To make your garden blossom with one-of-a-kind color and charm, add a little whimsy with unusual plantings that feature our products in creative ways.

That’s what we’ve often done on the grounds of our 65-acre estate in Aurora, New York, which are overseen by Corinne Bowman, our estate manager. Corinne, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, has seen the property, which had been a dairy farm, evolve to include several unique and beautiful gardens that highlight the estate’s architectural features and are linked by a meandering brick path.

One of the highlights of the property is a magnificent cast-iron fountain, which was installed in the early 2000s, in our central brick courtyard just outside the entrance to the Shop. But instead of water cascading down the fountain’s tiers, we add flowers and other plantings that can vary with the seasons. In the spring, Corinne fills it with pansies, which change to annuals in the summer, mums surrounded by pumpkins and straw bales in the fall, and evergreen boughs for the holidays.

On occasion, we also plant unusual combinations of plants in our containers around our campus. For example, we’ve made “topiaries” by putting ivy in our Courtly Check Jumbo Flower Pot and then inserting a birch log in the center and a basket of fuchsia on top. We also have a large employee vegetable garden on the property, where we grow unusual vegetables, including purple Graffiti cauliflower.

As for your unusual plantings, we have fun and creative several suggestions. If you’re looking for more inspiration, we suggest browsing Flea Market Gardening.

Plant a teacup garden. Grow something sweet and simple, such as pansies or a single succulent, in one of our teacups or mugs. You could also add a small pot of flowers to our short Courtly Check Rain Boots  or create a terrarium in our Snail Terrarium.

Craft some windchimes. Our colanders are extremely versatile in the garden. To use as a planter, put a piece of burlap in the bottom and add potting soil and flowering plants. Turn a colander upside down, wire on some vintage silverware and colorful beads, and you have a set of windchimes that will sway and jingle in the breeze.

Plant a ceramic “flower.” These are quite captivating, especially when displayed in groups at varying heights. To make one, stack two or three thrift store ceramic plates in graduated sizes. Glue them to each other, using a high-strength silicone glue, and then glue on one of our Taylor Luncheon Plates, topped with one of our knobs, as the finishing touch. Let dry 24 hours and then add a PVC drop elbow to the back of the bottom plate and let dry another 24 hours. To display, insert the drop elbow onto a copper pipe that you plant in the garden. Another way to use plates, including those that are broken, is to insert a few into a window box garden so that they’re “growing” along with the flowers, or save plate shards to glue onto terra cotta pots.

Make a tipsy garden. You could also use our ceramic pieces as accents in a “tipsy” garden that consists of a stack of terra cotta planters that are arranged from large to small in a staggered tower and filled with a cascade of flowers. To make this, insert a long piece of rebar into the ground at least a foot or so. Take the biggest pot and put it at an angle, positioning the rebar through the drainage hole in the bottom. Fill the first pot with soil, so the next pot has something to sit on. Then, continue adding pots, threading the rebar through the drainage holes and tilting each pot so its rim rests on the pot below it. To add a bit of MacKenzie-Childs, let the final pot be one of our Taylor Breakfast Bowls that’s glued to a terra cotta saucer. Then, fill all the pots up with colorful plants and trailing fillers.

We hope you’re feeling inspired to come up with even more creative ideas to add MacKenzie-Childs to your garden decor. Our items are unusual by nature, so even just a little sprinkled here and there will put an exclamation point on your plantings.


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