gardening

DIY - Turn a Water Fountain into a Planter

This year, I added a new feature to my patio garden. I got a really cool water fountain that didn't work properly from a sample sale at work. Instead of using it as a birdbath or leaving it empty, I saw potential. It would make an amazing planter instead!

DIY-water-fountain-planter.jpg

1. Seal/glue together any parts you’re worried will fall off. The top tier didn't survive the trip from the office to my car and fell off. No worries though! I glued to the middle tier to make sure they didn’t fall apart during bad weather, or if a critter happens to knock it around (we have a bit of a pesky raccoon problem over here.) I used Gorilla Glue, but you can use a waterproof caulk or e6000 craft adhesive. You want something that will hold plastic/resin together and be water resistant.

DIY-WaterFountingPlanter-01.jpg

2. Drill drainage holes (not pictured.) If you’re not going to use your fountain as a fountain ever again, I recommend drilling a few drainage holes to allow excess rain/water to escape. The fountain isn’t very deep but I don’t want my plant’s roots to sit in water and rot.

3. Now comes the fun part: choose your plants. I chose plants my in two ways. First, I chose a color scheme. I wanted to have purple, yellow and green plants and foliage. Then, I looked for plants in those colors that follow the "thriller, filler and spiller" planting technique.

  • Thriller plants adds height and drama. It can be a flowering plant, foliage, or ornamental grasses.
  • Filler plants are plants that fill out the planter and make it look full.
  • Spiller plants are trailing plants that hang over the edge of the container.

4. Add dirt and plant. Take a few moments and place your new plants in your planter and make sure you like their positioning. Once you're happy with how the plants are layed out, go ahead and move them (carefully as to remember where they go) and add dirt and plant!

Just planted!

Just planted!

Voila! You now have an amazing looking garden feature!

 

WHAT I PLANTED:

DIY-Fountain-Planter-top.jpg

I planted the gorgeous "Inky Fingers" coleus in the topmost section of my fountain planter. It features fun shaped leaves in vibrant shades of purple and green. This is definitely my thriller plant.

DIY-Fountain-Planter-middle.jpg

For the the middle section, I used a sedum ground cover mat. I cut strips of the plant mat into sections that would fit in the small space. I chose the sedum mat because it doesn't require a ton of dirt (which is fortunate because that section is pretty shallow) and they are super hardy perennial plant.

For the bottom section, I planted some fillers and spillers. I was going to use more mini petunias since I'm obsessed with them, but my mom found this really pretty plant called Torenia, or the Wishbone Flower. The flowers are so unique looking AND they attract hummingbirds. I was sold. I picked up "Summer Wave Large Blue", "Summer Wave Large Violet" and "Gilded Grape." These plants fulfill both the filler and the spiller category as they will fill out the planter and trail off. For my spillers I used a yellowish Creeping Jenny and Tradescantia zebrina, which features green leaves with a purple stripe and purpleish undersides.

DIY-Fountain-Planter.jpg

Here we are! A few weeks after planting and everything is filling in quite nicely.

DIY - Turn a Water Fountain into a Planter

 

Have you tried to turn a water fountain into a planter? How did it turn out? Let me know in the comment section below. I'd love to see your garden masterpiece!

If you'd like to see more of my tiny patio garden, please check out my Patio Garden Tour, Part 1.

If you're looking for even more ways to DIY your flower pots, check out these posts about 10 DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas and 10 MORE DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas, and my newest collection of 10 Super Cute Ways to DIY succulent planters. I'm sure you'll find something you'll love!

 

Happy planting!

-a

 

 

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Patio Garden Tour - Part one

Woooo!!!! It's (unofficially) summer! We began creating our patio oasis early this year, since the weather was so nice. I spray painted my black railing planters this amazing shade of blue to match my new metal plant stand (it replaces the awesome wooden plant stand that finally disintegrated.) I painted a few other plastic planters in various shades of green, salmon, and yellow. They look so bright and colorful, I LOVE it! I'm undecided about spray painting the plastic crates though. Has anyone tried it? Will I need 20 cans of paint to get every nook and cranny covered?

Teal 3 Tier Plant Stand
patio garden tour - blue planters
I LOVE this color. I'm so glad I decided to cover over the boring black. This color totally pops!

I LOVE this color. I'm so glad I decided to cover over the boring black. This color totally pops!

There's a new addition to my garden! I picked up this three tiered water fountain from a sample sale at work. It's gorgeous and has LED lights and a fountain with different sorts of spray options. Unfortunately,  there are no power outlets outside so I won't be able to take advantage of those fun features. That's okay, I think It would be so much cooler as a planter instead. We're drilling holes and adding plants this weekend. I can't wait to show you how it turns out!

patio garden tour - water fountain planter

I hope you stay tuned for future Patio Garden tour posts. I'll show you how I converted this re-purposed water fountain into a really pretty planter and list the plants I used in my containers and planters.

If you'd like to create your own container garden for your small patio or garden space, check out my post 5 Simple Tips to Create Gorgeous Container Garden This Summer.  I hope you find these tips for creating your own patio and garden oasis super inspiring and helpful. Leave a comment in comment section-- I'd love to hear how your garden is doing!

 

Happy planting!

-a

 

 

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10 Super Cute Ways to DIY Succulent Planters

Spring fever is in full effect over here at my house. I am gathering my seeds and garden tools, eagerly awaiting the moment I can get outside and start planting. Well, It's barely April... I have about a month and a half to go (I hope! I do live in Chicago-land.. anything can happen...)

In the meantime, I'm in full redecorate and DIY mode. I really need to trim and re-pot the succulents and cacti that are still alive. I spent hours and hours scouring the internets and found a ton of super cute DIY tutorials for succulent planters.

Here are my top 10 favorite DIY succulent planters:

10-cute-DIY-succulent-planters.jpg

1. Easy DIY Tea Cup Planters

2. Succulents in Mason Jars

3. How to Make a Faux Stone Planter

4. Birdcage Succulent Planter

5. Brass Succulent Planter DIY

6. DIY Plastic Animal Planter

7. DIY Succulent Pineapples Planter

8. Simple Berry Basket Succulent Planter

9. DIY Painted Planters with Succulents

10. DIY Hanging Succulent Planter

Don't you just love these? I think the hanging birdcage succulent planter would be perfect for my patio garden, and I'm in love with the toy plastic animal planters. They are so fun! I have a few jade plant cuttings at work and the brass succulent planter would be pretty on my desk. Or maybe I can spray paint it rose gold? Also, the hanging succulent planter is brilliant and I wouldn't have to ask my mom to make a macrame hanger for me. So many ideas!

What do you think? What is your favorite and which DIY succulent planter will you try and make? If you do try this, let me know how it turned out in the comments section below.

 

If you're looking for even more ways to DIY your flower pots, check out these posts: 

10 MORE Super Cute Ways to DIY your Flower Pots

10 DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas 

10 MORE DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas.

I'm sure you'll find a new fun and easy DIY that you'll love!

 

 

 

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WIP - Creating my Patio Oasis

Hi! I hope you're having a great week so far. It's nearly Memorial Day, do you know what that means? IT'S GARDENING TIME!!!!

I live in a townhouse, and while I appreciate not ever mowing the lawn or shovelling, I am so sad that I only have a tiny patio and a little bit of dirt alongside the house that I can use for garden space. And because I live in a townhouse, there are Rules. I can't plant vegetables. I can't plant any climbing or viney plants, or have any trellises. I'm supposed to let the association know what I want to plant so they can approve it. Ugh. So many rules.

My little patio is my oasis. It brings me so much joy to plan it out, plant, and tend to it. Now that my mom is living with us, it's even more special because it's something we can enjoy together. Nothing beats coming home from work and sipping on coffee or wine while watching the birds in my little oasis.

This planter houses a gorgeous coleus and creeping jenny.

This planter houses a gorgeous coleus and creeping jenny.

garden oasis - shabby chic planter
My herb and succulent garden. This year I have cilantro, basil (not planted yet), creeping rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm and creeping thyme.

My herb and succulent garden. This year I have cilantro, basil (not planted yet), creeping rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm and creeping thyme.

garden oasis - herb collection 2
Persian shields and my new obsession- tiny petunias!

Persian shields and my new obsession- tiny petunias!

This is my newest planter/fountain filled with Caladiums and more tiny petunias.

This is my newest planter/fountain filled with Caladiums and more tiny petunias.

And this is just the beginning. I still have my 6 railing planters to fill. (Guess what I'm doing this weekend?)

I can't wait.

Have you started your garden yet? It's not too late! If you'd like to start, but have no idea how to create a beautiful and thriving container garden for your space, check out this blog post and free pdf checklist.

5 Simple Tips to Create Gorgeous Container Gardens

 

I hope you have a lovely rest of the week and that you get a chance to hang out in a garden space.

hugs,

-a

 

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WIP - Home and Patio Garden

Happy spring! 
This week, my Work in Progress (and it truly IS a work in progress) is my home and patio garden. This is my most favorite time of year! I get to watch all my little plants awaken from their winter slumber and I get to plot and plan my annuals for my patio oasis. I've learned so much over the past 4 years so that each year, it gets bigger and better.

A couple of years ago I picked up a few grape hyacinths and teeny daffodils from Home Depot to plant alongside the front walkway.  I lost a few of the bulbs to critters, but a few did manage to survive and bloom. This year, the grape hyacinths are out of control (in a good way!)

grape hyacinth
grape hyacinth

I have two little daffodils growing!

teeny tiny daffodil
spring daffodil starting to grow

So for this year, mom and I are going to step up our flora game along the front porch and walkway. For some reason I have completely neglected this part of our outdoor space, so we plan to put a nice little fence alongside the walkway, add some dirt, and plant some perennials. We haven't really decided on what we'd like there yet. Any ideas of a perennial that would do well with full on afternoon sun?

I've also started my herb and veggie planting. There will be bell peppers, spinach, green onion, cilantro, and basil. I still need to make a seed trip to pick up oregano, rosemary, dill, various mints, and whatever other fragrant beauties I will need. And of course some more pots to transfer them in when they grow up a little more.

2017 Herb Garden
2017 Herb Garden

So far we're off to a good start!

 

If you have any advice or suggestions about plants, flowers, herbs, or anything else, please feel free to comment below.

Get out there and plant and take photos and make art and do what you love and try to make the world prettier!

 

 

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10 More Super Cute Ways to DIY Your Flower Pots

It may be only the middle of February, but it's never too early to be thinking about getting your garden ready for spring. I am considering re-painting all of my terracotta planters this year. A few years ago I distressed my flower pots and they looked so pretty. Sadly, I left those pots out over the winter and most of them cracked and broke. This year, I have a bunch of new terracotta pots and I've been looking for new, really cute ways to decorate and paint them. Here are a few of my favorites:

10 super cute DIY painted flower pot ideas

 

1. Hello There Flower Pot Crafts

2. Funny Face Flower Pots

3. DIY Hand Painted Succulent Pots

4. DIY Terra Cotta Pots

5. DIY Painted Terra Cotta Pot

6. DIY Marbled Terracotta Pots

7. Houseplants That Will Make You Smarter

8. How to Create Beautiful Finishes on Flower Pots

9. Decoupaged Terracotta Pots

10. Chalkboard Herb Pots

Aren't these super cute? They seem fairly easy too, which is a bonus for me. I'm leaning towards number 7 for some of my indoor flower pots because I love the colors and the super cute faces.  I'm really loving number 3 and 4 for my outdoor flower pots and number 10 for my herbs. What about you? What's your favorite?

 

If you're looking for even more ways to DIY your flower pots, check out these posts about 10 DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas and 10 MORE DIY Flower Pot Painting Ideas, and my newest collection of 10 Super Cute Ways to DIY succulent planters. I'm sure you'll find something you'll love!

 

 

 

 

 

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Happy Earth Day- This week at the Garden

This is such an exciting time. The tulips will all be open within a week or two, the magnolia trees will be in full bloom, and in early May, the crab apples trees should full of little blossoms. And then, the lilacs... **sigh** I cannot wait.

Here's what was in bloom at the Garden last week:

Chicago botanic garden - english garden fountain
Spring Daffodils
Cherry Blossoms at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Hyanicth at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Spring tulips at the Chicago Botanic Garden

And, to add to the excitement of the season, I get to start creating my patio garden soon. If the weather holds up, I think I can start in the beginning of May--yay! This year is going to be even better than last year. If you need any tips to create your own container garden on your patio/deck, check out my post 5 Simple Tips to Create Gorgeous Container Gardens.

How's your spring coming along? What's your favorite springtime bloom? Let me know in the comments section below !

 

 

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40 Spectacular Botanic Gardens, Arboretums, and Conservatories in and around Chicago-land for Photography

Finally, it's photography season! (cue the trumpets!) Time to dust off your lenses and clear off your memory cards. I've spent all winter researching and compiling a list of the places I want to visit this year with my mom (who is a blossoming photographer herself) as a kind of photography/garden bucket list. There are a ton of places in and near Chicago to check out and and many are just a short drive away. There are few a little further away that I haven’t been to yet, like the Rotary Garden in Janesville, Green Bay Botanic Garden, and a few in Indiana that I'm excited to visit. Road Trip!

40 best botanic gardens in the chicago land area


Here's my list of the best botanic gardens, arboretums, and conservatories in and around the Chicago area as well as few out of state that are a short drive away. If you’ve been to any of these places, let me know what you think. Leave a comment in the section below with a link to some of your photos, I would love to see what you captured. 

Chicago area

Chicago Botanic Garden

Chicago Botanic Garden

Cantigny

Cantigny

 Rockford area (and beyond)

Anderson Japanese Garden

Anderson Japanese Garden

Anderson Japanese Garden

Anderson Japanese Garden

Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Iowa


Indiana

Michigan

Did I miss any gardens or arboretums that I definitely have to add to my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

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