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Antiques find new home in garden

Antiques are heirlooms that have great sentimental or monetary value — or both.

So, surely, no one would risk using them as garden ornaments.

Not true, said Gail Thompson of On the Square Antiques of Troy.

“Antiques can be used effectively and beautifully in the garden,” she said. “Refurbished, recycled, salvaged and even trashed antiques.”

Thompson will be the presenter for the “Antiques in the Garden” seminar at Open House at Terra Cotta Home and Outdoor Market on Saturday, March 20. She will have a bushel basket of creative ideas for those who want to decorate their gardens with treasures from “another man’s trash.”

“We’ll be looking at what you can do with what you have,” Thompson said. “There are many ways to use salvaged materials as planters, walkways and decorative accents.”

Thompson has a bottomless drugstore chair in her garden that is used as a planter.

“All you have to do is put a potted plants in the hole and you have a great planter,” she said. “It’s elevated so the plant can drape and be even more decorative. Old boots make great planters, especially hunting boots. There are just so many things – even junk items – that can make interesting planters.”

Thompson recommends used bricks for walkways and those who want to be really creative can line the walkway with soda bottles.

“Turn the bottles upside down and bury them leaving the bottoms above ground,” she said. “The bottles make colorful borders and are especially pretty when the sunlight strikes them.”

Thompson said memory pots and bottle bushes made with rebar are popular decorative items.

“Old metal bed frames make interesting decorations for the garden and are often used as garden benches,” she said. “Old wrought iron rail make trellises for ivy and other climbing plants. Just about anything you want to use can improve a garden.”

Thompson is just one of the presenters for Saturday’s Open House. Morning seminars are “Photographing Nature” with Susan Berry, “Southern Living Plants” with Ed Lawton and “Bird Bath Containers” with Rhonda Flowers. In the afternoon, the topics will be “Growing Lotuses in Containers” with Laura Standcroft, “Ants in the Soil,” with Jim Coles and “Growing and Cooking with Herbs” with Alma Bodiford.

“The Open House will be informative and fun for the entire family,” Thompson said. “There will be an Easter egg hunt for the children at 10:30 a.m. and a hotdog and hamburger lunch will be served to all participants. So all of those who enjoy the outdoors and want to learn more about it are encouraged to attend.”

The fee for the day’s events is $10 for those 12 and older. Children under 12 will be admitted free. All proceeds from the daylong event will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Troy. Tickets are available at Terra Cotta and at Big Brothers Big Sisters on South Three Notch Street.