Vintage Tea Cup Planters: a Great Fundraising Tool
One my absolute favourite gardeners is joining us again today for tea time. Kristin Crouch, creator of the blog, That Bloomin’ Garden. Kristin is a writer, speaker, volunteer Master Gardener, and a children’s community garden mentor. Oh, and that’s when she’s not growing 500 tomatoes in her greenhouse!
Are you looking for a way to raise some ‘seed money” for your school garden? I have an idea that may get your creative juices flowing. A couple of years ago I was working with a grade one class and we were planning a plant sale to raise some seed money for our school garden. We had the usual pots of perennial flowers to sell but I wanted to try something different. I knew that there were a lot of teacups being thrown away at our local thrift shop. Why you ask? It turns out if a cup doesn’t come with a saucer when donated the tea cup is throw in in the garbage.
There must be a way to save such beautiful china. An idea came to me. I wondered if we could plant them.The school garden volunteers were excited to try it out. I bought lots of tea cups and some even came with saucers. Many tea cups were donated from the community. We were set to go.
For the supplies I had to find plants and for this gardener that was the best day of all. I decided to use Violas as the plant sale was in early May and the weather was still cool. Violas look perfect in a tea cup with their tiny blossoms in all different colours. Next I bought just one bag of lightweight soil, the kind you use for indoor plants and seedlings. I grabbed some spoons instead of trowels.The spoons were a perfect size for placing soil in a teacup.
We removed our plant from its pot and placed it in the teacup. Its important at this point to make sure the level of the plant is just right. You may have to remove a bit of root material from the bottom of the plant to make it fit. This will not hurt the plant but encourage new roots to grow.
Once your plant is at the right level in the tea cup, add a bit of soil around all the sides and the top until the plant feels secure in its new home. Be sure to press the soil down with your fingers to fill in air pockets as you go. Viola! You have just planted your tea cup.
For our sale, we also used curling ribbon and tied some on the handles of each tea cup. The children made Happy Mother’s Day tags that were threaded on to the ribbon after punching a hole in the card.
We were able to donate $500 to the local food bank and still have money for seeds for the next year. For the Moms who received them, what a nice gift. The tea cup planters can be brought inside for a couple of weeks but later should be planted outside in the garden. If placing outside, be sure to have them where they are protected from the rain. Without drainage in the cup you don’t want your plants to drown. Water them when needed being careful not to overwater. Imagine using these as place markers for a tea party or a wedding.
Now wouldn’t that be fun?