How-To Ideas

Flea Market Finds For Gardeners in Raleigh

flea market diy

Did you notice the name change from the Raleigh Flea Market to the Raleigh Market a couple of years ago? It is still the same great place and considered one of the best (flea) markets in the southeast. But let’s give credit where credit is due. The market sells so much more than old furniture infested with fleas as in the original French marché aux puces, for which flea market is the literal translation. I’ve never seen a flea, and I don’t ever expect to, either. Nonetheless, it’s the Raleigh Market now.

Flea markets are treasure troves of finds, and the Raleigh Market is no exception. This is where you will find treasures that were once hidden away and now waiting for new life. You never know what you’re going to “need.” Ask ten people why they go to the Raleigh Market on Saturdays and Sundays, and you will get 50 answers.

Discover the Flea Market

The Raleigh Market is my first shopping stop when looking for something new and exciting—especially for the garden. I’m also a crafty gal. When I see something interesting, I’ll pick it up and say, “Can I can make something out of that?”

When you go, sometimes you’ll find exactly what you’re hoping to find. Other times, you see something that wasn’t on your radar, then you pick it up and say, “That is the perfect accent to our pond.”

If I’m fortunate to find a few items, instead of taking them back to the car because I don’t want to carry them around, I’ll ask the last vendor I purchased from if I can leave them and pick them up at the end of my shopping. I’ve never been denied.

Market Find How-to

On a typical day on a mid-September weekend, I found several items for garden projects. But my favorite was an old wooden toolbox that can be converted into a seed storage container. I also saw an antique card catalog that could be used for the same purpose.

On a recent visit, I found several old whisky barrel bands. The wood staves have long disintegrated, despite being liquored up. Yes, I picked them up and said, “I can make something with them!”

Using just three metal bands from the barrel, three 11-inch zip ties, and some jute, you can make a garden sphere.

Work the bands into a sphere form. I found an extra pair of hands helpful to hold the bands as I secured the sphere with the zip tie. With the zip tie, crossover each of the three openings to secure. I put a zip lock on the underside. Do the same with the other two sides. Then wrap the ties with a natural fiber like jute. Set the sphere on the lawn, in your perennial bed, or as I did, accent a back garden.

Plan to visit the Raleigh Market for part of your weekend this year. Go hungry! There are food trucks where you can find pizza, hotdogs, and even African cuisine. The market is child friendly so make it a family affair. The Raleigh Market is located at 4285 Trinity Road in Raleigh. It is open year-round, except for a few weeks during the North Carolina State Fair in October.

Featured image: Spheres made from whisky barrel metal bands / Helen Yoest

Helen Yoest is the executive director of Bee Better, an area non-profit 501(C)(3) designing and educating area homeowners about building better backyards for birds, bees, and butterflies.

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