One my absolute favorite gardeners, Kristin Crouch, creator of the blog That Bloomin’ Garden, is joining us again today for tea time. 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!
Today Kristin joins us to talk about fundraising and gardening and how to make these pretty tea cup planters. Teacups make stylish and simple planters perfect for weddings, gifts, and decor. But they can also be a powerful fundraising tool for a school or garden project!
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 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 teacup is throw 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 teacups 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 teacup with their tiny blossoms in all different colors. 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.
To begin, we added just a tiny bit of soil to the bottom of the teacup. Remember to leave room for the root ball to fit in the teacup.
We removed our plant from its pot and placed it in the teacup. It is 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 teacup.
For our sale, we also used curling ribbon and tied some on the handles of each teacup. The children made Happy Mother’s Day tags that were threaded onto the ribbon after punching a hole in the card.
Was our sale successful? You bet.
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 teacup 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?
Lovely idea for the plant sale – we opt to decorate a table for church for our ladie’s tea in May and I’m gong to use these for favors – thanks for the great idea! Your site is always exciting and full of wonderful ideas for every occasion.
I LOVE this idea. China tea cups have so many happy associations for me and I love violas, too. This would be a sweet project to make in a group. I’m going to be looking for tea cups at the thrift store.
This is so cute, I love it and will definitely make one! Thank you very much for sharing your pattern.
I supervise and run an annual fundraiser plant sale at the county juvenile detention center. We are blessed with a greenhouse and we use our own plants for the sale. I’ve expanded our sale to include creamer pitchers, vintage planter containers, small baskets and other random coffee cup containers. It’s been a very creative endeavor. We also put small plastic animal figurines in the arrangements. I was really happy to explore this website. Thank you!