container 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!


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.


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!




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.


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.


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!




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5 Simple Tips to Create Gorgeous Container Gardens this Summer

Happy Summer, friends!

One of my favorite things to do during summer is to go out on the patio with an iced coffee and a good book and enjoy the little oasis I've created.  It occurred to me that I go on and on about how much I love my plants and container garden, but I have never talked about how to create your own gorgeous container gardens!

Five Simple Tips to Create Gorgeous Container Gardens


This is my third year creating my patio oasis and I've learned a number of lessons. Here are my top 5 tips to create your own beautiful container gardens.

Five Tips to Create Gorgeous Container Gardens

1. Know your light

It's crucial to know the light conditions of your outdoor space and pick your plants accordingly. Take a few days and notice where the sunny/shady spots are, and how long those spots get sun. My patio faces east, so it's bathed in sunlight from sunrise until about 1-2 p.m. I picked plants that need full sun to half shade. (I do have one exception --my Asparagus Fern needs a little more shade so I planted it in a container that gets shady first. So far, so good.)

2. Keep 'em together

Keep the plants that require the same lighting and water conditions together in the same container. I made the mistake of planting a succulent type Sedum with water hungry Brazilian Red Hots the first year. It wasn't until my Sedum looked sad and sickly that I figured out I was over watering the poor thing!

3. Keep 'em close

Though the little information tag on the plants says you need to plant each one 9 to 12 inches apart (or whatever the recommended space is) you can (and should!) plant them a lot closer. The first year I started container gardening, I planted petunias the minimum of 6 inches apart that was recommended and my two foot long planter looked pretty sparse and ugly. My new railing planters are approx 24"x9" and I have about 12-15 plants in each. It looks incredible!

4. Combine different height plants

Combining plants of different heights will give your containers height, fullness, and depth! Plant tall ornamental grasses in the back, a plant like Coleus that is a little bit shorter in the middle, and something that hangs down and trails, like English Ivy or Sweet Potato Vine, in the front.

5. Combine different colors and textures

Don't be afraid of combining plants with different colors and textures. Your planter does not have to contain only one kind of plant. That's boring! Combining wild colors and crazy textures will give your containers some excitement. My two new favorites are the asparagus fern (dark green and feathery) and the licorice vine (small greyish fuzzy leaves) They have such fun textures. Another fun plant that comes in variety of colors and leaf shapes is the Colesus. I have at least 8 different varieties in my containers. I set the plants up next to each other in it's potential planter and make sure I'm happy with the color/arrangement before I commit to planting them. However, I do replant if I'm not completely happy with the combo after a few days.  Don't worry-- as long as you're careful, moving and replanting is okay and won't hurt your plants!


I hope you find these tips for creating your own gorgeous container garden helpful. Leave a comment in comment section-- I'd love to hear how your garden is doing!


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It's Officially Patio Gardening Season!

The end of May means only one thing-- it's patio gardening time! This weekend mom and I braved the Memorial Day weekend crowds and went to my favorite garden shops to pick out plants for my patio garden. I managed to pick up just enough plants and dirt to fill my 7 railing planters and my 4 tier plant stand. I need to go back! I need more dirt, for sure, and I would like to pick up some herbs for the little terra cotta planters and two hanging baskets for my new shepherd hooks. And, I want to pick up a little mini pond. (I'm still trying to convince G that I need it.)

Last fall, as I was clearing out & cutting down the dead foliage in my planters, a woman who lives somewhere in my neighborhood approached me  (I had my pruning shears, I was ready if there was going to be a confrontation) and expressed how much she loved walking her dog past my patio and how she loved to watch the progress of my plants. She even brought her husband by on one of her walks and showed him what she wanted him to re-create on their patio! I thought this was super sweet. I'm so glad she stopped by and let me know how much she appreciated my patio garden (even though it was just from the outside) Seriously friends, if you walk past someones garden and you love it, stop and tell them! It will brighten their day!

Patio Garden Railing Planter

That encounter has shown me that my garden efforts not only makes me happy (it really really does!) but it makes other people happy too. So this years patio garden will be bigger and better! I have a neighborhood of dog walkers to make happy!

Here are just a few photos of my planters & plants. I will share in greater detail the plants hanging out in there in an upcoming post.

Patio Garden Railing Planter
Patio Garden Plant- Abstract
Patio Garden Plants- Hens and Chicks
Patio Garden Railing Planter
Patio Garden Plant- Coleus


Do you have a little patio garden? Or maybe you're lucky enough to have a backyard space? Whatever you have, I'd love if you could share some of your favorite gardening tips/tricks in the comment section below!


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