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Take-away & Addition

January 20, 2013


SUBTRACTION: The first part of any garden project at the Rancho. In order for me to come to grips with a space and really understand it I have to have a clean slate. So, last week I had our terrific gardener over to remove all the plants in the lowest of the backyard’s three tiers. Almost all succulents, he carefully dug them out and they were given to a good home elsewhere on our street. This left the tier bereft of anything but a very tall, and very sparse, palm; I love its emptiness. Unexpected bonus: Looking out from the house, sight-lines are again wide open to the historic cemetery and beyond. My plan, however, is not to leave the tier a blank. Rather it’s to make it into a sculpture garden … with large industrial machines as the works of art. The large factory fan in the photo is one of the pieces, and there will be at least two more: The dairy do-hickey in this post (click here) and an antique corn husker that was delivered today and can be seen after the jump. Depending on how they look within the tier I may add another. Now, note the word ‘add’ in that sentence, that’s the next important part of garden projects here: ADDITION. All the items above have been added recently to the mix and I love them as I do all new arrivals. Allow me to break down the alphabet soup …

^ ^ ^ ^ ^

a.) Lidded metal containers: These were given to me by our friend and neighbor Susan, who found them in her attic. Each of the containers held some staple that would have fed the former residents of her home in the event of doomsday … The container shown in the lower right corner has a handwritten label describing its contents and price; Susan gave me 11 of these and I plan to use them as planters in an upcoming project. b.) Metal factory fan: I aim to use this as the focal point of the sculpture garden where it will function as a giant whirligig every afternoon when the breezes pick up. During a recent windstorm it was mesmerizing to watch the blades spin frantically in one direction, then the other, with the wind. A craigslist find, I offered the seller a few more bucks and he delivered it; a boon when you’re a lame-o such as myself. c.) Face hibachi: This little ‘cue retains its original handled grill as well as an interesting expression. Found during a pick at a local collector’s backyard just down the road … Oh, the junk! d.) Welded steel sundial: Another craigslist find, it wasn’t the original item that attracted me; I traded something I had for it after seeing it in the seller’s truck bed when he delivered the next item on our list.  e.) Concrete roller: Marked Craftsmen on its rusted handle, both it and the sundial were delivered for just a few dollars more than what the sellers were asking. What’ll I do with it? I was thinking it would be a good end to a concrete path, as if the path had been rolled into place … but, who knows? f). Antique corn husker: Our most recent addition, I held this post until it was delivered today. I love its awesome size and rusted hull, not to mention its spiral crank wheel and that giant jello mold-shaped feeder on top. Found at a warehouse liquidation sale in downtown Riverside.

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I’d like each piece of machinery to be mounted on a pedestal of a sort, which will add to their sculptural importance. I’m still working out the pedestal’s shape, size, and material however.  And because I have to rely on backs healthier than my own it could be awhile before I have the opportunity to move the pieces around to arrive at a pleasing, final arrangement … Still, I’m pretty excited about the pieces as well as the plan!


New addition

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeanmarie permalink
    January 20, 2013 1:51 pm

    Hi Reuben…..looks like you’re having fun, I’m glad you’re feeling better and back to what you love to do. Contact me if you need any help. Jeanmarie

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 20, 2013 5:19 pm

      Thanks, Jeanmarie … I am having fun, but I’m still finding new ways to work that don’t involve me doing the literal heavy lifting … When I get to the next phase, I will send you an email!

  2. January 20, 2013 4:34 pm


    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 20, 2013 5:17 pm

      Thanks, Miss Guida! I’d love to see what you’ve done lately in your garden …

  3. Carol Booth permalink
    January 20, 2013 5:23 pm

    Fabulous fan, I’m so jealous! The rust patina is glorious. Can’t wait to see more.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 20, 2013 5:24 pm

      Hi, Carol … I love the rust of the fan, too! It’s even better in motion … Wanna feel even more jealousy? It was $75, with $25 for delivery!

  4. Vickie Perez permalink
    January 21, 2013 4:58 am

    In rust we trust!! Your corn husker looks alot like the one here. Still trying to figure out what it will be doing other than taking up space. Like so many other things here. One of these days I’ll figure out what I’m doing. Or not. All things in each it’s time.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 21, 2013 6:22 am

      Indeed, we trust in rust! Hi, Vickie … I thought you had a corn husker at your place … I remember thinking I’d wanted yours but didn’t think you’d sell it to me … your comments always make me smile and this one’s no exception. 😉

  5. January 21, 2013 3:31 pm

    Reuben–Always fun to see the evolution of your eclectic collection. Just saw a succulent photo I think you would like to see: –John

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 21, 2013 3:51 pm

      Whoa, those are some amazing specimens, love the colors! Thanks, J.A.

  6. January 23, 2013 2:02 pm

    I’m so lucky to have seen everything in person and it’s going to be great. My favorite is the big industrial fan… maybe because when I got there, there was a small breeze and the fan was actually spinning… very cool. You have such a great eye for the unusual… I love seeing what you find and hearing the stories of where you found them and how you got them home, and the reactions you get from people seeing your yard for the first time. That’s half the fun of visiting the Rancho… You, Paul and the pooches are the first half.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      January 23, 2013 3:49 pm

      Aw, thanksamillion, WF! Because of your visit I’m thinking of having a garage sale/party … but don’t tell anyone. I’ll keep you posted … In the meantime Paul and I have that flu bug everyone’s getting: 😦

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