Affordable Flea Market Gardening

Lisa Spears

If unique yard art appeals to you, then the flea market might be your shopping destination. Here are some tips to know before you go.

For me, flea markets hold a certain attraction. I actually have no idea what I’ll discover until I get there. Today I’m shopping for a container to add a pop of color to my garden. Maybe I’ll need to repurpose it, maybe not. More on that later…

If you’ve never been to a flea market and are thinking about going, here are a few pointers from this frequent flea-goer.

  • Weekends are the best time to go. Some shops stay at the market year-round and they are usually open on Saturdays. And the best selection of stuff by far is often found on Sundays when people from all over rent a booth and display their wares. These vendors are looking to unload merchandise so feel free to haggle.
  • Every vendor has a different selling strategy. Some vendors have price stickers on their items already, while others invite you to sift through their boxes of stuff and make an offer.
  • Bring cash for all transactions (there is usually an ATM on site somewhere) and parking.
  • Speaking of parking, arrive early. Park as close as possible to an entry gate, that way you can unload whatever you buy at your leisure. It’s more comfortable to shop if you don’t have to cart around a bulky object.

Back to my container shopping — the first one I found, while unconventional, was something you could hang on a fence maybe. The second one had potential, but it needed a pot. And the last one was heavy iron, but it had a stand, and at $10 was just right. Sold!

Of course, I had to personalize it. So I spray-painted the top portion turquoise and added bronze patina paint just to the detailed edges of the base. Now it’s a fabulous flea market find!

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