fall decorations from a farm

Fall Colors in the Hudson Valley

Traditionally, farm produce such as pumpkins, squash, hay bales and corn stalks are used to decorate houses and gardens.

Stone house with Fall decorations

A stone house with fall decorations – corn stalks and pumpkins

Fall decorations

Everyone has their own take on Fall decorations.

There are still many small, family farms in the Hudson Valley that supply this produce at farm stands, local stores or farmers markets.

Fall decor - pumpkins and corn

Pumpkins and corn from Boice’s Farm in the Hudson Valley

One such farm is Boice’s Farm which is located in Saugerties. Their farm stand is on Kings Highway and they have a great selection of seasonal fruit, vegetables and flowers.



They also have decorative pots and ornaments for the house and garden. All the flowers are very well-tended and look great even this late in the season.

millet grass

The farm house at Boice's Farm

The farm house at Boice’s Farm

They have a field of sunflowers next to the farm house and they sell the cut blooms.

A field of sunflowers

Sunflower field at Boice’s Farm

A sunflower in bloom

Late summer beauty

A dried sunflower full of seeds

A dried sunflower full of seeds is a great decorative item. Or hang it up outside for the birds to enjoy

Sue, the Manager of Boice’s Farm Stand explained that their farm started in 1947. In the beginning, they had problems obtaining the seedling plants for the farm so they built a greenhouse and started growing their own. This expanded into growing cut flowers. They also provide chrysanthemums for the Saugerties ‘Mum Festival’ and make Kissing Balls for the holidays.

Sweet corn growing in a corn field

You can’t beat local corn – so fresh and sweet!

There are about seven bee hives in the fields and Sue confirmed that there is an improvement in  the pollination of the pumpkin and squash due to the bee hives. “Bees have been around forever so why not keep them around?”.

Decorative fall items from a farm - chrysanthemums, squash and cabbage

A classic combo – chrysanthemums, squash, pumpkins and decorative cabbage

Boice’s Farm stand is open weekdays and weekends.

Buy local and support our family farms!

Decorative pumpkin, sweetcorn and chrysanthemum flowers

Corn, pumpkin and “Mums”

Hydrangea flowers, green squash piled up on a hay bale

Hydrangea flowers and green squash piled up on a hay bale

A baby Box Turtle

Baby Box Turtle. Picture by Catskill Native Nursery

This item is from the Facebook page of The Catskill Native Nursery, a nursery that specializes in trees, shrubs and pants that are native to New York and the US.

“While out on his morning dog walk, Francis noticed this baby box turtle enjoying the damp woods. A box turtle may live as long as a hundred years, all within a few acres. They are on the menu of various creatures, but their leading cause of death is habit destruction and encountering vehicles such as ATV’s, 4×4 off-road driving, cars and lawn mowers. If you want to help box turtle populations you should encourage their habitat that consists of moist soil (swamps, marsh, moist grasslands or damp forest depressions) and open meadows where they like to breed. Instead of trying to turn our forest floors into tidy parks by tossing down grass seed and removing all downed branches we should encourage the growth of ferns, sedges, partridge berry, wintergreen and low growing shrubs like mountain laurel, huckleberry and blueberry. Meadows are always better than “golf courses”, if you are a part of nature’s web. Box turtles are omnivores and eat insects, mushrooms, berries, and grubs. One of their favorite treats is the fruit of mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). This is an easy to grow, deer resistant, self-spreading plant we encourage people to cultivate in their larger shade gardens and woodland understory.”

“Please don’t move box turtles unless you are saving them from danger. They do not want to be a pet. They are designed to be free-range little tanks fueling up on fungi, berries and bugs – and for making more baby box turtles. If we respect their wild spirit and their habitat they will continue to share our world, and future generations of humans can enjoy discovering them on their walks in the woods.”

Learn more about the Catskill Native Nursery here.


Marbled Purple Stripe garlic. Picture by Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple Farm

Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple Farm is located in New York and is a regular at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival selling organic garlic, maple syrup and (new this year) blue potatoes.


Spanish Roja garlic by Grand Gorge Garlic at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival last year

Fred, an expert grower at the farm generously took the time to tell me about the farm. “I’ve always loved garlic and growing plants. In 2005 I inherited an abandoned plot of garlic in a field adjacent to my cabin. Because the garlic had been untended, it had a head (umbel) full of seeds (bulbils) so I planted the bulbils, sewing the seeds the way nature intended.”


Fred on the farm, you can see the entire garlic plant in this picture.

“This led to the discovery that allowing the scapes (flower buds) to grow and develop into umbels (seed heads) has some benefits – the dried garlic has better longevity, stays dormant longer and does not sprout internally. It does not go soft, has plenty of oil and a better flavor. So this is how we harvest our garlic at the farm – with the stem, leaves and umbels uncut.”

Garlic farmer with turban varietal garlic at Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple Farm

Fred with a turban varietal at the farm. Picture by Grand Gorge Garlic & Maple Farm.

Fred explained that healthy soil is vital for a successful harvest “Our method is a two-year rotation. In the first year, the planting bed is prepared. Aged manure (about three years old) is spread over the surface. Soil testing will dictate whether nutrients should be added (sea minerals, lime or magnesium).”

Rocambole garlic bubils enclosed in umbel.

Rocambole bubils enclosed in umbels. Picture by Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple Farm

“In the second year, buckwheat is grown as a cover crop and weeds are allowed to grow. These plants provide food for pollinating insects. A local herbalist harvests the wild plants because after many years of organic farming, the soil is so pure. We are a certified organic farm and have passed inspections by NOFA.” (NOFA is the North East Organic Farming Association)

“In the 3rd week of September, the cover crops are chopped up and the soil is tilled. Garlic is planted about mid-October, then the soil is covered with a 6 inch layer of straw mulch.”

The garlic is harvested in July the following year. We grow about 50,000 bulbs including rare varieties. The bulbs are dried in a home-made drying shed which is open at both ends to allow a breeze to flow through.”

Sign about garlic

A sign at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival.

How to grow garlic in your backyard – Fred shared these tips

  1. Take a test of the soil. Your local Cornell Cooperative Extension can help with this
  1. Add nutrients/amendments to the soil per the results of the soil test.
  1. Plant the garlic cloves or bulbils in mid to late October (for the Hudson Valley region)
  1. plant the garlic cloves or bulbils pointy end up. Plant in rows with the cloves 2-3 ” deep, 6″ to 8″ apart.
  1. The following year, when the garlic has started to grow, don’t cut the scapes, let the umbels form
  1. When the top 4 leaves are 50% brown it’s time to harvest. This usually coincides with the hottest days of the summer in July.
  1. Dry (cure) the garlic with the stem, leaves attached and umbels attached.
  1. Don’t break the bulb up until just before eating or planting.
  1. Bulbils can be used as seed for subsequent crops or eaten on salad/stirred into sauces/on sandwiches.

Fred is proud to say “This year we are harvesting organic blue potatoes and they will be available at the Garlic Festival. (The USDA has found up to 35 different chemicals on non-organic potatoes). Our potatoes are heavy and nutrient-dense. Partner them with our garlic for the best garlic-mashed potatoes you’ve ever tasted – off the charts!”

basket of garlic

Grand Gorge Garlic at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in 2014

Fred is proud to say that “2015 is a banner year for Grand Gorge Garlic.”

I think we are very fortunate to have successful organic farms in New York, let’s support them at the Garlic Festival!

Asiatic garlic

Asiatic garlic. Picture by Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple Farm

Maple syrup by Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple Farm

Maple syrup by Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple

Maple syrup by Grand Gorge Garlic and Maple

A wooden bear sculpture with a chalk-board sign for maple syrup

I sampled the syrup and it is unbelievably good – not too sweet with an intense flavor!

gigantic garlic shaped balloon at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

A gigantic garlic balloon floats in the sky every year

The Saugerties Garlic Festival was recently voted the ‘Best Festival in the Hudson Valley’ by readers of Hudson Valley magazine. This is a huge achievement, especially as the festival is organized and run 100% by volunteers from the Saugerties Kiwanis club.

Bunches of garlic by Garlic Delite Farm

Bunches of garlic by Garlic Delite Farm

I spoke to Beth Bechtold who does PR for the festival and asked her why the festival is such as long-standing success. “We try to keep it family orientated and not overly commercialized. The vendors are independent businesses or small farms. There are no big retailers and there’s a good variety of music and entertainment. There will be four stages this year”

Fresh leeks by Earthy Mirth Farm

Fresh leeks by Earthy Mirth Farm

“Visitors come back year after year and know where to find their favorite vendors because repeat vendors are given the same booth every year.” This is very helpful, because there are thousands of people attending.

A scarecrow with a sign for garlic ice cream at Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Try some of Guido’s delicious garlic ice cream!

The Saugerties Kiwanis club has a team of 45 people working on the Garlic Festival with a committee of 15. They start planning in January with regular monthly meetings.

garlic samples to taste by Six Cycles Farm at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Six Cycles Farm offers garlic samples to try

Beth explained that “All the money raised at the Saugerties Garlic Festival goes to the local community to support various organizations and sports. These include the ice arena, the Boys and Girls Club, baseball facilities, educational scholarships, the food pantry, Christmas lights, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and the 4th of July fireworks. They also support several youth sports leagues.”

Bunches of Sweet Annie herb for sale by Eartthly Mirth Farm at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Aromatic ‘Sweet Annie’ herb by Earthly Mirth Farm

What’s new for 2015? Beth told me that ‘I Love New York’ tourism will be there with an interactive booth. A new vendor will be here for the 2nd year with delicious Maine Lobster.”

a chalk board sign advertising garlic by Wild Shepherd Farm at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Garlic by Wild Shepherd Farm -savor the flavors!

As always there will be a children’s craft tent where parents can leave their children in the capable hands of the local key Club for a while.

squash, dried flowers and cat toys by Marsh Meadow Farm at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

A variety of produce is available at the fair, including these cat toys, squash and dried flowers by Marsh Meadow Farm

Beth described how some people are surprised that no alcohol is sold “One year, a Russian TV station came up from NYC and interviewed me at the Garlic Festival. Then they went looking for garlic vodka and were surprised there wasn’t any!”

a large garlic-shaped balloon with the Kiwanis Club logo

Thank you to the Kiwanis Club for making the Garlic Festival happen year after year

The garlic festival is on Saturday September 26th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday 27th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is $10 at the gate, $7 in advance, reduced admission for seniors and children. Tickets can be purchased online here.

Andy and the Garlic Family at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Andy and Garlic Family say “Hi!”

Nasturtium by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Nasturtium by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

The Hudson Valley Garlic Festival takes place September 26th and 27th this year. In addition to the garlic farms, there are many independent vendors and craftspeople selling their beautiful artwork.

One of the vendors at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival is ‘Wildflower Graphics’. They provide a selection of studio printed note cards, ceramic tiles, framed and mounted prints among other items with original illustrations of flowers based using the design language of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The original designs are produced by husband and wife team, Lynne and Richie Bittner.

Lupine by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Lupine by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Lynne explained producing each design is a long process and starts with her doing a line drawing. The drawing is developed into design which is scanned digitally. Then Lynne and Richie work together to add color and texture to produce the final digital image.

As a child, Lynne was always attracted to wildflowers, in her early 20s, purely by chance she came across the book ‘The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady’ which is a hand-written journal with watercolor studies of nature done by Edith Holden in 1906 in England and Scotland. Discovering the book was a transforming moment for Lynne and she began to teach herself to illustrate and watercolor wildflowers, though it took a while for her to actually pursue her dream of making a living by doing it. After a career doing custom carpentry and wanting a change, Lynne and Richie thought deeply about starting a business selling note cards. They followed their dream and founded Wildflower Graphics. Most of the illustrations are of wildflowers, but there are also a few illustrations of cultivated varieties as Lynne is a flower gardener as well.

Wild Ginger by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Wild Ginger by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Of the Garlic Festival, Lynne says “We always love being out among customers that appreciate what we do and enjoy the wonderful feedback from customers at the festival. There’s a festive atmosphere, people just love being there. The smell of garlic cooking and the entertainment, Morris dancing – the organizers do a great job.”

There will be some new designs at this year’s Garlic Festival! – stop by their booth and take a look.

Lynne and Richie are always on the lookout for additional retail outlets for their cards – if you have any suggestions please let them know via their website (click here).

Thistle by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Thistle by Lynne and Richie Bittner, Wildflower Graphics

Click here for more information about the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival.

Xeriscape garden

Xeriscape garden – photo by Donna Crawford

“I’m bringing a boatload of plants, I hope someone will want to buy them!” said Master Gardener, Barbara Bravo.  The Master Gardener Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) will be hosting their 3rd Annual Plant Sale this Saturday, September 19 from 9am-noon at their Xeriscape Garden, located on the SUNY Ulster campus at 491 Cottekill Road in Stone Ridge.

The Plant Sale will offer an array of plants from the Xeriscape Garden itself, plus perennials, shrubs, trees and even houseplants grown by the Master Gardeners!  Proceeds benefit the CCEUC Master Gardener program.  Cash, check or credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) will be accepted at the sale, which will be held rain or shine.  For more information, contact Dona Crawford at 845-340-3990 ext. 335 or email dm282@cornell.edu.

Also, at 10:00 am, join us for a free workshop to review and discuss how the Alpine Garden has changed this year.  This is one of many classes in the “Learning in the Garden” workshop series, held every third Saturday at the Xeriscape Garden, June through October.  Join us for the last workshop in the series on October 17 “Fall Planted Bulbs” to learn about planting bulbs in the fall for enjoyment in the spring!

The Xeriscape Garden is an interactive teaching tool in the selection of heat-tolerant waterwise plants, integrated pest management and alternative landscaping techniques.  Group and one-on-one free tours are also offered at the garden throughout the year.

Learn more about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s community programs and events at http://ulster.cce.cornell.edu/.  Stay connected to CCEUC-friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County provides equal program and employment opportunities.  Please contact the program office at 845-340-3990 if you have any special needs

Some great advice from Art Davidson about saving seed. He writes the ‘Papas Garden’ blog.

Part 1. An introduction to seed saving for beginners – click here for Papas Garden blog.

seed saving methods

Seed saving using ‘caging’ method.

Part 2. Explains the different methods for collecting seeds – click here for Papas Garden blog.

white tailed deer eating plants in a garden

White-tailed deer are common in the Hudson Valley and they often browse in gardens. Fencing off flower beds looks ugly and is expensive, deer repellents require constant re-application and are costly. So I decided to garden with plants deer don’t like to eat, hoping the deer would dine elsewhere.

I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite perennial plants that deer usually avoid eating. They are hardy in USDA climate zone 5.

For Spring

Lamium – A pretty ground cover for shade/part shade. The decorative leaves have silver, white or yellow patches. Flowers are small and pink or white. I really like the raspberry pink flowers on is this one, Lamium maculatum Chequers. Lamiums grow about 6″ tall.

deer resistant lamium plant


Dianthus – These plants are drought tolerant and great for xeriscape gardens.  The silvery foliage forms neat, dense clumps. There are many varieties and flowers can be white, pink or red. Some have a gorgeous ‘clove’ fragrance. This award-winning variety is ‘Firewitch’, it has magenta colored  flowers.

dianthus 'Fire Witch' has magenta flowers and is not eaten by deer

Dianthus ‘Fire Witch’

Creeping Phlox – An excellent ground cover with tiny pointed evergreen leaves and pink, purple or candy-striped flowers. Grows about 6″ tall and tolerates poor, dry soil. Bloom time is April – May.

creeping phlox is not deer food

Creeping Phlox

For Summer

Bearded Iris – This plant has attractive vertical spike-shaped leaves and large blooms. Thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. There are different sizes; tall, standard, dwarf and miniature. So many choices of flower color!

bearded iris plants are deer resistant

bearded iris are seldom eaten by deer

Bearded iris – this one is fragrant!

Coreopsis – Grows well in full sun but will tolerate partial shade. A native prairie and woodland plant. There are many different flower colors and forms., this one is called ‘Moonbeam’ it is an award-winning variety and I can see why, with pretty foliage and masses of yellow flowers. Bees love it! Easy to grow and trouble-free.

coreopsis moonbeam with yellow flowers

Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’

Monarda – The leaves are fragrant and flowers come in shades of red, pink or purple. Recently, smaller varieties have been introduced and they can be grown in pots. Attractive to hummingbirds.

red monarda aka bee balm

Monarda looks fabulous when planted in large drifts

A single monarda flower

Monarda flower

Gaillardia –  A native prairie plant, it thrives in full sun, flowers can be red, orange or yellow. This one is ‘Gaillardia Globin’ it’s about 12″ tall, a neat mound of foliage and smothered in flowers. Great for the front of the border.

red and yellow gaillardia flowers are never eaten by deer

Gaillardia, also known as ‘Blanket Flower’

For Fall

Stachys – Grown as a foliage plant, the beautiful silvery leaves are covered in soft hair. Does well in full sun. This one is called ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’, it grows about 15″ tall, the flower spikes are about 20″. Great for hot dry xeriscape areas. In the spring, the tiny purple flowers attract bumble bees.

stachys aka lambs ears


stachys flowers

Stachys flower spikes

Aster – Flower colors are white, pink and purple. Attractive to butterflies. Sun to part shade. I grow this small aster called ‘Pink Dome’, it grows to 12″. Really lovely flowers!

pink aster flowers


Rudbeckia – Unfortunately deer do very occasionally eat the flower buds, but the plants will produce more flowers later in the season. The seed heads are a source of food for goldfinches and other seed eating birds. This one is an award-winning garden classic, ‘Rudbeckia Goldsturm’. It grows to about 2′ tall and is covered in bright yellow flowers in late summer/early fall.

rudbeckia flowers


rudbeckia flowers with butterfly

Rudbeckia flowers provide nectar for butterflies

I’m all about ‘low maintenance gardening’ and love these deer resistant perennials because they save me work, time and money. I don’t have to add fencing or apply chemical deer deterrents. At first I felt frustrated by the restricted selection but not any more. After a few seasons, it’s obvious that deer find these beautiful flowers inedible and the buffet is closed. (I do still miss roses though!).

If you’ve had success with a plant that’s not included here, add a comment and share your knowledge with the Hudson Valley gardening community!

Drive with care and be aware

As you probably know, this time of year, turtles cross roads to go to their breeding areas. Please be careful when driving. If possible (where safe to do so) stop and move the turtle to it’s destination on the other side of the road (the direction it is headed).

Thank you!

Every day is ‘Earth Day’ don’t you think?

A painted turtle walking on the side of the road

A painted turtle on the side of the road

antique_painted_ gathering_garden_ basket_www.hudsonvalleygardens.us

Hand-made blue rice-gathering basket from Tibet. Made from bamboo and reeds

Rayann’s Creative Instinct is a store in the village of Saugerties in NY. It is chock-a-block with antiques from the Hudson Valley, a rural region of New York State, about 100 miles north of NYC.

The owner, Rayann Fatizzi has decades of experience procuring vintage furniture, decorative tchotchkes and antique sculpture from local sources and overseas. She also creates unique jewelry and pictures from recycled trinkets, fabrics and graphics. Here in the Hudson Valley, vintage items and historical artifacts are used as decorative items in gardens – there is a unique Hudson Valley style.

Garden Sculpture

I love sculpture in the garden because it provides interest even when the flowers and plants die back in the Fall. It provides a focal point in areas where it is hard to grow plants, such as dry shade.

In the winter  protect outdoor sculpture from the severe weather and low temperatures (click here for advice) or bring it inside.


This marble statue of a smiling monk is from Tibet.

A sculpture of Buddha

A stone sculpture of the head of Buddha. The stone contains marine fossils and is very heavy!

Head of Buddha – a calm presence in the garden.

Baskets and Containers

Vintage basket made from corn cobs hanging in the window of the shop

Vintage basket from New Hampshire hanging in the window of the shop.

This basket includes two rows of dried corn cobs. Rayann noted “This is a rare basket, I’ve never seen one like this before”.


Perfect for your garden tools – a hand-made wooden tool caddy.

Use wooden boxes and containers for garden storage or display as decorative items.

Gorgeous hand-carved wooden 'baskets' with smooth finish

Gorgeous hand-carved wooden rice gathering baskets from Tibet

Garden Furniture

Rocking Chair

Rocking Chair

According to Rayann “This Shaker rocking chair is over 100 years old, originally from Massachusetts. The basket is an apple gathering basket from a local farm in the Hudson Valley.”

The wooden rocker is a traditional piece of furniture on a porch. I love the faded zigzag woven seat and back.

Dark blue mini cabinet with drawers

Dark blue mini cabinet with drawers

Rayann provided some interesting history “This piece was hand-made by a gentleman in Kingston who repaired lamps. He worked in his home-shop. The drawers were made from vintage cheese boxes.”

For the gardener, this tiny cabinet could hold small tools, packets of seed and all those snippets of string and twine.

Vintage couch made from bamboo

Vintage couch made from bamboo

Relax in style! This beautiful bamboo sofa would look lovely on an enclosed deck where it would be protected from the elements. Rayann told me it came from the estate sale of a woman who collected Asian furniture.

Vintage Pepsi drinks cooler

Vintage Pepsi drinks cooler

A little rusty, but still brings back memories of happy summer days – this Pepsi drinks cooler could be refinished to it’s original paint scheme or left as is, depending on your preference.

Garden Lanterns

Pretty painted lantern

Hand made painted lantern with pressed glass side panels. Shabby Chic!

Light up your yard during the warm evenings of summer and fall.

Red oil lanterns

Red oil lanterns

Railroad workers used these red oil lanterns to send signals. (There was a huge rail system in New York State because people and goods traveled to and from NYC by rail. The system was dismantled in the 1970’s and now only two routes remain. Many of the routes were converted into ‘rail trails’ for walking)

Rayann mentioned “These lanterns are great for camping. In the summer people put them on their porches or hang them from a shepherd’s crook in the yard”.  Take a look at Jill Ruth’s wonderful blog for inspiration (below)

vintage oil lantern and galvanized tank used as flower bed

Vintage lantern as garden accessory. The large galvanized tank is a ‘raised bed’ planted with pretty annual flowers, cleome and african marigolds.

Tin lantern, country syle

Tin lantern, country style

Add a candle or tea-light to this tin lantern and enjoy a peaceful evening outside.

Garden accessories – Galvanized Steel or Rust?

Milk container from a Hudson Valley farm

Milk container from a Hudson Valley farm

Rusty milk container from a local farm.

Galvanized containers

Galvanized containers

Nowadays galvanized metal containers are very popular as decorative items and as planters for flowers and succulents. Galvanization is the process where  steel or iron items are coated with zinc to prevent rusting. These tubs and buckets were basic utility items on local farms, used for washing vegetables, laundry etc.

Here’s a collection of galvanized watering cans in a Hudson Valley garden – they are becoming harder to find as collectors snap them up (below).

vintage galvanized watering cans and buckets

Vintage galvanized water cans, buckets and oil cans in Hazel’s garden in the Hudson Valley

Rusty milk can

Rusty milk can

Out and about in the Hudson Valley, you’ll see a lot of these milk cans used as garden ornaments or bases for mail boxes. Here’s a newer one at Platte Creek Farm (below)

Milk can (with bird's nest!) at Platte Creek Maple Farm in Saugerties NY

Milk can (with bird’s nest!) at Platte Creek Maple Farm in Saugerties NY

Rayann explains “the milk cans often the have the name of the dairy on them.”

black vintage milk can with 'Southern Dairies Inc.' painted in white lettering

milk can from Southern Dairies Inc.

More rusty chic…

Wrought iron wall hook

Wrought iron wall hook

Hang a  small wind chime from this hand crafted wall hook.

Star anchor weights

Star anchor weights, some have been painted white and blue

These rusty cast-iron ‘star anchor weights’ were used to strengthen brick walls in old  buildings. How about using them to decorate your shed or deck?  According to Rayann “The stars in my shop came from Texas where they are nailed on barns for decoration. A friend had a country store in Texas that she closed up and I bought them from her. They are known as ‘Barn Stars’ down there.”

They can still be seen on the walls of industrial buildings in the Hudson Valley (below).

Anchor weight stars in a brick wall

Anchor weight stars in a brick wall

Bird Houses made from recycled materials

Cute bird house

Cute bird house

As Rayann explains “I designed this bird house and my husband built it – I pick out the bits and bobs and he nails them in place. There are two vintage tiles from the 1940’s on the roof of this bird house.”

Here’s the back-story behind the tiles. “My husband’s friend was a renovator and was working on a 1700’s stone house. Underneath the house he found hundreds of tiles, some were from the 1940’s and some from the 1700’s. I think the previous owners re-modeled their kitchen in the 1940’s and chucked the 1700’s tiles under the house. Then the kitchen was re-modeled again more recently and the 1940’s tiles were left under the house, which is where we found them”

A recycled cowboy boot made into a bird house.

A home in the country!

Reuse, recycle – this old cowboy boot is now a bird house. Re-purpose and provide habitat for birds!

Decorative Weather Vane

Rooster weather vane

Rooster weather vane

Looking for something for the garden shed or garage? This reproduction primitive metal rooster is a reference to the American farm-yard. Check out the spurs on his legs!

The Shop

The 'Rayann's Creative Instinct' store in Saugerties NY

The ‘Rayann’s Creative Instinct’ store in Saugerties NY

Rayann’s Creative Instinct is the place to go if you are looking for a real piece of Americana and Hudson Valley history.

* Thank you Rayann for taking the time to share the stories about the treasures in your shop *

Rayann's Creative Instinct antique shop, vintage

The bricks and mortar shop

Rayann’s Creative Instinct is located at 105 Partition Street, Saugerties NY 12477

(845) 246-4492 or rfatizzi@yahoo.com  More finds on Etsy and Facebook.

Check out the excellent blogs from Empress of Dirt and Jill Ruth for ideas on recycled items for the garden. What vintage items do you use in your garden?


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