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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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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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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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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Garden update- first signs of spring

I'm super excited that it's finally beginning to look and feel like springtime in Chicagoland. Everyday I get home from work and I go outside to check out how my little garden has progressed (what, you don't do that?) 

Last year, I planted 5 grape hyacinth and 4 miniature daffodils along the side of my house leading up to the front door.  While planting,  I discovered that I had about 4 inches of soil and then i hit a black plastic liner. I assumed this liner was to deter weeds, so i tried poking (tearing) holes in it in order to plant my little spring flowers. I didn't think I planted them deep enough, but they lived out their short little spring lives and I didn't give them much thought.  Once they petered out, I planted ground cover to fill up the space. Those did really well and went on to look amazing and full by the time winter rolled around.

Imagine my surprise this year when I noticed that my little grape hyacinth and daffodils started to bloom all by them selves!

early spring mini daffodil

That was in late March. After a few weeks,  (another snowfall) and a few really nice warm days, almost all of my little spring flowers are nearly full grown!

spring grape hyancith
spring miniature daffodils
springtime side garden
spring ground cover

I can't wait for it to get a little warmer (read: no more threat of snow or frost!) I need to pick up some tulips and some more spring bulbs to fill up that area a little more as well as new plants to start my patio garden! This year is going to be bigger and better than before and will have a mini pond (Shhhh!!! G doesn't know about this yet, so let's just keep it between you and me, k?)

 

Do you have a garden? What do you recommend I pick up? Have any photos? Let me know in the comment section below!

 



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It's the middle of May, have you started your garden yet?

As of today's writing, it's May 20th, and I haven't started my garden yet.  I've been dying to pick up some plants and create my little outdoor patio oasis, but it's just been too darn cold this spring. It seems like winter was not letting us out of it's cold, miserable grasp! I mean, we even had snow last week! (i wish I were kidding.)

Remember my pretty blue planter and pots? Well.... I left them outside all winter and now they have a very serious "shabby chic" look (at least, that's what I'm telling myself!)

Note to self: Bring the wooden planters and painted pots inside when you're experiencing the worst winter ever!

When it is finally warm enough to plant, this years garden patio oasis is going to be even more awesome than last years. This year is all about my new deck railing planters!  I searched everywhere for planters that sit on deck railings and FINALLY found some that weren't hideous. I had one very specific requirement. The planter needed to sit on top of the deck railing and not hang over. I have to maximize my tiny space and I feel that planters hanging over either side of the railing would take up too much room.

New Deck Railing Planters

So? What do you think? Won't these look amazing when they are filled with beautiful greenery? I'd also like to get some shepard hooks to hold hanging baskets for the side of my house (not shown) and a little table/bench to house all my little pots that are just sitting on the deck. I just wish my deck was larger and in better shape!

 
 
 

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