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Flea Day: Bainsii Mission, Long Beach

January 17, 2011


Paul and I headed off to the Long Beach Flea Market before 6 a.m. this morning with a mission: to pick up an aloe bainsii from one of my fave plant vendors, Mike Delgado. I’d called him earlier in the week to see if he had a large aloe tree I could buy and he said he’d bring a more-than-five-footer to the flea … I just had to be there early to get dibs on it. Away we went, getting there so early he was still setting up … so, after agreeing to take the bainsii and a large aloe plicatilis, and not wanting to be a pest as he finished setting up, I did a quick run-through to take pictures of outdoor decor. Here’re my faves, beginning with the brutish antler loveseat above. Except for the sitter-deterrent cut-glass plates on each seat, they’re very ‘Quest for Fire’ don’t you think? …

Two oranges and a grape

I really loved these large ceramic pots, especially in the company of a very unusual violet version. $100 each at 7:15 a.m., the vendor advised that the price would be much lower if they were still there late in the day.

Shown bones

A pile of bleached skulls and antlers in the early morning sun both repels and attracts me. As much as I’d like one of each, I can’t get myself to touch them …


Industrial goodness could be found in every aisle, but I really like these dot-perforated drawers. These would work great either indoors or out and have a nice graphic presence.


All low-slung grooviness, these curvy numbers are cocktail party-ready. Their cool whiteness would pop perfectly against Pucci or Marimekko print pillows.

Strung out

A great set of Mexican vinyl-strung chairs and a table were pretty expensive at over $400. Used only gently, they were in terrific shape, if an odd color combination.

Rusty, twisty

More than $400 by $50, these twisty rusted steel sculptures were like metal tornadoes. The sculptor’s mother/publicist was in attendance and she said they’re selling briskly.

Off the shoulder

I really loved this metal-draped outdoor settee, in spite of its obvious condition issues. It’d look great with a vine of some sort growing up through its seat … again, $400 is the favored price.

At odds

These whimsical mash-ups of disparate chairs-become-benches are colorful fun. A mere $250 each, they’re a great deal if you ask me.

Fiesta wares

A patio dressed with these exuberantly-hued Mexican pots would be fiesta-perfect. Add punched metal star lanterns and you can make it an all-nighter.

The Mike stuff

Certain that Mike’s set-up is now complete, I circle back before temptation gets the best of me (I’d vowed that I’d buy ONLY plants this flea trip). He’s already loaded my bainsii on his dolly but busy with other customers … so I tiptoe down the row to another plant vendor to check his wares, where I find more plants for the Rancho.

More succulence

I pick up two Mexican lillies (Beschorneria yuccoides) here, along with a couple of other plants, then it’s back to Mike to pay up and roll the goods to the car …

Bainsii bunch

Back at the Rancho everybody looks right at home! At almost six feet, my aloe bainsii tree is perfect, and the other new plant additions will fill some of the empty spaces left when I sold/gave away all the other pots at my last sale. Courtesy of craigslist, some new rockin’ planters have appeared in the garden and will be featured in an upcoming post … Things are really looking great again now that the rains have gone elsewhere and I’m enjoying being able to work outside hours-at-a-time, creating new vignettes and looking at things with a fresh eye … more soon!













8 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2011 4:34 am

    The Bainsii bunch is HOT! I was kind of hoping you’d go back and get those orange containers though…

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 17, 2011 4:36 am

      I was tempted but stuck to my guns and bought only plants! … wait’ll you see the planters I bought the day before, they’re awesome! Post coming soon…

  2. January 17, 2011 6:13 pm

    Very Quest for Fire — (so glad we get the same movie references) Looks like a fine day at the flea mkt — that orange banded container with the eggplant purple are juicy. I’m filing away Mike Delgado’s name for future flea mkt trips. Maybe I’ll get a Rancho discount!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 17, 2011 6:30 pm

      Who could forget Rae Dawn Chong’s turn as Malibu Cavewoman!

      Just tell Mike, Reuben-From-Riverside, sent’chu …

  3. January 17, 2011 6:56 pm

    dang it all!! my friend carey over at one laguna life ( asked me to go with her yesterday, but i was too lazy. she also posted about her scores! i already have it marked on my calendar for next month, 3rd sunday! i’m totally seeking out your plant guy there!! loved seeing the cool stuff!! thanks!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 17, 2011 6:59 pm

      Word of warning: go early! Yesterday I was never more glad that we got up super early to go, as I’ve never seen the flea so crowded; parking lots, even in the most far flung locations, were jam-packed … really good stuff there, but the crowds were outta control

  4. mattisalomaki permalink
    January 25, 2011 6:53 pm

    Dang, that is one place I really wanted to check out when last down in LA area. Love those outsider esque objects. You keep posting them…I will keep drooling. Matti

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 25, 2011 7:05 pm

      The challenge for me, Matti, is walking away from these things … it ain’t easy!

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