Archives for posts with tag: Patio

antique_painted_ gathering_garden_

Hand-made blue rice-gathering basket from Tibet. Made from bamboo and reeds

Rayann’s Creative Instinct is a store in the village of Saugerties in NY. It is chock-a-block with antiques from the Hudson Valley, a rural region of New York State, about 100 miles north of NYC.

The owner, Rayann Fatizzi has decades of experience procuring vintage furniture, decorative tchotchkes and antique sculpture from local sources and overseas. She also creates unique jewelry and pictures from recycled trinkets, fabrics and graphics. Here in the Hudson Valley, vintage items and historical artifacts are used as decorative items in gardens – there is a unique Hudson Valley style.

Garden Sculpture

I love sculpture in the garden because it provides interest even when the flowers and plants die back in the Fall. It provides a focal point in areas where it is hard to grow plants, such as dry shade.

In the winter  protect outdoor sculpture from the severe weather and low temperatures (click here for advice) or bring it inside.

This marble statue of a smiling monk is from Tibet.

A sculpture of Buddha

A stone sculpture of the head of Buddha. The stone contains marine fossils and is very heavy!

Head of Buddha – a calm presence in the garden.

Baskets and Containers

Vintage basket made from corn cobs hanging in the window of the shop

Vintage basket from New Hampshire hanging in the window of the shop.

This basket includes two rows of dried corn cobs. Rayann noted “This is a rare basket, I’ve never seen one like this before”.


Perfect for your garden tools – a hand-made wooden tool caddy.

Use wooden boxes and containers for garden storage or display as decorative items.

Gorgeous hand-carved wooden 'baskets' with smooth finish

Gorgeous hand-carved wooden rice gathering baskets from Tibet

Garden Furniture

Rocking Chair

Rocking Chair

According to Rayann “This Shaker rocking chair is over 100 years old, originally from Massachusetts. The basket is an apple gathering basket from a local farm in the Hudson Valley.”

The wooden rocker is a traditional piece of furniture on a porch. I love the faded zigzag woven seat and back.

Dark blue mini cabinet with drawers

Dark blue mini cabinet with drawers

Rayann provided some interesting history “This piece was hand-made by a gentleman in Kingston who repaired lamps. He worked in his home-shop. The drawers were made from vintage cheese boxes.”

For the gardener, this tiny cabinet could hold small tools, packets of seed and all those snippets of string and twine.

Vintage couch made from bamboo

Vintage couch made from bamboo

Relax in style! This beautiful bamboo sofa would look lovely on an enclosed deck where it would be protected from the elements. Rayann told me it came from the estate sale of a woman who collected Asian furniture.

Vintage Pepsi drinks cooler

Vintage Pepsi drinks cooler

A little rusty, but still brings back memories of happy summer days – this Pepsi drinks cooler could be refinished to it’s original paint scheme or left as is, depending on your preference.

Garden Lanterns

Pretty painted lantern

Hand made painted lantern with pressed glass side panels. Shabby Chic!

Light up your yard during the warm evenings of summer and fall.

Red oil lanterns

Red oil lanterns

Railroad workers used these red oil lanterns to send signals. (There was a huge rail system in New York State because people and goods traveled to and from NYC by rail. The system was dismantled in the 1970’s and now only two routes remain. Many of the routes were converted into ‘rail trails’ for walking)

Rayann mentioned “These lanterns are great for camping. In the summer people put them on their porches or hang them from a shepherd’s crook in the yard”.  Take a look at Jill Ruth’s wonderful blog for inspiration (below)

vintage oil lantern and galvanized tank used as flower bed

Vintage lantern as garden accessory. The large galvanized tank is a ‘raised bed’ planted with pretty annual flowers, cleome and african marigolds.

Tin lantern, country syle

Tin lantern, country style

Add a candle or tea-light to this tin lantern and enjoy a peaceful evening outside.

Garden accessories – Galvanized Steel or Rust?

Milk container from a Hudson Valley farm

Milk container from a Hudson Valley farm

Rusty milk container from a local farm.

Galvanized containers

Galvanized containers

Nowadays galvanized metal containers are very popular as decorative items and as planters for flowers and succulents. Galvanization is the process where  steel or iron items are coated with zinc to prevent rusting. These tubs and buckets were basic utility items on local farms, used for washing vegetables, laundry etc.

Here’s a collection of galvanized watering cans in a Hudson Valley garden – they are becoming harder to find as collectors snap them up (below).

vintage galvanized watering cans and buckets

Vintage galvanized water cans, buckets and oil cans in Hazel’s garden in the Hudson Valley

Rusty milk can

Rusty milk can

Out and about in the Hudson Valley, you’ll see a lot of these milk cans used as garden ornaments or bases for mail boxes. Here’s a newer one at Platte Creek Farm (below)

Milk can (with bird's nest!) at Platte Creek Maple Farm in Saugerties NY

Milk can (with bird’s nest!) at Platte Creek Maple Farm in Saugerties NY

Rayann explains “the milk cans often the have the name of the dairy on them.”

black vintage milk can with 'Southern Dairies Inc.' painted in white lettering

milk can from Southern Dairies Inc.

More rusty chic…

Wrought iron wall hook

Wrought iron wall hook

Hang a  small wind chime from this hand crafted wall hook.

Star anchor weights

Star anchor weights, some have been painted white and blue

These rusty cast-iron ‘star anchor weights’ were used to strengthen brick walls in old  buildings. How about using them to decorate your shed or deck?  According to Rayann “The stars in my shop came from Texas where they are nailed on barns for decoration. A friend had a country store in Texas that she closed up and I bought them from her. They are known as ‘Barn Stars’ down there.”

They can still be seen on the walls of industrial buildings in the Hudson Valley (below).

Anchor weight stars in a brick wall

Anchor weight stars in a brick wall

Bird Houses made from recycled materials

Cute bird house

Cute bird house

As Rayann explains “I designed this bird house and my husband built it – I pick out the bits and bobs and he nails them in place. There are two vintage tiles from the 1940’s on the roof of this bird house.”

Here’s the back-story behind the tiles. “My husband’s friend was a renovator and was working on a 1700’s stone house. Underneath the house he found hundreds of tiles, some were from the 1940’s and some from the 1700’s. I think the previous owners re-modeled their kitchen in the 1940’s and chucked the 1700’s tiles under the house. Then the kitchen was re-modeled again more recently and the 1940’s tiles were left under the house, which is where we found them”

A recycled cowboy boot made into a bird house.

A home in the country!

Reuse, recycle – this old cowboy boot is now a bird house. Re-purpose and provide habitat for birds!

Decorative Weather Vane

Rooster weather vane

Rooster weather vane

Looking for something for the garden shed or garage? This reproduction primitive metal rooster is a reference to the American farm-yard. Check out the spurs on his legs!

The Shop

The 'Rayann's Creative Instinct' store in Saugerties NY

The ‘Rayann’s Creative Instinct’ store in Saugerties NY

Rayann’s Creative Instinct is the place to go if you are looking for a real piece of Americana and Hudson Valley history.

* Thank you Rayann for taking the time to share the stories about the treasures in your shop *

Rayann's Creative Instinct antique shop, vintage

The bricks and mortar shop

Rayann’s Creative Instinct is located at 105 Partition Street, Saugerties NY 12477

(845) 246-4492 or  More finds on Etsy and Facebook.

Check out the excellent blogs from Empress of Dirt and Jill Ruth for ideas on recycled items for the garden. What vintage items do you use in your garden?



Inside – the tulips are blocks of color that pop. Outside – two foot of snow, sheets of ice and sub-zero temperatures.

The Spring Garden shows at Adams are held every March. The shows are setup inside and last for one week. There is a different garden show at each of the four Adams stores (Kingston, Wappinger, Poughkeepsie and Newburgh).  Adams is a family business which developed from a 1900’s farm stand where they left a ‘cigar box’ for customers to leave payment for produce.

  • The shows in Newburgh and Poughkeepsie are usually scheduled for the last week of February
  • The shows in Kingston and Wappinger are usually scheduled for the first week of March
  • check store websites for details!
Wooden sculpture, black bear with blue jay,

Hand carved wooden sculpture of a black bear holding a blue jay

Phil Burley, the Garden Center Manager at the Kingston store was kind enough to explain how the show is produced.

“The Poughkeepsie Landscape Design team create the show. The Kingston staff, including Jason Becker, the Nursery Manager, clear the space and help with the planting, installation and finishing details. People really appreciated this year’s concept – the rustic Adirondack look.”

Weeping cherry tree,

Weeping cherry tree at the side of a ‘creek’ surrounded by spring flowers

“The bulb stock comes from a grower, when the plants arrive they are in the ‘tight bud’ stage, ready to bloom during the Spring Show.  They are placed in the flower beds still in their pots which are covered with mulch.”

Stream with waterfall,

Creek with waterfall

The show includes both natural and artificial stone, a fork lift is used to place the large boulders. There is usually a water feature, this year it’s a natural looking miniature creek with a waterfall.

Fish fountain with sparrow,

Fish fountain – the water flows into the creek

Water always attracts wildlife and there was a pair of sparrows flitting round the fountain. (Previous shows have included Mallard ducks)

Bird sculpture with pansies and chrysanthemums,

Bird sculpture with purple pansies

Fox sculpture,

Red Fox, often seen in the Hudson Valley

Wildlife sculptures are dotted among the flowers.

Garden wall made from stone,

Circular stone wall

Stone patio,

Stone patio with metal garden seat

This patio is constructed with broken blue stone and boulders. The grass in the cracks was planted by hand – one of the many finishing touches that makes the show so impressive. The larger plants are added on the Monday before the show and the bulbs are added last.

Cedar garden structure,

The rustic ‘log home’ is constructed from red cedar logs.

Wooden sculpture, bear and salmon,

Hand carved wooden bear sculpture

In front of the log home is a wooden sculpture of a grizzly bear holding a salmon, this is a hand-made piece. A local folk art tradition, bears are carved with axes or chain saws.

Daffodils and Lilac,

Daffodils and Lilac

You would not believe how lovely the fragrance is! Flowering shrubs such as lilac and small evergreen trees  were put in place about one week before the show opens.

“It’s the temperature that makes the shrubs and plants flower. Mark Adams (son of the owner of Adams Stores) runs five acres of wholesale greenhouses behind the store in Poughkeepsie where he grows some of the annuals used in the spring shows.  The landscape crews sets up small greenhouses in the larger poly house to force the trees and shrubs to bloom just in time. Over the years Mark has gotten the timing down to a science.”

Pieris Shrub in bloom,

Pieris Shrub in bloom

I asked Phil if he had any advice for gardeners in the Hudson Valley:

  • “At this point, it requires patience, it’s not a good idea to do too much work when the ground is very muddy because the soil can become compacted, forcing out air and water pockets that plants need. In Vermont they call this the Mud Season!”
  •  “The prolonged cold temperatures have caused White-tailed deer to be more of an issue this year. The snow has prevented them from finding food and they have traveled and browsed more than usual.”
  •  “The cold winter wind increases transpiration. This and the extra cold temperatures means the roots cannot supply moisture fast enough to the plant, which can cause single branches or possibly the entire plant to die. After determining this, it’s a matter of pruning and removing the dead material.”
  • “Local people are concerned about GMO crops and absence of pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Many seed companies stated that their seeds are ‘GMO free’ this year. Adams stores do not sell GMO crops and offer organic and traditional produce. They source from local farms wherever possible and the Adams family supports many local organizations and charities.”
rock sculpture and vines,

Rock sculpture in the creek with wild grape vines behind

I love the Spring Shows at Adams, to me they are a welcome sign that spring is on the way – keep an eye out for the Adams Spring Shows in 2015!

English Ivy arch and drystone wall garden, from

View from the street

The historic 1864 building was abandoned for 15 years before Rickie and James Tamayo, proprietors of the popular B&B Tamayo, renovated the building and transformed the adjoining vacant plot into a unique garden.

Dry stone garden wall and pillars, from

Garden entrance

English Ivy arch and metal garden gate, from

Enter the garden through an ivy covered arch

English Ivy Arch

Blue stone path, pergola in background

The garden was originally an outdoor dining area for their restaurant (now closed) – the blue stone patio with tables and chairs was screened from the busy road by a stunning dry-laid blue stone wall. The path in the center of the garden now leads to the B&B.

English Ivy arch covered in snow, from

Ivy arch, from within the garden looking out to the street

As Rickie explains “In the winter, the bold elements, the walls and arch hold the garden together. The ivy covered arch is most beautiful in the snow. All of us want to see the green ivy leaves peeking through the snow to remind us of spring.”

Dry stone wall, blue stone, from

Dry-laid blue stone wall,

“We value natural materials and blue stone is native to our area. We love working with different artisans.  Sean Fox (Master Stonemason) was a young stonemason when he built the wall. Several people we asked did not want to build a dry-laid wall with pillars to that height, but he is wonderful to work with and very talented, he built a work of art.”

Boston Ivy in Winter, from

Boston ivy (leafless in winter) on building wall

The building was originally covered in Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) which is still flourishing today – in the fall the leaves turn a beautiful copper color which is a nice contrast to the English Ivy in the garden. Rickie and James chose English Ivy (Hedera canariensis) because it’s evergreen and there’s no leaf litter to pick up.

English Ivy and drystone wall, from

Beneath the arch, looking out at the wall

Jean Hunter a customer,  brought them eight cuttings of ivy from her beautiful garden on the Hudson River ; one cutting for each upright on the arch.

English Ivy from

The ivy is supported by chicken wire which is attached to the top of the arch

Rickie knows the old adage about English Ivy –

First year, it sleeps. Second year, it creeps. Third year, it leaps! 

It took about three years of careful work to get the ivy to fill in on the arch. “We used butcher’s twine (from our restaurant kitchen) to carry the ivy from one metal run to the next until it covered the arch.”

vintage metal gate with ivy detail, from

Vintage metal gate with ivy leaf detail

The auction house is no longer there, but Rickie remembers “We bought the metal arch at Danny Malone’s old auction house on Livingston Street in Saugerties. The metal gate includes decorative ivy leaves – we wanted something that would look looked pretty before the ivy grew over the arch.”

English Ivy, from

Elegant hanging ivy stems

A low maintenance garden, they periodically trim any low hanging strands of ivy and add flowering annuals in the summer.

vintage metal birdbath, from

Vintage metal bird bath from Danny Malone’s auction

vintage metal garden urn, from

Vintage metal urn, perfect for annuals in the summer

“There have been tons of different annuals over the years, recently we have been too busy dealing with renovations, but this year we will do more work on the annuals and the area around the pergola. It’s going to be an outdoor year! There’s way more shade than there used to be so we will take that into consideration.”

English Ivy covered pergola, from

Pergola with ivy and arborvitae evergreen trees from Augustine’s Nursery, Kingston NY

English Ivy stems, from

Ivy stems growing up the pergola, the aerial roots enable the ivy to cling to surfaces

Wind chime from Woodstock Chimes,

Wind chime hanging from the pergola roof

I asked Rickie if she had any advice for Hudson Valley gardeners:

“No advice! There are so many better gardeners, so many great gardeners in the Hudson Valley and Saugerties! I am a ‘Seat-Of-Your-Pants’ gardener, we used our imagination. For example we had a vision of how we wanted the arch to look and it turned out just as we envisioned it.”

“If you stand back down Jane Street (opposite the garden) and look at the wall and ivy arch – I just love the view. Tourists and locals come to the arch and take pictures, it makes them happy. It’s all about creating a great environment where you work and it’s important in a village like Saugerties to have beautiful space”.

Garden with blue stone wall and ivy arch,

This blue stone and ivy garden is an unusual and beautiful addition to the Saugerties Village business district.

* Thank you Rickie and James for being so generous with your time and talent,  and thank you for the interview! *

Here’s some relevant connections you may find helpful

Contact B&B Tamayo. James Tamayo is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. Services include cooking classes and parties, check out the website for details.

Contact Sean Fox, Master Stonemason at Authentic Stone Works, Hurley NY

Contact Augustine Nursery, Kingston NY

How to Propagate English Ivy

How to Prune English Ivy   

If you enjoyed this article, be a friend and share! 

Kiss My Feet

Kiss My Feet

There is a vacant lot at the side of this 19th century building where a penny candy store once stood. The candy store was demolished many years ago and the empty lot has been reclaimed. It is the site of the patio which is in the early stages of construction.


Looking for the perfect spot for the raspberry bush, for now it’s on the rocker which was found in the attic.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is sprouting at the base of the wall. The plan is to put  eye hooks in the wall and tie it against the wall with twine.

Antique Arch

Antique Arch

This wooden arch is from a different building nearby, the owners were replacing their front porch and gave the pieces to the owner of Kiss My Feet. The arch is now at the side entrance abutting the bluestone sidewalk.



Wild Grapevine

Wild Grapevine

A wild grapevine grows around the feet of the sculpture. It was used to make a wreath which was hung in the garden.


Some of the salvaged bricks from the demolished building are stacked neatly, ready for future projects.


The brick manufacturer's name was sometimes on the brick.

The brick manufacturer’s name was sometimes on the brick.

The bricks were probably manufactured locally from the clay deposits on the banks of the Hudson River. Brick manufacturers used this clay to produce millions of bricks over a period of three centuries – the last manufacturer closed in the late 1950’s. The Hudson Valley bricks were used in the construction of buildings in NYC.

I think it’s wonderful to see recycled items being put to use in a creative way. I can’t wait to see the finished patio and would love to post some pictures when it’s complete.

© Text and photos by Andrea Giarraputo for

%d bloggers like this: