Building REsources

According to the website, this is "San Francisco's only source for reusable, recycled and remanufactured building and landscape materials. We are a mix of old-fashioned junkyard, building materials store, remanfacturing facility and education center."


I came looking for some anti-gopher gardening ideas. I don't have gophers in my backyard garden (knock on wood), but they're pretty bad at my community garden plot.

Let's take a look around.


Old door gates make obvious candidates for trellises. You'd want to get a really nice one tho'. I think the one in front could qualify for some gardens.


And all this glass makes me want to build a greenhouse.


San Francisco still has lots of old buildings with old windows and old window frames. No surprise they would turn up here.


Do you know what these are?


These are the counterweights in old windows. They hold the window open when you lift it up.

Every old San Francisco residence has a mantle piece like this...


And this kind of plaster ceiling moulding for a light fixture.


Terra cotta sewer pipes. I've seen these used in a garden before--upright, in a line, at the back of a border and filled with succulents. I wonder if really long ones could be used to make interesting columns and focal points.


California used to have many terracotta manufacturers (now I understand there is just one) and some of downtown San Francisco's most beautiful old buildings have terracotta fronts or trimming that survived the 1906 earthquake.

All the sinks and bathtubs your garden could ever want...



They certainly do have lots of boards, and I like this washed-out white. That would give any wooden container a classic look.


What could you do with marble countertop in a garden?


Or the letter S?


Stoplight covers?


I recently started watching Project Runway--love it--and I'm thinking about the first challenge in the first season, where they take everyone to a grocery store, give them a small amount of money, and tell them to make an evening gown out of whatever they can find. Austen Scarlett chose corn husks. Even if I had a fabulous idea, I am not terribly handy. I'm more of a ready-wear kind of guy.

Put some hardware cloth under these and you have cool planters for herbs and trailers.


Something like this wouldn't fly in my home garden, but in a funky San Francisco community garden...could be perfect.

I was specifically looking for remnant lumber of some kind that I could build boxes or crates with, and sink in the ground to grow potatoes in.


What about a kitchen cabinet? Just take the doors off and voila.


Glass. To tumble and make mosaics with.



Or perhaps mulch.


Little points of interest.


The ultimate in kitschy garden ready-wear.


Stick some poppies or zinnias in here and voila.



Pam/Digging said...

Pam @ Digging says:

A friend used a leftover piece of marble as a table top in his garden. And I've seen old sign letters used to spell out people's names or garden names on garage walls. I rather like junk-yard art.

Christopher C. NC said...

I hate it when the satellite is being fussy and your pictures won't fully load. I have to come back later and try again. I wonder if the ISP's are not already allocating bandwidth to the big boys who will pay and slowing down us little people in the absence of a Neutral Internet law.

The glass was neat.

Frances said...

One of your best tours. You are so full of ideas too. I liked the kitchen cabinet idea as I have one just like that sitting in the garage. I was going to set it out at the curb but will now take the doors off, line it with something and a planter box is born. Thanks.

JvA said...

Glass as container mulch -- love it!

lisa said...

This is one of my favorite tours of yours, too....I just LOVE those kinds of places! Tumbled glass as mulch is a great idea, and the fence "trellis", and the cabinet planter, etc.....especially the terra cotta chimneys. Are their prices high? Funny how people decide to be "green" and a junkyard becomes vogue...good trend regardless of the reason, I say!

Blackswamp_Girl said...

I wouldn't use the marble as a tabletop, personally... too obvious. (I'm a pain in the butt like that.) Instead, maybe buried partway in the ground (or settled in between a couple of posts strategically set) as a wall?

You could totally use one of those taller terracotta tiles as a planter. I don't remember if it was Little & Lewis or that Hobbs guy who wrote the "Jewel Box Garden," but they did that and planted cascading succulents on the top.

Does it really get cold enough there to warrant a greenhouse?

chuck b. said...

Oh, a greenhouse would be fabulous. I would grow peppers, eggplant, and melons.

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

Mmmmm, sash weights. I've become familiar with them as we gradually get all 35+ sash windows in our 107 year old folk Victorian taken apart, removed, stripped, finished, painted and replaced.

I could use some extras.

There's a knack to tying the knot to get them back in without blocking the sash and without falling off once they're back in place. And it's important to keep track of which weights go with which windows. Otherwise you have some sashes that won't lift, and others that zoom up and smash into the top of the window frame when you unlock them. Don't ask how I know these things.

And in that pile of pretty glass, I think I spy a crack pipe. "Little point of interest," indeed.

Deviant Deziner said...

Every time I make a visit down to this area of S.F. I want to include a trip to this recycle yard but I spend too much time at Flora Grubb nursery and by that time business hours are closed.

Building Resources is going to put together a display garden at the 2008 Garden Show.
I expect it to be a stunner , what with all that great "Building Resources" that they have to work with.

I hope they can work in those colorful spot light covers.
.. .. .. Spot light covers, I love them. A couple of years ago I went as a giant blinking spot / street light to the Castro Halloween Party.
It was blinking fabulous !

chuck b. said...

Michelle, I live very close to Building REsources and Flora Grubb. The next time you visit this area of SF, you should come visit me too. :)