Thursday, October 29, 2015

Syrup Kettle as a Garden Feature

He-Who-Was-a-Farm-Boy helped cook syrup in the old kettle that is still here despite the ravages of time on brittle cast iron. I tried using it for a water feature. It made a mosquito haven. We have little use for a fire pit. If it's that cold, we stay indoors.

This photo was borrowed off ebay. 
The item was deleted. 
I hope it sold to someone who enjoys it. Sometimes I have to see things through the eyes of others. I never thought of tipping up a kettle for display rather than having it sit flat on the ground. 

When the water feature failed I tired of rocking the kettle back and forth to slosh the water out, so we turned it over. Turning over an iron kettle is not a task done easily done by hand.

  It was inevitable that using heavy machinery was going to break something, 
and those crinum lilies on the left were going to get run over.

Another piece chipped off the kettle, 2 pieces, actually.
He offered to maneuver it into place. I preferred to gently rock it around.

... and I did. Rainwater will drain out naturally, now.

It's a sentimental piece. 
Hundreds of gallons of syrup were cooked in this old kettle, cane juice was extracted in a grinder pulled by a mule who walked 'round and 'round. Cooking syrup to just right is an art hardly practiced any more. 

My site has a huge stone that the kettle leans against, vetiver grass, shell ginger, trainling lantana, kniphofia and some other interesting seasonal plants. I want to add calla lilies. Now to find some suitable smaller stones and make sure there is still room for the mower to pass between the kettle and the crinum lilies that got run over by the tractor. I think they're not harmed.


  1. Sentimental and beautiful to boot! My maternal grandfather "sugared" on the ancestral farm in Vermont. While I never knew him, he lives on in the stories my grandmother and mother told. I imagine that there was a kettle like this in the sugar house. When it (rarely) snows here, I get out some Vt.Maple Syrup, cook it to soft ball stage, drizzle it on the white stuff from which it's wound around a fork and enjoyed. The taste of sugar on snow brings back the stories and memories!

  2. I use maple syrup to make caramel popcorn; what a treat!

  3. WOW, what a great old piece, with such amazing memories of a time gone by.

    Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

  4. So glad you found a way to re-use such a wonderful old piece with sentimental value.

  5. That's a treasure! Not only sentimental, but historic!

  6. My Grandfather in law made Cane syrup for many years as did J.E. Garrison.Loved the smell of that syrup cooking and the bees trying to get a taste. There are small packages I use in my large birdbath of a product that kills Mosquito Larva.Does not harm Birds or other insects. made just for Mosquitoes,called Mosquito Stop by Spectracide.

  7. I've always loved rusty metal things. It looks interesting turned on its side, chips and all. Here, I'd plant succulents in it. But then, eventually, everything in my garden with the slightest hint of a bowl shape is likely to have succulents planted in it.

  8. A beautiful piece and made more so by the memories it holds. My family used to make molasses but they cooked it down in large shallow pans where the great aunts would stand around the sides and stir. The pans looked like tables....I don't know of anyone who does that anymore.

    I remember a large cast iron kettle Grandma rendered lard in outside.....don't know what became of that.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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