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2012 A Year of Flowers & Gardens: Part One



After editing lots of photographs and cleaning out my computer files I realized how many photos we’ve taken this year. As the year 2012 draws to a close, I thought we’d take a stroll down memory lane and show the highlights of the year. From one of my favorite flowering shrubs the hydrangea to the wonderful “Fairy Garden” we made last spring and the countless others, sit back and enjoy this visual recap of the gardens we created in 2012 at The Antique Garden.

Hydrangea Madness in March!

Sedum wall hanging and new water feature

Bogart’s Container Garden

Arts in Bloom, Hagerstown Garden Club members Betsy Hardinge, Margaret Waltersdorf and I created a floral replica of this piece of Murano Art Glass in the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in March. 

Formal Urn Arrangement for Prep School Alumni Week-end

Whimsical Fairy Garden

Blooming Garlic is a beautiful sight in the garden!

Daylilies and lots of them in the garden border~~~

Pond Frog!

Wild Flower Queen’s Anne Lace looking elegant in the alley behind the store!  Mother Nature is awesome.

 The incredible Moon Flower, a night-blooming plant,  is closing up for the day.

We said good-bye to dozens of our fish in 2012,  as a wicked Blue Heron ate most of them.  I know they aren’t flowers, but I’m still venting….ah Mother Nature….

 Small Container Water Garden

Our front porch planter box is filled with Black Eyed Susan’s, the Maryland State flower.

Part 2 to be continued tomorrow,  as we wrap up the year with holiday flowering arrangements.   Happy Gardens Everyone and may 2013 be blooming!

Jenn at The Antique Garden

21501 Leitersburg-Smithsburg Rd

Hagerstown, Maryland

Email:  antiquegarden@myactv.net  we would love to hear from you!

Insiders Guide to Collecting for Fun & Profit

clark boots 005


I have been selling on-line for years now.  I first became hooked after seeing something familiar I owned show up on The Antique’s Roadshow television program.  Honestly, if I had not watched that episode I would have sold my piece of Newcomb Pottery for $10.00 at a garage sale.  Instead, I made plenty selling this item I liked, but wasn’t attached to, on Ebay.  Today, I have a bricks and mortar 1885 General Store in Maryland and I specialize in collectibles, antiques, primitives and things I just like. 

While my husband runs his plant business and is a Maryland landscaper,water-feature specialist and designer, I continue to stock our General Store and sell on-line.  I find if you have a good item, it generally will sell within a week or two on the internet.  Why wait in the store all day for the right customer  to walk in, when someone in California may want that vintage hat?  I continue to sell on Ebay but have expanded to www.RubyPlaza.com an on-line website and sell under The Antique Garden, aswell as this website.  Check out my links on the sidebar. 

If your buying for yourself, it is easier than if you are trying to buy for the public.  Believe me, I have made plenty of expensive buying errors and still occasionally do.  The good news is, the more you stick it out, the better one becomes at buying collectibles, or clothes, or antiques.  My general rule is buy what you love, then if it doesn’t work, you won’t be miserable.  Another outlet for “your mistake” buys, can be a once a year yard sale.  What’s left over can go to auction or to charity for a tax write-off. 

In the good weather, I am out the door most week-ends by 7 am, scavenging estate sales, auctions, flea markets and church rummage sales.  I have found incredible merchandise at these sources.  My best buy recently was an antique 19th Century piano shawl of Manton silk, that was a steal at a yard sale.  It went to a designer in Miami who loved it.  Of course with the good comes the bad, like when you get home and see the nick in a plate or small chip in a piece of Fenton glass.  A good eye takes time and patience. 

Red Pyrex large bowl is for sale!







This time of year, I love to hunt for bargains at The Good Will, Rescue Missions, BookSavers, Salvation Army, consignment shops and even antique stores.  Often you’ll find a underpriced gem at these places.  This week, I spent one morning going to these places and came home with a car full of fresh finds.  On this outing I found a red vintage Pyrex mixing bowl, very popular, Watt Pottery yelloware,  a Danish bird candle holder, Timberland Boots-in my size of course, vintage cookbooks–I love these, Easter bunnies, an American made pottery pitcher, Ironstone china and armetale candle sticks.   






 While work to some people, this is pure fun for me!   

Vintage trivet from Western Maryland.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Many of these organizations run by charities get brand new merchandise.  The Good Will often gets overstocks from companies all the time.  This Christmas, our local Good Will stocked all new Dept. 56 ornaments and accessories.  So if your buying for yourself, the family, lots of children’s clothes and toys, or to resell remember these sources, go often and you will get some amazing bargains.  Just try to buy what you enjoy and inspect the items carefully, and you’ll be sure to score.

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The Antique Garden-Renovations of the Store

Before photo of our store!

I was looking through some of my old posts on this site  today.  I decided to update this one with some newer photos.   We finally have completed our project of renovating the old general store in the historic district of the square in Leiterburg, Maryland.  When we first purchased the old store, it looked like a strong breeze would knock it down.  Check out the before picture below…..

Picture of the Old Store–imagine this is the first piece of real estate I’d ever purchased!

What were we thinking???  Slowly, very slowly we made progress.  With lots of sweat equity, heck we were freezing most of that time, we saw some progress.   The building needed everything.  A new porch was added, new electric wiring throughout the place, new paint, including the tin roof, and a sistern for adding a water supply and bathroom. 

The fish love their new home.

Finally after five long years, the place is ready to shine again.  The gardens and walk ways are complete. Two new out buildings are on the site and a magnificent pond and waterfall complete the setting.

Building the pond and falls was no easy feat. Rocks are heavy!
It is an amazing transformation.
New brick walkways to the gardens and pond.

Pictures tell a thousand words.  In the Spring we will be opening for the season. 

We specialize in gardens, container plants, water features and antiques and collectibles.

Stop on by and see the amazing changes in our historic old store.   Tour the 1895 General Store and stroll the grounds, it’s like stepping back into time only better!

Welcome to The Antique Garden & Homestead

The Antique Garden after renovations of 1895 Store

The Antique Garden after renovations of 1895 Store

When I first moved to Western Maryland from  the New York suburbs never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d move to a rural village!  When a run down, falling down, old General Store came on the market, my husband and I snapped it up.  The locals probably had a good laugh at us crazy city folk, but that didn’t discourage us.  Not too badly, anyway…. 

Everything had to be fixed–the porch was falling off, the roof–metal-was peeling, the electric wiring was not up to code, oh and the best was, there was NO water in the place.  Never had plumbing.  We saw something though, maybe a glimmer of hope that we could salvage the place.  After all it was in the square of the village of Leitersburg, Maryland.  Somewhat historic, it was said that General Robert E. Lee retreated from Gettysburg right down our road. 

So began our journey to restoring the Old General Store.   It had beautiful hardwood floors, and writing on the walls,  where men signed and dated their names when entering!  Originally built by German and Swiss settlers, the building had good bones.   Original walnut paneling lined the second story walls.  The foundation was strong and built of limestone rocks.  The main floor had built in shelving from when it was a store that sold a little bit of everything.  

Today it is home to our business called The Antique Garden.  We specialize in primitives, antiques, collectibles and plants, gardens and water features.  Collecting treasures has been a passion from when I was a child.  I go to auctions, yard sales, thrift stores searching for items that can be reused and cherished again.  The hunt also allows me to shop for that next great thing.  My husband has been in the plant business for years and has an artist’s eye when it comes to landscaping, gardens and design.  

So for us, The Antique Garden is a joint effort  that keeps us together–most of the time.  We may disagree some of the time but when the day is done and we look at what we accomplished, it is well worth it!  We hope you enjoy our blog.