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My Well-Pecked Planter

November 11, 2013


This composition features a few of my favorite things: Industrial and farm implements, rusted metal fragments, succulents. I love the repeated squares and circles of the old fan grates; the rusted circular bowl that once was the bottom of a barbecue; the very vertical and wood-handled vintage wedge dolly; the huge galvanized hook at the end of a rusted steel cable knot … smaller elements include a strange little wood-handled heating coil, some giant steel chain links, an old grinder lid and a geometric grill from an old hibachi. But it’s my new planter here that I’m really crazy about …



It was originally a chicken feeder, and as soon as I saw it at my friend Bobbi’s shop, I had to have it. I loved its simple industrial design, with its deep reservoir; and it was 5-feet long, with the hard-won patina of a well-used farm implement. It also had a wire grill that must have functioned as a separator for pecking poultry, as well as four nice long legs. I couldn’t wait to get it home. Once there, I removed the grill because it would impede my planter intentions; I put it on the wall instead, repurposing it as a rack. The rest was a cinch: I laid some tight screening in the feeder’s trough-like reservoir, topped that with gravel for drainage, and loaded in the cactus soil mix and an assortment of juicy-leaf plants in blues and greens. Looked great! Then, I arranged the other elements around it, and voilá, my new planter vignette was complete.

 ° ° ° ° °

I think it’s quite handsome and should stand in the corner as-is for awhile … at least until I see that next oxidized-and-shapely farm beauty that’s lived a long, hard life but would look great overflowing with cool succulents.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2013 10:13 am

    love it !

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 11, 2013 4:05 pm

      Thanks, Gwen! 😉

  2. Jeanmarie permalink
    November 11, 2013 3:02 pm

    I too love it!!! Jeanmarie

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 11, 2013 4:07 pm

      It’s the legs, Jeanmarie; I think they really make it cool!

  3. November 11, 2013 4:13 pm

    I’m so jealous!!! LOL… you know how much I love this planter AND the whole design. I’ll be honest though (and when aren’t you, you’re saying), my favorite piece is the vintage wedge dolly. All I can say is WOW… not knowing much about farm implements and their tools, I can’t help but wonder what it was used for. Regardless, I LOVE it! Good job, as usual, my friend!

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 11, 2013 4:19 pm

      Thanks, WF! It was the same thing with the dolly: I saw it and had to have it (although I couldn’t even think of moving it because it’s so heavy itself)! It was obviously used as a wedge for getting under something really heavy just enough to lift it … I saw a similar one recently here in town and they wanted a lot of money for it, even though it was smaller. I got mine at the Antique Galleria downtown but the other one was at a shop on Sunnyside Street by the Plaza, I can’t remember the name of right now. Anyway, thanks, glad you like! 😉

  4. Dave in Toronto permalink
    November 11, 2013 4:14 pm

    Very nice.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 11, 2013 4:20 pm

      Thanks, Dave! 😉

  5. November 11, 2013 5:32 pm

    All the chicken feeders I’ve seen in antiques/junk shops have been so much smaller, the size of this one is perfect, and of course you planted it up so nicely. Bravo!

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 11, 2013 5:43 pm

      I’ve seen those small feeders, too; they just didn’t seem worth the effort. It was the length (and legs) on this one that sold me. Thanks, Loree!

  6. November 11, 2013 9:16 pm

    I have had tons of these, but never with legs. That is the perfect touch. Well done, Reuben.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 11, 2013 10:11 pm

      Thanks, Annette; it was the legs that got me! 😉

  7. Vickie Perez permalink
    November 12, 2013 3:11 am

    Very cool. You come up with some great ways to use these rusty items. And so agree about the legs.

    • Reuben Muñoz permalink*
      November 12, 2013 3:13 am

      Thanks, Vickie … from one expert to another, I appreciate it! 😉


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