Rare vintage hand garden tools… the finishing touch?

Rare vintage garden tools - the finishing touch to the shed via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

Do you ever find it can take an eternity to finish a project? Sometimes even a small one?

Rare vintage garden tools - the finishing touch to the shed via FunkyJunkInteriors.net
In the repurposed world, you generally wait until you land the perfect something. It’s not like you can whip up a true authentic antique. Emulate yes, but it’s not quite the same, is it?

Rare vintage garden tools - the finishing touch to the shed via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

When I was decorating the garden shed, I knew what I desired as the perfect finishing touch, but had NO idea where I’d land such a thing.

A coffee can of hand garden tools hangs from the shed. But they are ‘modern’. Not quite the rusty, dented, nor charming variety I had in mind.

Rare vintage garden tools - the finishing touch to the shed via FunkyJunkInteriors.net
I actually couldn’t even visualize what they were suppose to look like. Maybe wooden handles with rusty shovel or fork heads? I clearly forgot what my Mom use to work so hard with.

Until today.

Vintage orange handled garden fork via FunkyJunkInteriors.net
I walked into the local new and used store, (and again HERE) and did my usual scanning, when my eyes planted firmly on this rusty orange handle full of familiar holes.

Gasp… There they were. Rare vintage hand garden tools.. the very ones I use to use when at home!

I attempted to act all calm, cool and collected, but inside, I was anything but! 

These were coming home. No matter what.

Vintage orange handled garden fork via FunkyJunkInteriors.net
Grasping them tightly while heading towards the checkout with a skip in my step, that’s when more memories came rushing back.

My brother and I use to run to Grandma’s after school. She had a massive garden and little orchard we use to love to frolic around in. The apples always appeared to be ripe for the picking. And the biggest hydrangea bushes you ever did see lined the entire side of her house.

She’d often putz around in the garden when we were over, bent over pulling and hoeing her award winning green thumb vegetable garden.

Vintage orange handled garden fork via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

Mom in the vegetable garden.44 PM
Mom's vegetable garden.11 PM

cows grazing in field.29 PM
The love of gardening carried on to my Mom. Her jungle like gardens exploded with vegetables that lasted us through the year. 

What put a smile on my face today was, I used tools like these in my school garden I grew at home, right next to Mom’s towering rows of corn.

I would work on that little garden, with the warm wind on my face, and to the tune of snapping, air dried laundry hanging on the clothesline, dancing above my head.

Behind the garden fence, the cows would be grazing away, waiting patiently for their daily throw of weeds and plants.

Vintage garden hand tools in an old Folger's coffee can via FunkyJunkInteriors.net
And as always, the odd munch of fresh peas in the pod or a baby carrot was encouraged.

Know what I love about antiques the very most? The memories they bring rushing back.

These tools were PERFECT for continuing the garden shed’s story.

Or should I say, mine.

Vintage garden hand tools in an old Folger's coffee can via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

And that’s the beauty of collecting. Collecting never really stops, nor do the stories that go along with it.

Rustic garden shed with antiques and flowers via FunkyJunkInteriors.net

While this may appear to be the finishing touch for the garden shed, and the perfect end to this story, I’m holding out hope there will be another chapter…

Mom and Dad
or two… 

Do you collect for the items, or the memories?

Linking up to May Thrift Treasures / Southern Hospitality

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Categories: Family, Garden Photos, Gardening, Outdoors, Rambling, Seasonal, Summer
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    • I also buy things that bring back memories. With six kids in my family we can’t all have the few prized possessions so I have bought some of the things I remember from my childhood. Like my vintage Underwood typewriter (I found at a yard sale for only $5) that I remember my father plunking away at with two fingers or the concertina my husband bought me when I was sad my older brother was awarded that prized possession. I also found an old red sand shovel just like the one I used to dig in my sandbox with. My sweet husband also picked that one up for me. I did manage to acquire one of my mother’s dolls as well as her wedding cake topper so I am happy. Yes acquiring those wonderful items that bring back memories of our childhoods is so wonderful. And add to it that I am now 60 years young, most of those items “are” antiques!

  1. Thank you so much about telling me about your Grandmother’s gardening tools and garden. I too inherited a green thumb from my Grandma Jess. I loved staying with her in the summer. She had a wonderful vegetable garden. She also had prize winning mums. Unfortunately, I don’t remember her tools. I do remember the storehouse. I wish I could be there again. Oh, and all the canning!

      • Oh yes, I also remember those wringer washers. I was once told to watch my sister and cousin, I was only seven at the time. And my cousin ran her arm through the wringer. Oh yes her cries brought my mother a running!! I guess I wasn’t much of a babysitter at seven!

      • I used to help my mom do the wash on one of those roller type washing machines – it was my job to feed the clothes through the rollers (no stick :) and I was only eight or nine

  2. I collect for both the item and the memories. After all, the things I collect and use today will be memories for my Daughter and Grandchildren! Love that feeling of finding just what I was looking for, even if I didn’t know I was looking for it!

  3. I think my mum still has the orange one in the garage, and may even still use it. Ah, seeing it brought instant memories of my childhood and my parents tending to our beautiful family garden. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hello, great find and story! Just remember to put some holes in the bottom the the coffee can to let the rain out !
    Great find !
    Alex
    Instagram follower Chung70

  5. Good Morning.
    I look for your email and read it before I hop out of bed in the morning. Today I was touched by your post. My Mom passed away last July and I am slowly working my way through what for me is 60+years of memories associated with the items in her place. Your posting made it all clear for me why I am having such a hard time dealing with all my parents stuff. Dishes, silver, crystal, garden tools, and my Dad’s workshop. Everything has memories. Daily I am sad that I cannot find people or places where these things can wait to go to a new home and be used again to build new memories. No one here in my hometown of Calgary seems interested in “old stuff” they are looking for shiny bright and new. Seems like I need to load up my truck and head west with treasures.
    Thank you for your blog. Its an inspiration and a lightfor a gentle way of life.
    Barb

    • Wow… what I’d do to be able to pick from your selections! Maybe a big ‘ol garage sale will be the answer. That way they will come to you. It seems impersonal, but when we had a final sale of my Mom’s stuff, it was pretty heartwarming how her things touched others. It was neat to witness and fun to give things away to those that loved what they saw.

    • I was sad the day I went to a yard sale and here was a lady selling her grandmother’s book that she had had as a child. This book was over 100 years old and in excellent condition. She said no one in her family was interested in old stuff. It is one of my treasures. I hope one day my children will treasure it as much as I do.

  6. I collect both items and memories… family ones, that is. I know of family members that get rid of family treasures, and so when I see them I remind them of my love and passion of gathering items or pictures of the gone loved ones. My grandma, rest her soul, left me tons of wonderful things. The rest of the family contributes mostly with photographs, and they know that if something “appears” the can always send it my way :o)

  7. I love this post. I have so many fond memories of my own grandmother in her garden, thank you for reminding me. The old pictures are great, you’re so lucky that you have so many!

  8. I love your garden shed…and the old garden tools. I have several tools that belonged to my Mom and I wouldn’t part with them for anything. I feel sure there will be many more chapters to come for the garden shed.

  9. Memories! That’s what I look for. Also the smell/scent of a memory. I have my dad’s woooden folding ruler that I remember him using and it smells like him!

  10. What a beautiful treasure trove of memories~ I love the pictures of your grandparents farm also. Is that in Alberta or B.C.? If I didn’t live in Alaska, I would love to live in either place :)

    Thank you for sharing!
    Joetta
    Interior Alaska

  11. Can totally relate to finding items that remind me of my childhood and particularly my grandparents. My love of gardening definitely came from my grandmothers and my mom- endless hours with the sound of the tractor and cows nearby! I think my mom may have some of those exact gardening tools!

  12. I love collecting my parent’s cast-offs for the memories – they know to ask me if I want something before taking it to the thrift store! One of my silly, recent items was a box of jars – not terribly impressive, but it had old peanut butter jars from the 80′s – and they have cup measurements on the side! I love them and their wide mouth. I wish more food came in glass, still. I’ve also acquired their old typewriter, not a pretty super old black one, but fun. I remember being so embarrassed at having to type school reports on it, rather than an up-to-date word processor, haha! My kids love it. Part of what I love about thrift store finds is appreciating the unknown memories attached and the work and care that went into items. I scored a cathedral quilt at Goodwill for $10, it was stained and my husband thought I was nuts until I soaked and washed it. He couldn’t believe the transformation! The hours some lady put into it, wow. She had no idea some lady and her family would love it so many years later. We’ve had to retire it from actual use, and now it’s displayed alongside a quilt my husband’s great-grandmother made. Still, sometimes something just looks great, like a rusty old gear-thing left on our property when we bought it, that sits on my mantle with a rusty old vise sort of thing, haha.

  13. Just bought myself an old silver metal napkin dispenser the other day – the kind they used to have in diners in the fifties – and I definitely bought it for the memories and good feelings it brings back :) It’s nice to remember the fifties and sixties :) so many good memories

  14. While I do love antiques, and much prefer metals and wood over anything plastic, I do pick up things that remind me of what my grandparents probably had on their farm. When their things were divided among the ten grandchildren, I was not yet a teenager, while my cousins were already in their 20s. I’m sorry to say that, while the grandchildren that had already had homes inherited more treasures, they have all since sold or given away most of my grandparents’ memories. I seem to be the only one who has held on tight to my grandparents’ things, and been interested enough to learn more about where they came from, my grandfather’s military service, and their lives in general. I didn’t know them as well as the rest of my relatives, but it makes me happy to gaze upon older, sturdier items in my own home such as they might have used in a simpler time.