By LeRae Haynes –
Transforming a heap of rusty scrap metal and discarded engine parts into art for your garden is a great example of art meeting recycling face to face. Wayne Ball and Bridget Lusignan have launched Bridget’s Rustic Garden, a unique garden shop in connection with Blocks R Us.
Ball said it all started with a pile of flat rusty scrap metal and grew from there. “Bridget started cutting hearts and stars and moons, and then we started in on things like old beds, mufflers, gears, a rototiller, old sinks and bathtubs and a fridge door,” he explained. “Every piece got better and better.”
Whimsical and creatively recycled garden items include a dog made from an old muffler with left and right tachometers for left and right eyes, a fuel cap for a nose, and truck wheel nuts for feet.
Lusignan, who has always enjoyed creating things, said she always wanted to learn how to weld and use a plasma cutter. “Wayne said, ‘I’ve got some metal for you: let’s create something,’ and it was creative, artistic, and fun,” she said. “We ended up making planters and garden décor.”
The project started last summer and quickly turned into a business when Fred Ball from Blocks R Us suggested they sell their items on the Blocks site. “It turned out that the things we created and really liked, other people liked, too,” said Lusignan, “and at Blocks R Us it was a natural fit.”
There are planters, décor, and fountains made from old truck tailgates, iron bedsteads, claw foot tubs, barn wood, sinks, and a wringer washing machine. These beautiful pieces feature things like solar-powered vehicle lights and bottles, a halo ring gear for an automotive transmission, and Grandma’s old scythe.
“We got great feedback from people who really liked that the pieces were all one-of-a-kind and were created from re-purposed and recycled metal,” Lusignan continued, adding that sometimes pieces are sold as fast as they’re made.
One central piece at Bridget’s Rustic Garden is a custom potting bench with a distressed copper counter top, an antique window set in the barn wood backdrop, a base made from a 1950s Dodge fender and wheel, and a beautiful old sink with solar lights and running water.
“People really like that every single thing that goes into these projects has a story to tell,” Ball said. “When they look at them it brings back so many memories.”
Bridget’s Rustic Garden also sells bedding plants, hanging baskets, shrubs, trees, perennials, and annuals. For more information about Blocks R Us and Bridget’s Rustic Garden phone (250) 392-3646 or visit www.blocksrus.ca or Blocks R Us on Facebook.
LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids.