Friday, November 30, 2012


One of the important items that should be in a cottage garden is an arbor.  Arbors are a great visual point, add height and interest as well as create an instant "doorway" and path.  I am fortunate to have many in my perennial beds.  I have a mix of wooden ones as well as some steel ones.  The steel ones  were custom made (designed by my husband) and are incredibly sturdy not to mention heavy.  When they arrived they had been sprayed with Rust-oleum.  My first impulse was to have them powder coated before we put them up but that would have been very costly.  So I had resigned myself to rust eventually taking over and decided that it would create a rustic touch to my cottage garden.  About one year went by and I was not happy with what was happening to my beautiful arbors.

  A visit to my favorite local family owned paint store helped me to solve my dilemma.  I painted each of them first with a coat of red epoxy enamel primer, this is an automotive paint and is very different from regular paint.  Once you apply it, it becomes thick and it is best if your first "brush" with the brush is the only one for that particular area.  Once the arbors were completely coated in this primer they were sealed in something that had a resemblance to a latex coating.  

The final step was painting the arbors with a black machine paint.  This too was very different from regular house paint, not as thick as the red expoxy but dried very quickly.  I used inexpensive brushes that I could just throw away for both types of paint as they became sticky after about 2 hours of use.  Also, this is a painting project that needs to be done when it is not too hot out.  All of that said, each arbor took me a total of 16 hours to paint completely.  Last year I painted the steel gazebo that is in the center of my cutting garden (see earlier post; Cutting Garden Redo).  It has held up beautifully.  It sounds like a lot of work, but really it was more about time.  My paint store assured me I will get about 10 years out of this paint.  As I have so many different things to see to here at Tangled Gardens it will be nice not to have to re-visit the painting of the arbors and gazebo annually with a spray on type paint.  

I am very pleased with the finished results and highly recommend this process to anyone trying to keep their beautiful black outdoor furniture or garden accents rust free.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Autumn did not disappoint this year.  October brought us a lot of rain but it seemed to happen all at once and the rest of the days were bright and beautiful.  This weekend seems to be the beginning of the end to our long autumn.  Appropriate considering the holidays are right around the corner.  As I was raking this past week I took a moment to savor my surroundings before mother nature changes things.  

As I was distributing the leaves to a new location I noticed the mushrooms growing on the trunk of this tree.  I find it very beautiful.  Saying good bye to another beautiful fall while making plans for a new spring.