"One of the most delightful things about a garden is the anticipation it brings."

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hillside Farm - an adventure in rust and treasures!

 Often on the weekend my family and I get in the car and set out with no plan in mind.  Usually either my husband or I have an idea of an area that we want to see and then we just get in the car and go.  It's amazing how many really great places we end up finding that even if we tried to find we wouldn't.  Today's adventure started with my husband's craving for Dim Sum.  This lead us to try Top Gun in Bellevue.  It was a lot of fun and very good.  Then he thought heading out east sounded like a good place to drive.  We saw lots of pretty areas, and after deciding to take random turns we ended up on Renton Issaquah Road.  As we were admiring the scenery and pointing out horses all of a sudden on the left side of the road we all spotted a place that was unlike any I'd ever seen.  Even the girls said we had to turn around and see what it was.
We drove up a driveway lined in old windows, shutters, wood cutouts of reindeer and other cool stuff and parked.  A really friendly man came right out to greet us and told us to explore.  I could have asked him questions all day, but I didn't want to keep him from his other customers.  I'll tell you what I learned.  His name is John and this was his family's former petting zoo called Hillside Farm.  When his kids grew up and moved out he got tired of taking care of all the animals.  He retired from his job and opened up this place.  He said he goes picking in old barns and that's where he finds all these treasures.  He also teaches black smithing (how cool would that be to learn?!), jewel faceting and other art trades.  John showed us some of his art that he has displayed around.
I only had my phone camera but I just had to take some pictures to share.
 He and some artist friends are planning to install a large whirligig they are making in the next couple of months in the front.  He said it will be larger than this windmill.

 Everywhere you turned there was more and different things to look at.

 Rails and rails of horseshoes.  My girl each chose one.

 So many great rusty garden tools!!

 Where he does his black smithing.

 Out on the front porch.

 Inside there were so many interesting pictures, books and other things.  It was like being in a museum with the huge variety of items in there.

 All sorts of marbles.


Notice all the hummingbird feeders everywhere.  I saw John had his tomato plants outside already, it seems early but they were huge and very healthy.

I searched and searched online for more information on Hillside Farm, but I found nothing at all.  I'm so glad I took one of his business cards so that I can share the address of this amazing place.
Hillside Farm - 11309 Renton Issaquah Road SE, Issaquah, Washington.  Phone number 425-761-6936.
We left with an old goldpan(lots of goldpanning tools there), some horseshoes and a galvanized washtub.  I can't wait to go back and see what we find next time.
All words and photos in this post are property of A Gardener in Progress. Pin It


  1. What a cool place you stumbled upon! How lucky you were to find it. All that cool rusty stuff, I love it! Glad you found some great stuff to bring home.

  2. A hugh treasure hunting facility, wow. I would fill the SUV and hubby would be getting nervous, lol. Take care and have a great day!!

  3. Oh my goodness, I'd want to go back there too! What a place full of treasures!

  4. That's so much like a place near my house. At first I thought it might have been it. I drive by it all the time only I think the one you found is bigger. Can't wait to hear about what you find next time.

  5. This looks like a wonderful place to visit and usually the owners of places like this are quite animated folks. Sometimes the prices can be discouraging though and I wonder what this man was charging. I'm glad you found some goodies to bring home. A horseshoe is a great idea for the kids. Thanks for taking us along.

  6. What a find. A person could spend hours there looking at everything. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a fun find.

  7. Oh I could browse around there for hours!! Great post.

  8. I figured you would have snatched up one of his garden face plaques, they were neat. So delightful to find unexpected adventures down the road, with everyone to share it with( that's what makes it truly special).

  9. I love places like that, it's like being on a great treasure hunt, and you never know what you might find lurking back on an old dusty shelf!

  10. I am in trouble this is real close to my house and I am off today.
    Rolling pins and the Coke a cola box just might be mine by the end of today.
    Thanks for sharing such a fun place.

    1. I would love to know if you ended up going and what you found! Have fun!

  11. There's a similar palce not too far from here, and I've been hankering to go. Now I REALLY want to go :o)

  12. That looks like a absolute treat of a place to visit with a camera....I am so glad that you shared.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  13. What a find. A person could spend hours there looking at everything. Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a fun find.

    Garden centre Gwynedd

  14. That is SO my kind of place!! A good friend of mine went with me on an antiquing excursion a couple weeks ago. .We got stuff to make succulent gardens. .There is just SOOO much potential for other peoples junk :-) BTW. .LOVE your coop!! our chickens are coming out of the ugly "teenager" stage. .we can't wait to get some eggs someday!! Reminds me that I haven't posted on them since we got them Easter weekend. .will have to snap their photos!! Enjoy your week.

  15. Super cool find!! What a great place to explore (and to bring some fun things home too!). I like random trips with no destination set, makes for wonderful adventures.

  16. I Love the pictures! Thanks for sharing them with us. I know of a place like this in southern Arizona too. Its so much fun to wander around these places. Scott


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