In the Potting Shed: Blooming Tole Trays and Flowers!


Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? My weekend was productive and with some glorious bird-chirping weather and Carolina blue skies to help me whistle while I worked.


I’ve been itching to play in my Potting Shed and do some container gardening now that our threat of frost is over. I promised myself that would be my reward if I did some spring cleaning and shed-keeping first.


I have a small collection of tole trays that I’ve picked up over the years at antique malls or flea markets.


Some more shabby than others, but with the perfect chippiness and patina of faded flowers to pair with terra cotta pots, rusty garden tools and old mason jars filled with flowers.


I recently added a double-sided metal sign to plant in my Potting Shed! I was giddy when I found this Rawson’s Gardening Handbook Sign inspired by a magazine ad from 1888, freshly picked at Antique Farmhouse.


“Garden, Field & Flower Seeds, Plants, Bulbs and Garden Requisites. W.W.Rawson & Co.s Hand Book for the Farm & Garden.”


I planted my ladder with a bird house, some chippy drawers and some blooms. . .


The last of the bridalwreath spirea that’s beginning to fade. . .


And some snowball virburnum and azalea.


Ball Jar Bouquets are filled with the last of the wisteria, white spring flowers from our laurel shrubs, and Chinese snowball viburnum.


The “snowballs” resemble large hydrangea blooms, which start out green, changing over to cream and then white.



A vintage American Family Scale is weighing on tole love with a tole cachepot with azalea blooms.





And a pair of floral wellies are standing in as vases for some azalea blooms and spring green foliage.




So Many Seeds, So Little Yard ;)


Thank you for your visit!

  39 comments for “In the Potting Shed: Blooming Tole Trays and Flowers!

  1. Linda L
    April 18, 2016 at 7:31 am

    No wonder you were giddy, I’m giddy just looking at that great metal sign. Gorgeous post today!

  2. emily
    April 18, 2016 at 7:31 am

    So refreshing…..I love your blog….You have such an amazing collection of everything beautiful….How do you store all these lovelies!

  3. April 18, 2016 at 7:35 am

    Garden love – all of it!

  4. April 18, 2016 at 7:38 am

    All wonderful! Job well done so now you can start your planters…………:)

  5. Chris ott
    April 18, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I love Garden and plating flowers but I don’t like the bees

  6. April 18, 2016 at 8:46 am

    When I first saw that sign, I broke into a smile, I KNOW you were jumping up and down when you found it! Everything looks so fresh and clean, the black tole trays really make those spring blooms pop! You always make your vignettes look so natural and effortless, but I know they are the result of a creative artist’s eye…It’s heaven Mary!

  7. April 18, 2016 at 8:52 am

    Your photos are always such a visual treat! So many beautiful details to take in! I am on the hunt for a tole tray!
    love and blessings for a wonderful Monday!
    Lynda @ Gates of Crystal

  8. Sandi Allen
    April 18, 2016 at 9:04 am

    So Beautiful!! Love the tole trays!

  9. Ellen Stillabower
    April 18, 2016 at 9:11 am

    You are lucky to have those blooms..ours are just barely beginning!! We had a beautiful weekend!! In the 80s here in Indiana and loving it!! We opened our screened in porch all cleaned and ready for the season..we are supposed to have great weather all week..not like my relative that lives in Colorado with all that snow..he sent a pic and I could not believe how much snow they have!!! Anyway, your shed looks so neat and clean with all the fresh paint as well as all the fresh florals…have a wonderful day!!! ❤️🌻🌺🌼🌷🌸🍄

  10. April 18, 2016 at 9:13 am

    I’m s glad you had your just reward after all that cleaning, and you could play in my favorites potting shed, Mary. You’ve adorned her so gloriously with the trays, new sign and all the beautiful flowers.
    Enjoy your week puttering and planting!

  11. Janet O. Robinson
    April 18, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I love your post. I used to paint tole trays, and I have a few that I plan to put in my new shed my husband is building for me!! Thank you!

  12. Sandy Park
    April 18, 2016 at 10:24 am

    What a perfect sign. It was meant just for you. The shed looks wonderful – all clean and decked out with your beautiful flowers.

  13. franki
    April 18, 2016 at 10:27 am

    “SPRING has SPRUNG!!!” franki

  14. Linda
    April 18, 2016 at 10:32 am

    You make my day.I look forward to your post everyday.Yours is my very favorite. As a recent transplant to CA, it’s so nice to keep seeing beautiful pictures from NC…my home state. You keep me happy! Thank you and your photography is wonderful.

  15. Roxanne
    April 18, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Beautiful, simply beautiful! I love your new sign!! We enjoyed our South Carolina blue skies too…cleaning up flowerbeds, grilling outside, and watching my beloved hummingbirds – such a joy when they return. I picked arm loads of azalea blooms, snowball virburnum, and irises and sent friends home with fresh arrangements. There is nothing prettier than a Carolina spring!

  16. April 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I’m giddy just visualizing the joy of puttering and planting in your garden shed. The tole trays make beautiful accents with the real blooms. I gave my small collection of tole trays to a young friend who wanted to begin a collection. I’ve always thought they make a wonderful statement grouped together. I’ve admired that very garden sign too. It’s fantastic, and the shed is the perfect venue for showing it off.
    Garden shed joy!

  17. April 18, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Love everything , but that sign was a real find!!!

  18. Rebecca
    April 18, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Just Lovely! I so enjoy your potting shed and love being inspired by your decorating. Thank you for sharing!

  19. merrijo57
    April 18, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Here in Chicagoland, I am savoring our 6th sunny day & second 80+ day-in-a-row! Saturday it was 76–the previous Saturday it was snowing! Gotta be a bit crazy to love the Midwest😉. As always, I delightedly stared at every gorgeous detail of your pix–oh, such beauty, whimsy & visual design perfection you create! I purchased my first tole tray 2 yrs ago (motivated by your pix then) at a antique dealer’s liquidation. I love using it in spring/summer vignettes, & would love to find more. Unfortunately, they are usually exorbitant $$ here. Enjoy planting–my cold weather planting seeds grew by leaps & bounds during this week of ideal weather, but I must wait for annuals–our freeze date is mid May. It’s a lovely gift to enjoy your shared blooms vicariously!

  20. pam
    April 18, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    I just love everything you share with us; so much inspiration….and beautiful pieces to work with…thank you so much for showing us your creativity!!

  21. Shirley
    April 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Love your potting shed. I could spend many an hour in there! Your new sign fits in so well. Here in England we call the tole trays barge ware. You see buckets & plant pots decorated in that design on narrow boats.

  22. April 18, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Mary, the potting shed looks fresh and beautiful with the tole trays, azaleas, snowballs, spirea, and wisteria! What a gorgeous spring feast you have given us! Pam @ a Everyday Living

  23. April 18, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Stunning!! Love the use of the black tole trays! I would die for a potting shed like this!!

  24. April 18, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Great tole tray collection. Lovely flowers and charming vignettes. Enjoy your planting.

  25. Morwenna
    April 18, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Your beautiful blooms are helping me get over my winter blues. Living in CO, spring snowstorms are the norm.

  26. April 18, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Lovin’ your new sign Mary, and the Potting Shed looks spic-and-span:@) Have fun!

  27. April 18, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I love your Potting Shed. You always have it decorated so pretty. Glad that your Spring has arrived and you can play with your flowers. Enjoy your Spring week.

  28. April 18, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    What a great change…you said you cleaned, but you redid the whole thing. Looks Fab…and the hand sign is to die for.

  29. April 18, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    As soon as I saw that sign at Antique Farmhouse I thought of you! SO glad you got it, it is perfect in your amazing shed. All of your blooms are so beautiful, we have nothing blooming yet. I should ride by the old house to see if any azaleas are blooming yet.

  30. Vicki and Lyle White
    April 18, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I love your blog & many of your recipes,however,I do wish you would make a 1 or 2 page printable version of your recipes. It seems such a waste to print 7 pages for 1 recipe that could be printed on one page.

    • April 19, 2016 at 5:45 am

      Hi Vicki, Are you printing the entire post with photos? On 90% of the recipes, you’ll find printable link near the bottom of the post that will direct to a site to print the one or two page recipe.

  31. April 18, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    Love the Tole trays! Everything is so pretty!!!!

  32. Shannon
    April 19, 2016 at 9:26 am

    Love your flowers! Love your potting shed! Love your photography!

  33. April 20, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    The tole trays are such a perfect thing to shine in your potting shed. You certainly have a beautiful collection. What a great find of that Rawson’s reproduction sign…what a wonderful piece for the shed. Of course, this shed makes us happy and giddy too….thanks so much for sharing your passion with us! We truly benefit from it!

  34. rattlebridge farm -- foodie friday
    April 22, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    The tole trays are in full bloom, so joyful and beautiful. Love your shelves, the great book find, the tools, and the floral wellies. The sign is a show-stopper, just perfect! I’m going shopping today for wave petunias!

  35. April 24, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Mary, I don’t think I realized how many wonderful tole trays you have. I love them. They are the perfect addition to your shed’s decor. I see the tole planter too. I have one which I use everywhere and would love another! Hope you are having a glorious day. Linda

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