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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Garden accessories on the cheap

There's something about elevating an urn or a planter that gives that piece distinction in the garden. Like putting a piece on stage.

I've drooled over many lovely urns and pedestals in catalogs, over the years. What I'll usually do is find the planter/pot/urn that I like at a place like Home Depot, on clearance online, or if I'm lucky, at a yard sale, but make-do on the pedestals.

The rear planter in the above photo gets it's elevation from none other than an 8 X 16 concrete block, that we already had in the stack of leftover construction materials. I topped the concrete block with a ledge stone, leftover from some stonework on the front of the house a few years ago.

Here's an urn that I saw in a pricey catalog many years ago. They had it paired with a very nice pedestal. They wanted about $50 for the pedestal, alone. I found the urn, on clearance at another online catalog, minus the pedestal. I checked around with our extra supplies, and found that these small square pavers fit the base of the urn perfectly. I placed a stack of 2 pavers on top of some larger pavers, for a pedestal effect -- all from our stack of leftover construction materials.

Here's another, smaller urn, from Home Depot. While not a perfect fit, this 8 X 8 concrete block makes a good enough pedestal for this urn and it's mate, the two which are flanking the steps down into the sunken garden.


  1. As you have shown us on the inside of the house, you are showing us outside that you have an eye for detail to make things a little nicer. I like the moss growing on on of the blocks. Maybe you could seed some more and cover the whole thing in moss. That would be really pretty.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I've heard you can do that with buttermilk. I'll have to look into that, or maybe someone here knows more about growing moss with buttermilk. In any case, now that moss has begun, it really is a matter of a couple of years before the whole thing will be covered in moss. I do like the look of moss, too.

  2. Lovely, frugal ideas, Lili!

    And since I'm not on FB, let me also say, your home-made burger feed sounded a million times better than even the best fast food meal. :)

    As an old book on frugality I have says, not just cheaper, but BETTER! :)

    Love it! Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      Thanks -- and I like that "not just cheaper, but BETTER!" So important, to not just be less costly. It wouldn't be worth it to eat a completely inferior burger/fries meal, just to save some money. I do think our burgers were much better than fast food. Really good, homemade, whole wheat buns, for one thing.

    2. I started baking whole-wheat buns for my husband a couple of years ago, and he's crazy about them! They freeze great (since he doesn't eat them fast), and he actually also likes them as "rolls" with stew or soup, and even "toast" for breakfast. (This last surprised me, since he's normally a little bit choosy about proportions, but he never seems to turn these down for any meal!) :D Hope today started out a little better than yesterday! Sara

  3. Ooh, those are so pretty! I am just now really putting some time and thought into a small more formal style garden I'm trying to start just outside my back door; hadn't really considered these types of planters but that might be just the touch for the center.

    1. Hi Cat,
      I think that's a good plan to do something just outside your door, where you will see it daily. One of my "visual spots" is on the deck, in clear view from the kitchen work area. I put the most effort into those pots and flowers, and it pays off in several smiles on my face each day.

  4. Never thought of elevating planter urns....but it does add valuable height and stateliness. Come to think of it...we laid a throwaway bifold slat door on our lanai floor, elevated with bricks at the corners) to put our potted veggies on (so water wouldn't collect under the pots) and it does look nicer a few inches above the floor. Lots of ways to improve the quality of our lives without spending much.


    1. Hi YHF,
      What a clever way to elevate your potted veggies!

      I think there's a visual space that is somewhere between our knees and our heads, where we pay the most attention. It's easy to overlook what's directly on the ground (like when I repeatedly trip over the same corner of the rug, because it's not in my prime visual space), for bad or for good (not noticing that the deck needs sweeping). But when I want to make sure I see something, I place in my prime visual area.

  5. You have a gift for making your outdoor spaces lovely. Thanks for the eye candy. :)


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