Sunday, June 9, 2013

Have A Green Thumb With Greenbacks To Spare

Butterfly garden stick, $1 from Goodwill.

If you're anything like me, you love getting your hands dirty in the garden. You ditch the gloves and go for bare palmfuls of dirt to plant those seeds right into the earth. And maybe--like me--you also love flaunting a little decorative flair with planters, indoor and out. 

There's nothing so fresh and so naturally gorgeous as a blooming flower or foliage contained within some cute little planter. 

Our front lawn has a new mascot. 

Or in this case, maybe not so little...

I bought this oversized handmade wooden elephant from a local flea market last year. It originally had a removable wooden rack in its body, and was designed to hold magazines. But for me, Sir Artemis Stompington (Yes, that's his name) was a fine record rack indeed.

DIY elephant planter repurposed flea market find
Hand-carved wood elephant, $5 from the flea market. 

Since scoring a lot of awesome thrifted jams and therefore expanding my record collection, I realized Sir. Stompington needed to roam free... as a repurposed outdoor Petunia planter. 

First we drilled a few holes at the bottom for drainage, then we plopped him outside and  planted the flowers right in there. His wood is solid and shellacked, so he'll survive the season out in the wild. 

thrifted planters indoor garden secondhand cactus succulent thrifting
A collection of thrifted planters.

As for the inside, our picture window is the perfect display area for my little assortment of thrifted planters. (And yes, that's another elephant). I can't pick a favorite, but that pair of vintage owls...well they're just charming! 

I love having a few house plants and succulents here and there. They provide a nice pop of color and they really do oxygenize the room.

Vintage candy dish and heart-trimmed bowl, $2 each from Goodwill. 

I bought these two non-planter planters from Goodwill and knew immediately some succulents would do them well. A bright orange cactus for the candy dish and a waxy-leaved Peperomia plant for heart-patterned bowl. 

The trick to repurposing planters lies in the drainage issue.  Given the right sunlight and watering conditions, many plants can thrive year-round indoors. But not one of my indoor planters has holes for drainage. And this is exactly why I chose cacti and succulents. They require little water and little drainage. The root system sucks the water up and stores it, which means more creative planter options for thrifters like us. 

So the next time you see a mod little box or a kitschy mug, maybe you'll consider sticking a succulent in there. It's two green thumbs-up, thrifters! 

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Melissa said...

Sir Stompington! Hahaha, that's awesome!
Your planters are fantastic! I have a few painfully dishwashered to death pieces of Pyrex that I am thinking about converting into planters.
I just have always had such issues with drainage. I think I over water...

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Melissa! Drainage can be a real pain. Over-watering could be a problem. Most succulents only require water once a week, which means the excess water should be absorbed before root rot becomes a problem. If not, try sand or gravel layers at the bottom of the planter to keep a barrier from where the water sits and the roots begin. I learned this from Van at Thrift Core. Very helpful, indeed.

<3 Jackie

Blondie said...

I love these.... I think I'll go out and get some succulents. I have a lot of "empty" bowls and vases that could use a facelift. Will try to post at some point in the future. BTW - what kind of soil do you use?

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Blondie! I'm pretty loyal to the Miracle Grow brand when it comes to soil, but there may be better options specifically for succulents or houseplants. Home Depot usually has a variety to choose from.

<3 Jackie

Vanessa said...

Aw, I love it all! Been doing the same thing lately, planting up things like crazy. For succulents you can mix a quarter sand into regular soil mix or use a cacti/succulent mix specifically. Thanks for the shout-out in the comments too, the gravel layer is a life-saver.

I LOVE the elephant!

Vanessa said...

Oh, feel free to digi-punch me through the screen for being on my high horse with this next comment, using up fossil fuels on the internet and being a hypocrite, etc. but I avoid Miracle Grow because of the chemical fertilizer in their regular formulas. It runs off in your yard and contributes to global pollution. Just letting anyone know in case they were uninformed. Miracle Grow does carry "organic options" to consider instead of their regular formula, too.

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks for the green tips, Van! I never mind environmentally friendly advice.

<3 Jackie