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Garden Junk Hardcover – September 1, 1997

4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Mary Randolph Carter is the author of American Junk, the ultimate guide book for people who love old stuff, bargains, and the thrill of hunting for the perfect whatchamacallit you didn't know you needed until you fell in love with it at a tag sale. Now Carter has turned her discerning eye for fascinating junk to the garden to write a definitive how-to book for finding, using, and even fixing up garden junk. Lavishly illustrated with hundreds of photos and supplemented by a national listing of sources for good junk, flea markets, and second-hand stores, Garden Junk will give you a whole new understanding of the meaning of junk!

About the Author

Mary Randolph Carter, author of American Junk, Garden Junk, and American Family Style (all Viking Studio), is the Vice President of Advertising at Polo/Ralph Lauren. Carter lives in New York City and Dutchess County, New York.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Studio; First Edition edition (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670869384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670869381
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed looking at all the wonderful ideas that Mary Randolph Carter creates with her salvaged finds. She definitely gives junk a new life and the book will make everyone think twice before throwing out something. She has definitely opened my eyes. Simply, it is just plain fun!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of junk! Whether it be creepy big-eyed dolls or funky tiki mugs, I love junk! So when I saw Mary Randolph Carter's book Garden Junk: How to Grow Your Garden Gloriusly and Uniquely with All the Right Stuff, I knew I had found the bible of garden books. Not only does the author show you everything she buys from flea markets and garage sales, she also tells you how much it was and what she did with it. Each chapter takes you into the realm of old tools, found flower art, bizarre pots and watering cans, funky pot holders, tacky garden hats, forgotten yard furniture, absurd-yet-endearing vases and hip-looking birdbaths. I love her addiction to kitschy amateur paintings of flowers and plants. And if you're just in the mood to create, Mary shows you how to restore old shutters, de-rust antique tools, build a gardener's bulletin board (one of my favorite projects), make a rake rack, makeover a windowbox and create a scarecrow from scratch! She also gives you the lowdown on how she transformed an old, boring barn into her fabulous Garden Hutte! Plus the lavish photographs and layout of the book makes it do double duty as a hipster coffeetable book.
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Format: Hardcover
I've got to disagree with the readers who found no substance in this book! Curious to know what they were looking for? I found not only substance, but lots of inspiration. Being a veteran of junk prowls I loved the way MRC took me along and told all--where, how much, what to do with it. I guess substance is in the eye of the beholder. I've just read that her third junk book--Kitchen Junk--will be published in September. I can't wait!
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Format: Hardcover
I'm astounded at those who found no "substance" in this joyous and lyrical work. This remarkable woman's sincere and candidly expressed love of the old, the shabby, the discarded, ignored, and forlorn -- of things with honest character and a deep beauty when recognized by an open sensibility and given a proper home -- is a fun yet deeply moving (to me) expression of an overwhelmingly authentic heart.
Ms. Carter has a superb eye when she chooses to exercise it (check out which of those decrepit metal chairs on page 172-3 made it home to glory on page 42 -- not to mention the superb "city house" Adirondack chair on page 179, and many other "found" icons throughout). Her prose is both witty and chipper, yet deeply feeling for the simple things of the world, and the homely pleasures they offer.
Of course, everyone will find her accepting to a fault with regard to some item or another; but given her "whole greater than the sum of the parts" approach, its no surprise that these soul-invested objects all manage to find acceptance somewhere.
I feel that I've met a dear friend in the pages of this book; someone who lives the transforming power of love and has invited us into her very special world. To think that this exuberant spirit is not only a full-time junker, but also a wife and mother -- and a VP at Ralph Lauren! I'm curious to know what her husband is, besides one lucky hombre. I'd give a lot of stuff (and tolerate even more) to call a woman of this quality my own. And she takes excellent pictures, too....
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Format: Hardcover
I love to go junking (I used to go antiquing but I got real finally). I couldn't believe when I saw this book. There are pages & pages of great photos of M.R. Carter's junking forays, from upstate NY to truly southern VA. She shares with us her dizzyingly inexpensive acquisitions as well as her heartbreaking pass-ups. Some of the price tags will make you positively drool! M.R.C. tells you how to make your own Garden Tent, Gilligan's Hut (yes *that* Gilligan), & gives you permission to graciously copy plans for her beloved Garden Hutte, complete with portraits by unknown artists & genuine faux sunflowers, & build one in your own backyard! This book just makes me happy. I mean, what's not to like about a broken-down wicker chaise for $10, or a lesson in how to faux-finish your concrete garage floor with a mossy-green watercolor wash? Have fun!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The display concepts for items in a garden or outside were good but nothing really great or unique. I've found much better and more creative ideas on Pinterest. I had hoped this would give me pics for my own garden but kept I think 1, all the rest were to farm for me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lots of lovely garden pictures to get inspiration from. If you like flea markets and old rustic things this book Is for you. Shows you that you don't need expensive items to have a pretty garden - use what you already have.
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Format: Hardcover
As in her other book, American Junk, Carter show that it isn't what you've got, it's the care taken in artfully displaying it that matters. You can spend a fortune buying brand new chachkes to doll up your yard, or you can get inspired by the ideas in this book to take what you already have, or can get cheaply, do have the same effect. This book make a wonderful gift to any gardener, and a lovely and unusual coffee table book.
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