Hey Chris! How can I found out what cool merchandise is for sale this week?!?

Well, I'm gonna tell you: We usually keep about a dozen listings up each week on chicago craigslist (http://www.chicago.craigslist.com/). We post our phone number (847.345.4711) in the ads, so if you put the last four digits "4711" into the search box, just our ads will pop up, with the occasional oddball vintage Schwinn Spyder bike with 4,711 miles on the odometer...

Soon we should have the website www.midsummergardens.com up and running with links to photos through Shutterfly, Picasaweb, or somesuch, as we've purt near worn the fingerprints off reentering and reposting on craigslist.

And of course, there's the phone (847.345.4711) and email (clyngso@gmail.com). Ciao!

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Fine Landscape Design, Vintage & Antique Home & Garden Furnishings & Accessories

Fine Landscape Design, Vintage & Antique Home & Garden Furnishings & Accessories
Pocket Garden showing Swiss Stone Pine, Rugosa Rose, Witchhazel, Fountain Grass, Cranberry Viburnum and Purple Dome Aster

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vintage wrought iron patio furniture is worth it's weight in, er, iron!

Maybe your brother got mom and dad's wrought iron patio set and you're tempted to buy something new from the pool and patio shop that kinda looks like it. DON'T! One of our specialties at Midsummer Gardens is restoring and refurbishing vintage and antique iron outdoor furniture. The old stuff was better for several reasons. First, they paid attention to detail in design! heavier bar and rod stock make for greater strength, usually some type of undercoating was used that surpassed today's spray painting or powder coating. Actually, a vintage finish with signs of well-loved wear and a little rust is actually preferable by all but the "has to be perfect" nouveaux-gardinieri.

When you sit in a vintage or antique iron chair, it just feels right. Vintage mesh seats were much heavier gauge. Legs on new pieces will bend and lose their strength with just a few seasons of your obnoxious brother-in-law leaning back on them.

With a little web-searching and googling, you'll learn that names like Woodard (from Owosso, Michigan), and Salterini, in their various incarnations, developed design lines with names like Chantilly Rose, Acorn Oak, New Orleans...it's always fun to add a teacart in your pattern, a chaise or spring chair, or deep seating sofa and club chairs or occasional tables. Salterini is often recognizable by a type of Sombrero foot...but not always.

A little light spritzing with spray paint of a restored set pays long dividends...once a set has been powder coated, touch-up is not always as easy. Moving your set indoors or to a more sheltered area, protected by a table and chair cover that breathes but keeps the worst of winter's blazing sun and assault of ice and snow minimizes touchup needs.

The most exciting set we have for Spring is Woodard's Andalucia line. Gorgeous filigreed iron, in a soft charcoal. We have four side chairs, six high backed chairs (two with arms, four without), and two glass-topped tables...one accomodating six and the other for four. If you're interested in seeing this set in person or receiving image files, you may email us at clyngso@gmail.com or call Midsummer Gardens at 847.345.4711! Till the snows melt completely, keep on planning and dreaming for garden season 2010!


  1. The set above is Chantilly Rose, by Woodard, restored in Black Satin. This particular chair type requires an upholstered seat. You can also find it in a mesh seat comfortable enough to sit on without a cushion, and with or without arms.

  2. wrought iron patio furniture is the right choice of outdoor chair, I also have it, and I possessed some ideas about patio chair on my blog