Introduction to picking and salvaging: Ideas from Kathy Click
by Sandie Parrott
There aren’t many garage sales, estate sales, or items set by the curb for trash day that Kathy Click’s car does not stop at. If it’s salvageable, it’s hers. This includes plants, garden ornaments, furniture, and containers, as well as items for her home.
Her latest find is usually her personal best. For example, a crystal chandelier. “The guy was carrying it out to the curb and I stopped him,” said Click. “He said he had the rest of the crystals in the house.” Turns out it is an antique chandelier from the 1800’s with all of the crystals intact. It now graces the entrance to the hair salon where she works as an independent hairdresser. Then there was an adorable white wooden bench that is stenciled with, “Take time to smell the flowers.”
Other items on the gathered list include a patio set, coffee table, three chairs, a table, and a treasure chest she plants. She had to buy some cushions, a very small price to pay for heavy aluminum furniture. Her car may slow or stop by an item on the side of the road, but only quality salvageable items are actually taken. Asked if she ever put anything “pickable” out with the trash, she said, “Not much. I usually give it to someone before I would ever throw anything away.”
According to Kathy, the best times to find great pickable items: “Garage sales are everywhere in the summer, but start looking on Thursday before everything is gone. Of course, search on the scheduled garbage day. It doesn’t hurt to stop and look at something interesting. A great time is when a community has a special day when residents can put anything out for pickup—drive around early in the morning or, better yet, the night before.”
She also recommends you bring a friend to help lift larger items and a vehicle big enough for all the treasures!
Kathy Click’s gardening tips
by Sandie Parrott
To start a new garden where there is grass, Kathy Click begins by weed-whacking the grass—actually scalping the area. She then installs black plastic edging around the perimeter. “I like it because of the nice black edge and it is easy for the garden maintenance guys. Many people hate it, but it is cheap and easy for me,” said Click.
She then layers newspapers on the scalped grass, about ten sheets thick and overlapped. On top she adds a few inches of triple shredded mulch. After only 2 or 3 weeks she digs a hole and plants though the layers. “Most people say to wait longer, but this works for me.”
She sheepishly admitted, “I really don’t fertilize much. I use Osmocote in the spring and in pots, but that’s about it.” She also uses potting soil containing fertilizer and moisture-retaining crystals in her approximately 50 pots. Her garage is heated, so some go in the garage for the winter and some are treated as houseplants.
She “garbage-picked” (as she calls it) a compost tumbler, but doesn’t use it much. “I use it off and on. I put leaves in it, but I recently decided that I’m really going to start using it more,” she vowed. She also recommends using shredded leaves as mulch; she gets them from the crew that maintains the condo property.