While driving around in the rain a few months ago, I spotted this old fireplace mantle leaning behind a dumpster with a bunch of junk piled on top of it. The dumpster was behind a furniture staging company – you know, the kind that stages homes when they go on the market? But this had clearly been here a long, long time and wasn’t being used by anyone.
I called the company and left a message, in my nicest voice possible, and lo and behold they called me back the next day and said if I could haul it away, I could have it!
Score! Dumpster diving at its best!
The perfect spot for a focal point wall!
This space has always been difficult to plant as it’s in the shade and anything planted has to compete with the neighboring tree’s giant roots.
With a little help from my hot glue gun, some of the shells from my ever-growing shell collection are finally being put to good use!
And the fact that these shells hold endearing memories of vacations past makes it all that more special.
I knew I wanted pots of trailing plants on top of the mantle, but was worried about water rotting this already weathered piece of wood. The solution was pretty simple. After placing the pots ‘just so’ we drilled large drainage holes along the top so the pots could nestle down in them and the water could freely drain. And, because the pots are sunk down in the holes, they’re less likely to be tipped over by wandering raccoons.
When I first put this up in March, we were hit with an unexpectedly wicked storm, which blew everything off the top of my mantle. Even the very heavy head. My beloved head broke into a dozen pieces, but my husband painstakingly glued them back together, using cement and chicken wire to fill in where needed and provide additional support. It’s great to be married to such a handy guy!!
We also secured the head to the fence with this black chain, and attached a piece of inexpensive jewelry to give him a little more ‘flair’. You can never have too many pieces of flair, right?
I wanted something to represent the flames, but whatever I chose had to survive in total shade.
Sansaveria can be a little ‘iffy’ in our area, but I’m hoping it survives the winter since it’s in a fairly protected spot. I love how they have the perfect ‘flame’ shape!
I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I planted the little begonias and mondo grass – but I like how they seem to flow out from the flames.
I love how the arched arbor frames it – sort of a ‘focal point within a focal point’!