R123: Rethinking Rust

My love of the rusty and discarded – the barrels are my best example so far of re-purposing. This Landscape Architecture Office was my first inspiration. I started loving this look, as an already accepted design trend, long before I knew about Peak Oil or sustainable living. For me, the most appealing aspect is the juxtaposition of the living, green plant life next to the rust. The counterpoint of the stones (or concrete) is that neutral that anchors it all in my opinion.

Recently I thought about all of the rust in my landscape and the look of rust in my painted mobile home. What is funny is that I have such a strong sense of what it will look like filled with new plant life that I forget the plant life isn’t there yet. Yes, I have some huge pines towering over me, a huge fichus, another small tree and bunch of succulents. But all of the bushes, vines, grasses, etc. I see in my mind’s eye just don’t exist yet.

This photo was taken when I first painted the driveway and had everything pulled to the sides.

Notice that in the back I hung cans off the fence to grow flowering vines up the rusted metal mesh grid above. This concept was to create a living wall between the neighbors closely spaced lots.

I decided this week to take down all of the cans filled with dirt because it isn’t a very sustainable plan. I just don’t want to try growing from these cans again. The plantings would require me watching really closely and watering almost daily. That is just not a good idea. Yet, I need to get flowing vines planted in the ground below. I only have a tiny strip of earth. We shall see.

Today I am late posting as I have been working on listing my new heirloom seeds and working on a new planting plan. I had prepared my proposed plan thinking I would only be able to find smaller sized pots. I lucked out in getting the larger size. So, I have finally figured out what I want to plant and need to get it planted and watered today or tomorrow.

Update: I left out one of the main reasons I love all of the rusty elements. I think it is funny that the look of rust in a mobile home park can be so welcoming, conscious and healthy. That is my vision - to shake up our perceptions. I want to turn pervasive notions of good / bad, right /wrong, up /down, and other binary preconceptions upside down and rightside out . . .

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