I have an empty light pole in need of inspiration :)

greenfreak(Z7 NY)June 21, 2010

Hi everyone! I lurk here from time to time, oohing and aahing over your creations. I just love the energy of this board!

I thought of ya'll this weekend because it's come time to do something about a pole. The white, dirty one with the light on top of it in the picture. To the right is my shade bed, I finally finished planting there. The pots with sticks in them are so my 2 Labradors don't trample the delicate plants while they are acclimating. The orange piece is my rain barrel.

In the area covered with white cloth is our new grassy sitting area. It used to be part of my driveway and is ringed in belgium blocks. I have started to cover the other dirt areas with pine needles raked from locations around my neighborhood. (shh!) ;) I will remove all the pots and cans from the area shortly. The two bright chairs in the picture are part of a set of four that will go in the grassy area.

The light on the pole doesn't work. The electrical line running to my basement has been cut, and I honestly don't need the light anyway. It's in shade all the time so there's no chance of a solar light there.

Now for my questions! I thought I could paint the light fixture and pole to go better with the surroundings, but what color? Our patio is gray and orange, our house is gray, and the plants in that area will be varying shades of green, orange, yellow, and purple. The white kind of blends in with the fence.

Second question - what would you do with the pole? I was thinking of adding a plant hanger on one side and maybe making a sign on the other, something to have to do with gardening or Labradors. I have a lot of great gardening quotes to choose from, and I could try my hand at making my own sign. I could only hang from two sides in order to keep the walkway clear.

I would love any suggestions you have!! Thanks :)

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If the light doesn't work anymore, I'd turn the top into a bird feeder or plant something there.

Is mosaicing the pole an option? I'd do something that swirls around the pole and go heavy with black and a little gray in either the tiles/grout and then add much thinner swirls of color tiles like orange and green for pop.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:35PM
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I forgot to add, that you could also take the glass out of the light and put in a little bird.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:36PM
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hmmmmm.....a blank slate!!! how lucky you are!! I personally LOVE quotes -- they are my "thing", so I love that idea! If you didn't want to do signs, you could even paint the quote vertically right up the post. I believe a black-eyed susan vine will take some shade, so that's a possiblity if you wanted to hang signs with quotes and cover the post with an annual vine -- and since it's an annual, there's no big commitment, you could go in a totally different direction next year.

Just a couple of thoughts....

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 2:38PM
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I really like the idea of a bird in the light fixture, it kind of looks like a bird cage. The first thing that came to my mind was those old sign posts with the mileages on them. I like a bit of whimsey in the garden, so I'd put like (Hong Kong-2,000,000 miles) and some other fun places, real or imaginary. I love your rain barrel, where did you find it?

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Marlene Kindred

Welcome Greenfreak! Glad you came out of hiding and joined in! I love your lightpost and your rain barrel! Like the folks before me have said, you could use the old light fixture as the basis for a bird feeder or you could remove it completely and put a piece of statuary or something like an armillary there. Depending on whether you want the post to blend or "pop", I'd probably paint it white or dark green to blend or terra cotta or lighter green (like your shade plants) to pop. I also like the idea of a cool sign or plant hanging from a planter or even both on the same pole. Can't wait to see what you come up with...don't forget to post a picture...we LOVE to drool!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 4:27PM
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I think I'd paint it red, a glossy bright red. You can still hang a pretty piece of ornamental iron on the side of it and hang a potted plant on it. But gee that post looks like a great red thing to me. Cheryl

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:11PM
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It's really quite a personal preference for what color you paint it ... I like the earthy tone of your path & your terracotta color water barrel. I would love to see the light removed & a large fav pc of statuary mounted ont he post for your view from the new grass garden. A lovely pc of wrought iron with a hanging plant &/or sign would look great! Have fun & share pics! Jeanne S.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 12:46AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

I'm with seamommy - red is my vote!
I'd be concerned about mosaicing wood outdoors in NY, tho its a lovely idea, I think it would rot and fall apart.
It would be nice if you could somehow keep the lamp housing but still make a planter on the top.
A vine growing up would be nice. Yesterday at a garden center (Yeah I skipped work and went garden shpping with some girlfriends) I saw a post with a strip of bird netting (black) spiraling up it. It was pretty subtle but gave the vine something to hang on to.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 8:19AM
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greenfreak(Z7 NY)

You guys ROCK! I knew you would come up with something I didn't think of. It's funny, I always assume things like that I should leave that fixture there. But you're absolutely right, if it doesn't work, why leave it? The most creative I got with it was to paint each pane a different color for sort of a stained glass feel. And to remove the light bulb and put a candle in it instead.

I love the idea of the mile markers. My husband was born in Russia and I'm of Irish/Italian descent. We could do three signs in the flag colors from those countries and that would work all of your color suggestions in. :)

I could still do the quotes - I could combine that with the swirl idea and write the quote all around the pole, or just put one quote on one side...

Thank you for the compliment on my rain barrel! Here's a view from the other end of the path, taken before I finished planting:

That's one of my Labs Brinkley lounging too. :)

I got it from Gardeners.com. There are much cheaper ones out there but my husband wanted something decorative since it's next to our main entertaining area. I didn't mind the extra $ so much because I love the look! I actually wrote a blog about this barrel and how to find others (I linked below).

Thanks again for your suggestions, you've given me a lot to think about!

Here is a link that might be useful: My gardening blog

    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 10:25AM
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I was thinking a gazing ball on top of your post. I know some think they are old hat, but they are still colorful.

If you do the mile markers you could put a world globe on top, maybe add a good looking finial on top of it.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2010 at 1:21PM
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That's the prettiest rain barrel! WOW.
(and I totally understand rigging things to direct dogs attention elsewhere, LOL.)

I knew you'd get a lot of great ideas when I saw your question. The light is neat, so if you remove it, hope you find another garden spot for it. Be a pretty birdfeeder or planter or whatever. I like your idea of country flags and signs for them. With your house gray,
and you already having orange, yellow, and purple colors,
I'd stick with that theme I think. Red, or the pretty blue so many of us have, would kind of stick out more than you might want I think. LOL. But whatever you do, I am already sure its going to look wonderful and can't wait to see.

Hosta, I like the gazing balls too!
And Mme, I am totally NUTS about quotes. I save them all
the time (guess I collect them, LOL). I often use them as taglines on my other Forum (Holidays), and use to do them occasionally here. The funny ones are all the more funny cause they are usually TRUE!

hugs, Karen

"What I need right now is a strong drink and a peer group."

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 12:54AM
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Here's my idea ... I'd remove the electrical part of the light and turn it into a fake candle (you know the battery operated kind) lantern. I'd mosaic the glass on the shade with stained glass so that it'd offer a soft glow in the your shade garden when you are entertaining. It really is an attractive lantern. I'd paint the post something funky to match your fun chairs too. Just be sure to post a picture of what you finally do with it.

I always admired those pretty rain barrels but wondered what they'd look like in someone's yard. It's always hard to tell how big they are or how nice they look in the tiny pictures at the web sites where they are sold. TFS your pretty patio area!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 1:21AM
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greenfreak(Z7 NY)

One of my favorite quotes, which might not fit, is:

Who loves a garden Finds within his soul Life's whole; He hears the anthem of the soil While ingrates toil And sees beyond his little sphere The waving fronds of heaven, clear. Lousie Seymour Jones

I'd change the "he" to "she" lol

Maybe if I do a nice blue (which is complimentary to orange and gray) and then do the quotes in different colors...

Thanks again for all your feedback, I truly appreciate it. I get so inspired here!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 8:31AM
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Here is what I just did with a homemade lamp post I just got for free(made out of drain pipe!lol) I had mosaiced an old lamp shade and put a solar light in it, put that on the top, hung bird feeders off it, and added a sign I repainted(garage sale item .25!) I have yellow finches going crazy for this feeder station!!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 23, 2010 at 11:39AM
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No wonder the yellow finches go crazy for your pole, calamity_j, it is in their colors! lol! It's like a big sign saying, "Yellow finches are welcome here!" Great save for the pole and lamp shade.

Greenfreak, be sure to post a picture of the "after" lamp post!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 12:51AM
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My mind isn't working right now! lol
chemo brain! lol
anywhoooooo... I have only ONE idea.
I'd clean out the light and put in a big candle
or battery operated candle/soft light. I think that would
be pretty

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 2:02AM
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kelly_oh(OH z6)

Greenfreak, welcome. 1. Love your rain barrel!!!
2. as far as painting it, depends on your style, I like gaudy and bright, so I loved the red idea or cobalt blue, or my personal favorite is always purple. Another idea is to make it look aged - a friend showed me a website where this lady uses elmers glue over paint to make the crinkle effect, super easy and cheap. 3. What I thought of when I saw your pole was a post luvstoclick, or is it luvstocreate? sorry, I can't remember!! just posted about a website she found. If you scroll down mostly toward the bottom you'll see some lamp posts these ladies made with different light fixtures on the top. I'm obsessing about this now because I have a chandelier in the shed waiting patiently for me to do my thing to it. Anyway, they attached chandeliers or sconces to the tops of the pole, with sparkies dangling. I LOVE them!! you can usually find this stuff free or very cheap on craigslist or your local freecycle. Defintely post pictures when you are done!!

Here is a link that might be useful: mosaic eye candy

    Bookmark   June 24, 2010 at 4:09PM
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