Spring isn’t the only time to buy lovely outdoor furniture
  • The drudgery tools of yard work & gardening
  • On the hunt for the right garden chairs
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    Auction Finds

    In the yard, the telltale signs of spring’s arrival

    I was ambling along the weather-beaten plank walkway above the back lot of the auction house. The day was blue-sky clear, and the sun was turning from warm to sweaty hot as I scanned the items on the bare-earth lot below. I was looking to see if there was something interesting enough to buy and small enough to haul away in my car.

    I saw a few painted metal plant stands, but they were so cute that I knew they’d be snatched up quickly.

    Then I began to notice something: The lot was sprinkled with furniture and accessories that were tokens of spring. The auction house had laid out sets of patio tables and matching chairs – one of which sold for about $250 – planters, and even gardening tools. The items catered to leisure (duck decoys, lots of them), exercise (a large rowing machine) and just plain fun (bicycles, even a new pink girl’s Huffy bike with the original papers still attached).

    Stone planters & water fountain

    Heavy stone planners and a water fountain.

    This seemed to be a time of year when folks –  to be precise, consigners – were tossing out the old stuff and looking forward to replacing it with the new. And what better place to unload the used and abused than at an auction, where just about everything is  grabbed in an instant by dealers looking for a bargain.

    This auction house is one of those places where dealers from all around – there’s one guy who drives from Brooklyn, NY – know that they can find quality furniture for little money. I always watch in amazement at how low the prices are for some of the furniture, and wonder why anyone would buy retail.

    In fact, I bought a sweet little black lacquered table for $2 for which I’ll have to create a spot on my porch. It’s a good piece to hold a potted yellow calla lily. 

    Here are some of what I found that spelled “spring” to me:

    Garden accessories

    An array of stone garden accessories.


    Decoy ducks

    A stack of duck decoys in vintage porch chairs.


    Patio chairs and table

    This patio set was one of many for sale, including the yellow strap set in the back of the photo.


    Decoy ducks

    A row of duck decoys sitting atop two cast-iron planters.


    Tools for spring planting

    The tools of gardening.



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