Quarantine Series: Outdoor/Garden Items

It’s June and the sun is shinning so I thought we should talk about outdoor items this week. Our start to outdoor/garden season was rudely interrupted by a pandemic, that you may have heard about. We usually start bringing in new outdoor items in early March and don’t stop until it fells like autumn is starting to arrive. However things got a little discombobulated this year due to the covid19 shutdown. Most of our outdoor items have arrived now, though a few never shipped due to the shutdown, and will have to wait until next year. Like most everything else we carry at The Barn, we carry new and antique outdoor items.

We can never get enough antique outdoor items to meet the demand. Whatever we collect throughout the winter we put into storage and when spring arrives we start bringing items in. Some items we paint, others we just clean up. We always manage to collect benches, table and chairs sets, planters, plant stands, and more. We also collect items like wooden ladders, decorative iron pieces, rough wooden items, etc.. Things that weren’t originally intended for outdoors, but often get repurposed these days. However we usually sell out of a lot of our antique outdoor items pretty early in the season. More items show up from time to time during the summer and into the fall but they generally don’t last long. If you pop in on the right day you just might get a great outdoor antique piece.

Some of the antique and vintage outdoor/garden items we have in stock as of the writing of this article include: a 3 piece deck set in need of cushions [chair, platform rocker, and 3 seater settee], pair of large fiberglass planters, iron gates & railing pieces, iron room divider, shutters, 2foot resin planter, pub table, 3 pub table iron bases [if someone wants a project], wooden stepladders, iron & marble tea table, pair of bamboo chairs painted red, large terracotta planter, nail barrel plant stand, 3 sizes of teak plant stands, iron tricycle, cast iron umbrella stand, lobster cage, garden tools, wheel planter, lots of crocks, and buoys. If you really want to get carried away and make an impressive outdoor display we have lots of old barn board, a sleigh, and an antique cutter sleigh.

Newly made outdoor items are a whole different story. Those we are able to keep well stocked from early spring into the fall. We even keep certain outdoor items stocked through Christmas due to their popularity as holiday gifts.

What we stock has changed tremendously over the years, as styles and the market for outdoor furniture has changed. In the 1980’s wicker was enormously popular. There was a period of several years where half of the second floor of the Barn was nothing but wicker. Kamato road was the Broadway of wicker importers. There was more than a dozen major wicker importers on Kamato road. The largest warehouses were the size of aircraft hangers. One company even kept a fleet of golf carts in the warehouse to drive customers around because of the size. Because Kamato road is just by Pearson airport, and wicker was so popular, we had trucks going back and forth several times a week during the height of the wicker crazy. All the wicker importers are now long gone from Kamato road.

In the 1990’s cast aluminum from Mexico was the big seller. After that in the early 2000’s the most popular outdoor lines were made of teak. Then came resin that looked like wicker but lasted longer outside. Those were just the staples, we’ve always carried a variety of other outdoor items. We even used to carry a line of large fiberglass fountains that came in replicas of world monuments.

These day’s there are lots of outdoor furniture stores where you can get the standard outdoor furniture. So instead we have taken a different approach to outdoor in recent years. We’ve gone with the fun and whimsical. And now more then ever we can all use a little whimsy. You can check out the last section on our Reproductions page for photos of a sample of some of the outdoor/garden items we currently have in stock. It should also be said that lots of our outdoor items can also be used indoors. The best example of this is the teak root coffee tables from our Nature Form line. They look great inside and out.

Metal birds are our current best sellers for outside. We currently have in stock: pink flamingos, blue jays, cardinals, owls, cranes, herons, roosters, sandpipers, pelicans, and geese. Many of the birds come in different sizes and poses. Some of the other new outdoor items we currently have in stock include: large bobblehead garden gnomes, smaller humorous garden gnomes, kinetic wind spinners, Cast iron benches, yellow butterfly benches, a cool working rusted fountain, pagoda lanterns, 3 piece bistro sets, cement urns, plant stands, porch gliders, fish & turtle wall planters, iron animals[pigs, elephants, horses], arbours, metal scarecrows, and more. So if your yard is in need of some whimsy, pay us a visit!