window dressing

it’s spring!!!! i am so excited to be writing a backyard post. there was a part of me that thought the warmer weather was never going to touch down in toronto ever again. but with spring, and the snow melt, comes that inevitable yard survey and a big sigh. same as i never thought warm weather would come — but it did — it’s also hard to believe my garden beds will fill in again — but they will.


but, for the moment, the beds are mostly brown and, because of that, all i can see is my really ugly chain link fence. with regrets, we did not replace this fence when we did fencing a few summers ago. and now we’ve done so much landscaping that i doubt we’ll ever get around to doing it. it definitely won’t be this year; the mudroom is our big project and it’s starting in less than two weeks, thank god.


so i set about trying to mask the ugliness of chain link with antique windows. right? i already put antique doors in every doorframe of the house, and, obviously, i love old windows, too. our windows are super old (’80s) but they’re nothing like these. if they were, i’d never replace them, r-value be damned. no, these windows came out of a 100-year-old house in pefferlaw, ontario. i know this because i drove there to buy them for $10.


they were being sold “as is.” they were (are) pretty rough. but i didn’t want anything super nice; it’s just for the garden. you (might) notice from this photo — our veggie garden is gone! we had to pull it up so that the crew would have room to work on the mudroom. it will go back, in time.

IMG_3912i got two six-pane, one four-pane, and one two-pane windows. i set to work shop-vac’ing and sanding; that’s really all i wanted to do. they’re going to be out in the rain and they’ve seen their fair share of seasons. i wore a super mask because i’m certain there were layers of lead paint on these guys.

IMG_3920IMG_3913they all cleaned up pretty nice! terry from pefferlaw had about fifty windows and doors for sale. he said to tell my friends, so that’s what i’m doing. drive to pefferlaw! eat breakfast at renee’s! ask for terry. alternative: kijiji “antique windows” and you’ll get about eight pages of results on any given day. but the $10 price tag on these made it worth the drive to pefferlaw. all the local (leaside, beaches, etc.) ads were asking at least $100 / window.


to hang them on the fence i used hooks ‘n’ eyes. i drilled a pilot hole 6″ in on two sides, screwed the eye in, and then a little s-hook for securing to the fence.


on the way home from pefferlaw, pierre and i stopped at this great place: antiques on 48. it’s on highway 48, south of sutton. worth the stop! (plus they have a coffee drive-thru.) for $30 i picked up these two enamel canisters. they were used formally for medicinal purposes, probably to administer enemas. yes. but now they hold my herbs.


you’ll remember i mentioned that we had to pull up our veggie garden. it’s temporary, but we might not get a chance to put veggies in the ground this year. once our mudroom renovation starts, it will be several weeks or a month until our yard is “ours” again. so at least i will get basil and parsley this summer. i may make a few more herb pots out of some recycled cans. cilantro and mint are other necessary summer herbs. these may get added to the fence in the coming weeks. more reasons to love chain link! i should have been treating this fence like a peg board for years.

IMG_3930IMG_3932these windows almost make me happy we have a chain link fence! once the plants start to fill in again, i think this will be a really pretty bed. it’s an infinitely better view from my breakfast bar.

okay, i think, i think, my next post will be mudroom demo!! i am so excited. and stressed.

One thought on “window dressing

  1. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my readers
    would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

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