Thursday, May 15, 2014

Mailbox mini-makeover

My first title for this post was mini-mailbox makeover... but then thoughts of tiny little mailboxes started floating through my head and I realized I should change it.

It's the makeover that was "mini" not our mailbox.

Our mailbox, the same one that was here when we moved in, is just an ordinary... old... metal rural style mailbox.

It was a little beat-up and rusted when we moved in, but that's part of what I like about it. Like me, it shows it's age. ;) We did give it a coat of paint a few years ago, and I've painted our house numbers on the side a few times (the paint fades quickly in the hot summer sun), but mostly it was just a mailbox on top of a post stuck in the ground.

And then I had an idea... Wouldn't it look much better with a barrel full of flowers surrounding the post?

I had an old half barrel up by the house that I grew flowers in each summer. So, I had the barrel... I just needed to figure out the logistics of getting a barrel, so full of dirt I couldn't even budge it, up the driveway and around the mailbox post. Oh, and how would I get it over the post? The bottom of the barrel might... um... get in the way.

(A bad, blurry picture of the barrel in it's previous home by the garage:)

The other day I had one of those do-or-die moments and impulsively decided it was time for the barrel to move up the driveway.

First, I shoveled out about half the dirt in the barrel into a wheelbarrow.  That lightened it up enough that I could get a furniture dolly underneath it and lever it onto it's side and dump the rest of the dirt out.

True to form, once I reached that point... the point of making a giant mess... the point of no return... I had second thoughts. What if it didn't work??

I kept going though... I couldn't just leave the barrel and the mountain of dirt in the middle of the driveway.

Next I broke the bottom out of the barrel (luckily it was already pretty rotten...), leaving it more of a tube, loaded it onto a wagon and hauled it up the driveway. R helped me lift it over the top of the mailbox, and with some careful maneuvering it was settled on the ground around the mailbox post. I leveled and centered it as much as possible (the mailbox sits on the top of a steep slope) and headed back down the driveway to get the dirt.

It took two wheelbarrow loads to haul all that dirt up the driveway... As I shoveled it back into the barrel I had visions of the Post Office telling me I was breaking some official P.O. regulation and needed to move the barrel back down the driveway again. (Thankfully, that has not happened... yet!)

Barrel in place, dirt in barrel... now maybe for a little light.

Our road can be VERY dark at night, it can be hard to find our place after dark... so I thought a few solar lights might be nice.

I added some little round solar lights I found, and then... just for fun... I painted some rocks with glow in the dark paint and put them in too.

It was getting there but definitely needed some color...

It was time for flowers...

But I knew anything I planted up there would 1. be eaten by deer, and 2. have to be watered.

I'm not generally crazy about artificial flowers but decided they were the only way to go in my new planter.

I added some flowers I had leftover from a wreath I deconstructed, and some others from an arrangement I found at Goodwill.

Drumroll please....

My much improved mailbox:

I love flowers, and I love the friendly look of a planter full of flowers around the mailbox. They will also be a good "landmark" when giving people directions to the house... )

And... they don't have to be watered, and the deer won't eat them!


myfullcup said...

I had an old barrel like that around my mailbox when we moved it. But I took it out because a) it was rotting away and 2) it lacked curb appeal.

I tried to plant different things in it, but they always died. I never thought of fake flowers.

Lynn said...

This looks really nice! How does it look at night with the solar lights and glow-in-the-dark rocks??