Any Old Iron

We paid a visit to our local reclamation earlier this week as we needed more stone to build a return to the wall that forms a feature behind the stone trough, and decided to look around while we were there to see if there was a useable alternative to the rustic post and rail fence that was my current thought to fill the gaps in the hedge behind the D*****’s P**** area. As well as our stone, we came away with these four panels of cast iron, probably originally part of a balustrade of some sort; they were tucked up against the wall and covered in brambles, and our friendly man offered them to us at real ‘come and buy price’ – so we did.

DSCN1777I had forgotten that I ensured the stone we got for the existing wall (which I built about six years ago) was a job lot of flattish pieces – not so this batch (seen here with a smaller pile of stones dug out of the area along with the D*****’s P**** roots), which was unfortunate but would just mean a more rustic wall. I buried a couple of bags of the smaller stones I had dug out under the ‘footings’, which I quickly prepared yesterday to enable the wall be done today in anticipation of rain sometime soon, which would have hindered any mortaring. The return was cobbled together in a couple of hours today and does look something like a makeshift wall that is falling into decay, which is the sort of image that I wanted to create although I would still  rather have used flatter stones like my original.


The original wall can only be viewed from the front and has lots of hidden irregularities at the back; the return, however, will be seen from both sides although the D*****’s P**** side will have shrubs up and ivy against it. The trough side is currently a jumble as all the stone needs to be lifted so the ‘reservoir’ can be accessed and cleaned to prevent silt clogging up the pipe. Hopefully the established ferns there won’t be affected although the primrose offshoots I planted not long ago have already been uprooted. On no account must Harry be disturbed!


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8 Responses to Any Old Iron

  1. I love your new wall, It looks so much my nicer than the concrete one in my garden I’m trying to cover up!

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Paula and thanks. There are ways and means of disguising things like a concrete wall – painting it a different colour or even imitating ordinary brickwork would make a difference. We disguised the back of our neighbour’s very brown fence with a homemade trellis painted the same soft green we use on our other woodwork. Even without anything growing on it takes the edge off it.

  2. The wall looks great, and those iron railings are a great find! They would cost a bundle at an antique store.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jason – we knew they were a real bargain and it shows what a good relationship we have with our local reclamation yard!

  3. clearly a dab hand at hard landscaping as well as a plants woman Cathy, the sort of stone you got this time is the kind I dig up in my garden, I save all, separating any flatish ones I find, as no reclamation yard here and no car even if there was, those railings are seriously nice, if used as fence will they be seen or covered by plants? (I’m nosey), a good days work, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      I love building, Frances – bricklaying and plastering are my favourites. There was a lot of sandstone in our garden when we came, some on the boundary as part of the hedge and some just lying about, but we had to buy some in for the stream and now this wall, although I did find a cache of spare stone covered in ivy left over from the last bit of wall so I probably didn’t need to buy this most recent batch. The railings are more of a barrier to fill the gap where some of the hedge has died off, and we didn’t want to use a solid fence, so these were quirky enough to fit the bill. I daresay the ivy will move in eventually but there will be plants screening it before then, I hope

  4. Pauline says:

    Your wall looks excellent and your iron railings will be a marvellous addition. While we were away we saw that someone had put a cast iron fire place in their wall, should have taken a photo for you!

    • Cathy says:

      🙂 That’s just the sort of thing that appeals to us, Pauline. We have used two in the house (just decoratively) but hadn’t actually thought of one in the garden…. 😉 I look forward to reading a post soon about where you have been.

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