it - you know, so the wind doesn't blow it over and break it or something else or somebody -
Ohio, but close enough 🙂 Good idea about the rebar!
After awhile the wood turns a grayish color which is fine for that weathered look. You can always put color on it with bright colored watering cans and birdhouses. I think I would try that first and then if its still not looking quite right, paint it. I tend to go natural but lately I started to paint some of my garden items since the sun has faded them throughout the season. Good luck and please post how it turned out whether the ladder stayed naked or dressed!
I will keep you posted. I've been searching in the garage today to find some fun planters and "stuff" to set on it too.
chris aka monkey
oh naked, naked , naked, i can't imagine what you will do with it i'm think something in plaid maybe? haha xx
Uh . . . plaid sounds sort of complicated. Stripes maybe.
I love all these ideas! I'm a paint kinda girl but I like do like the unpainted ones!
Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces
OH my...I love those inspiration photos...now I want a ladder in the garden, too. Great idea about the rebar, too.
Thanks for sharing...I know you'll do something wonderful with it!
Regarding spotting something that you just had to have . . . The other day I saw a maroon Smith Corona typewriter in a booth at an antique center. I don't know where I would display it or even if it could be put back into working condition as a few keys were frozen, but it sure was pretty. Still considering it . . .
That sounds gorgeous! And that reminds me that I need to pull out my typewriters again. I put them away when I decorated or Christmas and totally forgot (agh) about them 🙂
I vote for naked and natural. The items you put on it, colorful?, will be nicely show-cased. Years ago I painted a small windmill. It is certainly flakey and cracked now, but I am forever picking up hunks of paint, large and small, everywhere. Too much work for me. BTW, thanks for sharing all the wonderful ideas!
Some of your applications look great painted while the ones you left "naked" looked just fine. I do agree with anchoring the ladder in some fashion! Your creativity never ceases to amaze me I have one or two ladders here somewhere-now let's see what I can do. Keep the great ideas coming.
How have you lived so long without a ladder or two...or more in your garden!?!?! And yes, the rebar idea is a must do. I live in Indiana and have lost several ladders to those lovely straight line winds that come along every little bit. I decorate mine (usually without paint) according to the holidays...lots of Americana items through the summer along with planted pots of petunias. Last fall I used several owls (yard art types) on the steps. I grew hyacinth bean vines up the legs of one ladder and it was fabulous!!! Morning glories work great too. So many different ways to use ladders. They're not just to stand on anymore. Now you need to go find a few more, right??!?
I have several small ones that I use as holders anf for the most part tbe animals
leave them on ther but I am afraid if I use my big one for plant display they will
knock things off.
Can't wait to see what you do.
M : )
Ida P. Krause
I'm afraid I won't be of much help. I enjoyed all the different examples you showed. They were fun, pretty, clever and unique. Can't wait to see what you decide to do with yours.
Love all the ladder examples and I definitely think you need to convert your shed into a little special space! I have a small step-stool type ladder on our deck that I put pots on and it was never painted and it's now ugly gray/brown. I think paint is the way to go!
Don't they rot out in the elements?
The rungs seem small for the size of the pots sitting on them. Do you stabilize the pots as well somehow? Have a very small ladder and can't wait to pull out!
What a cute idea! I would love to add flowers to a ladder! That would go perfect in my container garden! I want to do this as soon as I get more space. Thank you for sharing!