Recycle an Iron Arbor

Wine bottle French Potager Garden

**This arbor story is a recycled post from 2010. I recently had a reader ask me to post it again — here it is my friends — RECYCLE, REUSE, REPOST!**

My ten year old daughter and I are driving to the grocery store on a cold day last fall when I look out the car window and see a wrought iron arbor laying on its side out by the street.  I screech the car to a halt. SCREEEECHHHH!!

Both of us jump out and stare longingly at the arbor. My daughter says, “Mom, we have to take it home! It was meant to be.”

I knock on the door and ask if it is being thrown out. It is!! Hooray! Their trash is our treasure! The kiddo and I cannot get the full sized arbor on the roof of the car, so we leave the car sitting alongside the street and together manage to heft it back to the house, walking awkwardly on the sidewalk as we carry its bulk home.

Recycling a Metal Arbor Primer

For six months the arbor sat on the side of my house awaiting a magical transformation. This Spring, my assistant Katie helped me lift it up onto a home made “horse” and we painted it in one coat of base paint and two top coats of “aubergine” (reddish purple). It is now a feature in the back French Potager garden, framing the ferns in bold colors, and adding a bit of “umph” to the wine bottle path.

Recycling a Metal Arbor

Now the arbor sits in a quiet shade garden next to the feathery ferns and little wine bottle sentries. I love it when we rescue a dead wrought iron creature and bring it back to fabulous life.



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Carol at OhWhatABeautifulGarden-Chicagoland
    June 30, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Loving that color – courageous. Cobalt blue is the color I'm gonna go for next. I have a picture of a cobalt blue chair and stepping stone posted on my bulletin board to remind me. Just waiting for the right piece of inspiration to make me screeeeeeeech.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Love what you did, I make furniture from pallets. I have been known to stop at different places and pick up a good looking pallet. Right now I am doing a wine cabinet for a friend. If you would like ideas I am at Nice save from the landfill.

    • Reply
      September 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Thanks! Glad you like it!


  • Reply
    Landscape Design Harrogate
    December 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

    What a fantastic idea! There are so many older items that if you put a little bit of effort in, you can restore them into a brilliant looking garden feature. I have just recently taken an old drum from a clients garden that she didn’t want and now with a bit of work, it looks fantastic in my garden.

  • Leave a Reply