life is like a box of chocolates...

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 you never know what you're gonna get. 
forest gump

or "find" in this case!



It was on a visit to our local quarry to check out their gravel color (every quarry produces a different color based on the stones they are quarrying) that I made a wonderful find!  As we drove around the huge quarry looking for the gravel I found....



...this pile!  Be still my heart!
I love all things iron, so my heart started to beat faster as I pointed and squealed  "LOOK!" to Dan.  He's fond of iron too, so lets just say at one point the employees drove up to check on us since we had been gone so long and they were afraid we had driven over an edge of the quarry!



This was just a pile of "scrap iron" to them, but to me it was a gold mine!!  I immediately start a running dialogue of all the things that one could make using the large iron pieces!  All the while honing in on this one thing,...



... this huge iron piece!
In my eye I saw a fabulous planter for the courtyard, but in reality it was a machine part for the huge rock crushing machine.  Isn't it absolutely beautiful?!  Ahhh, the patina.




Seventy dollars later ($50 for the "planter" and $20 for the man to deliver it to the house) it arrives.  You can see how big it is as this is a full size pick up truck.




It is then chained to Big Blue to transport up the drive.















This is the "courtyard."
It faces West- the road side of the house, though it can not be seen from the road.   It is bordered by the barn on the left (the bump out is the half-bath which we added that is accessed from the barn room), the kitchen on the back and the reading room in the farmhouse on the right.  This area is one of our many outdoor projects (the gravel is being installed on the barn room terrace as I type)  that we are working on right now.  We started to landscape only last Fall starting with the front bed.   We are also working on putting in a bed to the right of the courtyard in front of the reading room and living room bay windows.  Everything in this "front drive" bed will bloom white.
The courtyard will be laid with grass and there will be Limelight Hydrangeas planted in front of the air conditioning units to hide them.  I will plant three Maiden grasses (Miscanthus sinensis "Gracillmus") that grow to six feet in the iron planter.  The large ornamental grasses will provide soft, graceful movement to an otherwise static space.




I find the planter to be a wonderful focal point for the courtyard.
Here you see the grasses sitting in the planter, hydrangeas sitting in front of the ac units and the front drive bed all waiting to be planted!
Gotta run...  the plants are calling!

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