My grate find

A friend called me up and said her neighbor had a great big old rusty grate out by the curb for heavy trash pickup. She couldn't use it and wanted to know if I could. I think I was there before she hung up the phone.

The grate has a sort of Turkish-inspired design to it, along with a patina of age (by which I mean it's got some rust and pieces missing).

I took the grate, not 100% sure what I'd do with it, only knowing that I'd use it somewhere. I also think that since the outside of the house acts as "walls" for my outdoor space, it's prime area to treated like in interior wall–with artwork.

So I hung it on the house. I have plans to build my version of an "outdoor kitchen" here, around my grill. It's being worked on as we speak, so to speak. It's going to be less of an outdoor kitchen and more counter space around the grill, as a typical grill (and by typical grill, I mean affordable grill) lacks any adequate flat surface area. There's barely enough room for a plate, barbecue sauce, and a couple utensils. Where is one to rest their gin & tonic?

I'll put a planter beneath it and plant something (next year!). I'll plant some things I'd want near the grill (basil, rosemary, a barbecued ribs tree), but want something to crawl up the grate. Maybe morning glories? Passion Flowers? What would you suggest? It's got to be an annual (in zone 6) as the planter probably won't be deep enough to overwinter anything.


  1. Looks like your color scheme is red, orange, and yellow. This year I planted a red mandevilla vine. Absolutely love it! It has bloomed nonstop from spring and on. Buy as big as you can afford.

  2. I was thinking mandevilla, too! But perhaps you want something low that won't grow into the gorgeous grate. Looks like your house is painted sage - maybe go for the understated look of tone on tone color with some chartreuse flowered Nicotiana 'Limelight'?

  3. I love that grate -- what a lucky find! I'm sure whatever you end up doing will look great.

  4. I'm not sure what you could plant in your zone, but I sure love the grate! Now I want one....hmmmmmm


  5. Sheila,
    Looks like I'll be checking out a mandevilla vine. I don't have one of those yet.

    Thanks. This'd look good someplace in your yard too.

    I definitely want something to grow up the grate, but I have other plans for planters along there and will check out Limelight.

    I'm never sure what I do will look great, but that's always the goal.

    Keep your eye out for a grate. They poop up when you least expect it. This is the second second-hand grate I've had. I made the mistake of keeping the first one with the house I had previously. I should have taken it, though I'd have ad to chop down the ivy growing on it.

  6. You could hang your cooking tools on it, then you'd have some place to put your drink.

  7. It's too pretty to cover up with plants. That's probably heresy but I love such objects and think of the great shadow patterns you'll get.

  8. Wow! It looks like it was designed for that space on your wall!

  9. I love to get lucky like that! Looks like you scored a good one.

  10. Clematis comes to mind.

  11. 3 suggestions:
    1. Do something to keep the rust from staining the deck and possibly the house.
    2. Hang it lower, so it does not straddle the band separating the shiplap and shingle siding.
    3. (Did I say I could count?)

    Given the pattern, I think it would look good as an open separation between 2 spaces - like lattice screening.

  12. ok, that is a really pretty grate. What was it used for previously?

    maybe contrast the curly shapes with something straight, like phormium pink stripe, which would be nice agains the grey wall and go with your other flowers.

    i really enjoyed this post.

  13. Claudia,
    Hang cooking tools? Egads! And, in all honesty, the drink never sets too long anyway.

    Ms. Wiz,
    I'd rather see a plant than a shadow! It does cause some cool-looking shadows though. Had I thought of that before I hung it, I'd have hung it even farther from the wall.

    I think it was. It was fate that brought me the grate.

    I did get lucky. I fell into this one. Didn't cost a cent. My favorite price.

    I do have clematis already in a couple spots. What I don't like about clematis is its short bloom time.

    Thanks for the heads up about rust. I hadn't considered that. I'll have to put a coat of sealant on it. I don't want to hang it lower, as I have plans fro the are below it for a counter top, posts on that to come.

    I don't know what it was used for. I do like the idea of a crawler for it, but have to admit I'm intrigued by doing something very graphic like the phormium. That might mak a more "designy" impact.

  14. I vote for sweet peas. Their fragrance is intoxicating and you do get a long run out of them. This year, mine are just now starting to bloom and I expect them to do so through frost. 'I expect' will probably do me in.

  15. Layanee,
    I hadn't thought of sweet peas! I may have to try different vines there each year to see what I like most! Something with scent right there just might be ideal.


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