Fabulous Frugal Find — Arbor Panels

by Katy on January 27, 2012 · 16 comments

So I was out running errands yesterday, when a pile of construction debris caught my eye. And in that pile was a broken up wrought iron arbor.

So yes, I swerved the mini-van over to take a closer look.

But what could I do with a broken arbor? There’s not really a logical spot in the backyard to set one up, and the front yard would look goofy with an arbor. I idled the car for a minute, (sorry, but it was cold out) waiting for inspiration to hit, (I have a firm rule about not bringing big hunks of junk home without a plan in place.) But then it hit me. I could use the panels as landscaping lattice and grow climbing plants on them! True, they were connected in an L-configuartion, but a screwdriver would easily separate them.

So into the mini-van they went!

Here’s a photo of the arbor panels, awaiting their separation:

And here’s a detail shot of the panels:

Won’t it look cool?

Winter time is normally not a primo time for garbage picking, but every now and then you hit pay dirt! (Or pay rust as the case may be.)

If you have a Fabulous Frugal Find to submit, please send it to me at nonconsumer@comcast.net. Please include your story, as well as a good photo, preferably with you in it!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, maker it do or do without”

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Carla January 27, 2012 at 11:47 am

Great find!! 🙂


Reese January 27, 2012 at 11:51 am

Oh. Ohhhhhh. Katy. This was a seriously good find! And they’re probably really sturdy too! (And who cares about rust? Nothing a little can of spray paint can’t handle!). These darn things can cost so much at a regular flower store or home improvement shop.

Two big big thumps up for this one 😀


Jo January 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I love your “two thumps up” – can I swipe it?


Katy January 27, 2012 at 7:08 pm

We can all spread the gospel of “Two thumps up!” It may have been a typo, but I LOVE it!



pisacano January 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Personally, I like the rust.


Katy January 27, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Even my husband, who usually groans when I bring home more your trash/my treasure was pleased.

Thanks for the “thumps up!”



That Other Jean January 27, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Oh, those are lovely! I’d probably find a place for them in my living room instead of putting them outside.


jen January 27, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I might bring it inside too, but what I originally thought was that it is perfect just like it is. I can just imagine some morning glories OR better yet, have you ever grown your own loofah sponges??? That is super frugal too. I grow them every year and we haven’t bought sponges for bathing or household scrubbing in years. You could plant loofahs, enjoy the vines and lovely yellow flowers, then harvest them and have sponges. I’m so excited….I wish I had found that lovely bit of rust!!!


Steady Plodder January 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

It will look great! There is a house on our street that has the same type thing with a climbing plant on it. It sits on the side of their house in front of their A/C unit.


Jo January 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I really like those as well.

Another two thumps up from me! (I like that too)


Karin January 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm

These are gorgeous, Katy — what a find! Thumping along here with everybody else and congratulating you on your eagle eye!


Rachel C January 27, 2012 at 8:06 pm

What a great find! I was looking at the corner of your house (next to where you have the trellis currently sitting) – could you just flip the trellis going the opposite direction to cover the corner and then you wouldn’t have to even take it apart?


FrancesVettergrrenVisualArtist January 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Ooh, lucky find. I have something very similar (but not free) sitting Ina very similar spot to where you have those. Mine is tied to the porch railing and has a clematis growing up it. Save a step…leave it attached and grow some pole beans in that pot. Scarlet runners have gorgeous flowers and you can eat them, too…


Liz January 28, 2012 at 6:38 am

This “garbage-picking” must be a regional trend. Here everything must go into the Dumpster; if one leaves something very large near the Dumpster the person who has it on their alley property is responsible for its disposal.

I have noticed around the neighborhood that when home renovations are being done, the construction company has a portable Dumpster out front for taking the debris away. I am sure great finds are being hauled away, but those are the city ordinances.


Katy January 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

It wasn’t actually in a dumpster, it was part of a pile of construction debris in front of an old house.

I don’t actually do official “dumpster” diving.



Dmarie December 29, 2023 at 4:32 am

definitely two thumps up from me too!! (Picturing the movie Bambi’s Thumper the rabbit happily thumping.) And I’m sure it’ll look great separated, but for what it’s worth, I also think it looks awesome just as it is, just where it is. Great find!


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