Happy Tuesday to all of you……… The frames that I featured a few days ago that many of you inquired about are offically up in my store as of last night. I was sooo excited about presenting this post, gotta admit it, I love them. Always have. As far back as I can remember, I have always adored the look of beautiful stately urns, old, new, iron, stone wood…..love them in all their many shapes, sizes and colors. Inside and out. Flanking a front door, on top of a console or side table, a pair on a coffee table….can you go wrong? I don’t think so! Today’s post is dedicated to the versatility and instant elegance urns add to virtually any setting. There are few decors that are not complimented beautifully by the use of urns. Talk about a statement piece! I also am incredibly fortunate to have urn creator extraordinaire, Debra from the beautiful blog 5th and State whom I consider to be the ultimate expert in how to work with urns. Her beautiful work speaks for itself, I was doubly blessed to get to ask her a few questions and share some of her work with you…information I think you will want to know and be eternally grateful to her for. When I got back her reply, I nearly fell on the floor. It was like the holy grail of chic container gardening and I told her I felt like I owed her an authors fee! Oh what I would give to live close to her, and let her work her magic on my home. Her green thumb is as green and good as it gets. ?SO here we go…feast your eyes on this and thank you Debra……..get your gardening gloves out, ready set and let’s go! Before we begin….this is a long post, chock full of yummy gorgeous pictures, and then a how to post with all kinds of valuable information from Debra follows, in other words its pretty lengthy. My advice? Grab another cup of coffee (or wine or whatever you are drinking) sit back, give yourself an extra five minutes, you have urned it (hehe) it and take it all in……….. This just proves my case, in any color and size, urns are just gorgeous! Halloran Antiques So this is what perfection looks like………gorgeous orbs in black iron urns! Gorgeous! Rusty urns are a brilliant way to showcase a beautiful fall statement! Your nest design Love this entire setting, and the topiaries are fabulous in those urns, Veranda Have had this pic a long time..have no idea who the mastermind is behind it…anyone know? Love the huge urns filled with green apples…fabulous! Wow what impact an urn overflowing with flowers has on a simple buffet table! Sabine Scherer Sheer perfection and symmetry, Veranda Don’t you love the look of an old weathered urn with an overabundance of flowering something? Parker Meyer A beautiful pair of iron urns dressed up for fall flanks this front door, Nell Hills A beautiful antique urn with a shallow orb is a wonderful way to add charm and character to a vintage feeling space, French Junque Couture Nothing like seeing a gorgeous urn in a garden as a focal point…magnificent! How magnificent is this!! Think the black makes it particularly impactful! Photo by Dana Gallagher Love the idea of filling them with pinecones, Rustic Chic Urns take festive elegance to new heights…..literally and figuratively! A pronounced urn on a pedestal in the canter of a beautiful garden is breathtaking, Lasting Impressions Few ways to wow your guests better than with a huge urn filled with greens…. Few things are as pretty as seeing a huge oversized urn overflowing with natures beauty, Haddenstone Fabulous centerpiece urn filled with flowers, Southern Living An urn on a center table is always an elegant solution as to what to place on a center hall table, Haus Design Love the understated way Timothy Corrigan used this beautiful large urn on this console Urns give new meaning to elegant Halloween decor! EAB Design Popular at weddings and events, and with good reason! Oliver Dolz Love this space, so rich and old world….great ideas!! Haus Design Wow..talk about showstopping!! Love the dozens of hyacinths planted here! James Jackson Wouldn’t you love to have this greeting you on your hall table every day! Swoon city! From Outdoors-Indoors Does this have you ready to go find yourself an urn and to get ambitious to try something? It sure has me feeling ready to tackle an urn project. Now just fasten your seatbelt because you are about to get a complimentary crash course from an uber talented urn creator like no other, meet and say hello to Debra from 5th and State! Though this is her incredibly busy season she was kind enough to take time out of her busy crazy schedule and answer my questions. I had to share these with you because unless you are blessed with a green thumb, this information is as good as gold. So without?further adue,?here we go. Take it away Debra….. Where do you most like to use urns when using them for the outdoors??we think of the front door and on the deck or patio as the obvious place but there are so many more sittings for urns. my favorite being in the flower borders. the look of an urn, large please, arising from the flowers and awash in flowers creates individual exclamation points of interest. have a large, fabulous urn that is a stand alone? how about creating and environment around it? could be placed in the center of a wide walk or on it’s own with plantings surrounding it. wouldn’t boxwood and pea gravel look splendid? What do you think about mixing urns with other types of planters or statuary? ?how about this? placing a statuary or ornamentation inside the urn with flowers cascading from it’s feet? and it is all about scale, small pot that will be viewed up close use a small piece of statuary. grand pot, go large. typical scale is 2/3 pot, 1/3 ornament. but i break most of those rules. currently at home i have a very large concrete pot, sitting in the garden waiting for planting. set in there all year is a vintage horse hitching post. it adds such pop and is a great foil to the softness of flowers. (if my camera and computer were speaking to each other i would take a photo, drats!). ? i am including the photo below that barely illustrates this; a small pot with an owl. these ornaments can be tucked into the flowers or rise as a sentinel above it as my hitching post does. oh wait! ?your ?question really was about mixing urns and statuary, yes tina absolutely! the combination makes ?a beautiful ?vignette. ? and correct, we should not be afraid to mix different materials with your urn selections. just stay in the ?same style. ?ex; formal with formal. ?c ? ?contemporary stay within that framework. so example for a contemporary; a large wooden box will blend with concrete planters of a similar shape. Do you prefer using them as a pair or alone? ?that too depends. ?here’s a great way to look at it; if your home is asymmetrical you can opt for one. symmetrical do two (and i am referring to the front door)……but remember; rules can be broken What is the ideal size for the average sized front door? Are there rules or guidelines to consider when choosing a pair of urns for the front door? front door 2/3, adjacent planter 1/3. the biggest mistake i see over and over are urns that are too small. send those elsewhere and invest in your “statement” urns at the front door. they can be made of any material to match your homes architectural style . ? Whats your favorite way to plant an outside urn? i am a bit picky here tina. if you take the time to prepare a proper environment for the plants the rewards?will be enjoyed?all summer long . ?the following is what i recommend; 1) ?first empty the soil from the previous year. by year 2 ?it is devoid of nutrients. ? 2) ?to the bottom add broken terra cotta pot shards or gravel 1-3″ thick. small pot? do the 1″. ? 3) i mix a bag of potting blend with half a bag of same size, of top soil. to me most potting blends are too lite weight and the water runs through. with this custom blend you have found the perfect mix. ? 4) i take petersen’s fertilizer pellets and blend according to the directions, but mix directly into the soil. the instructions will tell you to scatter on top of the soil. do that too. by mixing them into the soil the nutrients get to the roots fast! ?5) finally mix into the blend ‘soil moist’ (soilmoist.com) or other water retentive polymer. ? 6) add 1/4 of the soil to the pot. on top of that add a product called a ‘rain mat’ available at garden centers or order via kinsman co. these are water retentive mats. fit onto the space on top of the soil. add all but a small amount of the remaining soil. ?Note; the rainmat and soil moist products aid with reducing water by nearly 1/2, that’s huge come summer and plants are gasping for water and we get busy. when moistened the products swell as they collect surrounding moisture. the crystal goes from being a fleck to the size of a pea. the mat goes from flat to 2″ thick. as the soil dries they slowly release moisture to the roots diminishing in size as they do so. this process goes on all season long. ? 7) ?remove the plants from their pots. if tightly root bound, break that up so the roots go down not encircling. you do not have to worry about harming the plant. the equivalent ?for us is getting a much needed hair cut, no harm is done. place plants into soil, push down around the entire plants eliminating any air pockets, allowing the roots a faster take. plant at the same soil level they current exist in. a common mistake is planting too high. ? ? 8) top with remaining soil, sprinkle additional petersens on the top of the soil. water deeply and watch them explod Any “shortcuts” or ?”pros secrets” for us novice’s to create beautiful outdoor urns that look like they were professionally done? ?yes, and this is hard to grasp for most…..”pay as much attention to the leaf as to the flower” (i am attaching a good example.) consider different types of leaves; colorful, glossy, fuzzy, large, strappy. it makes for a much more interesting composition. a rule of thumb whether in the ground or in a pot is that too many small leaves appear disorderly. large leafed plants lend order this too is a good example. put your thumb where the hosta is and it appears messy. not as much so in this case due to the colored foliage but it’s visible isn’t it? ??single species in a pot are additionally interesting. fill to bursting a pot with macrophylla hydrangeas, the ones that bloom all season in a big blowzy format, boxwood is a great stand alone………… ? ?lastly, the adage “thriller”, “spiller”, “filler” is a good objective.? let’s use this mantra with the pot above with the begonias and caladium; thriller is the cordyline (tall burgundy leaf) filler is the caladium, begonia to a degree the spiller is also the begonia, blue scaevola and the yellow lantana? When using urns ?inside, where do you most like to use them? What is your favorite thing to put inside an urn for indoor use? ?topiaries, topiaries, topiaries, my hands down favorite! great topiary plants are myrtle, boxwood & euonymous. ?others for indoors include; ?orchids and when the flower dies insert a top knotch quality faux, no one will notice the difference! ?baby tears am wild about the form of mounding and spilling, rosemary in a sunny kitchen window and that is it for me. more of a ?vase with cut flowers kind of a gal ?For placements indoors; ?it is so fun when entertaining to have urns on the serving table (imagine empty but with french baguettes peaking out) ?or spilling down with cascades of flowers, a small urn with a carved out cabbage filled with dip…….. for a buffet i will plant matching urns with baby tears and insert into the soil multiple candles, really tall & slender…..once lit, very cool! inside two urns can be placed on either side of the door. great choices are a pair of ficus lyrata…see below, kentia palm & myrtle topiaries Best way to create drainage for urns? ?see above What plant(s) do you think are easy to maintain in urns even for those of us who are not blessed with a green thumb? ? SHADE; ?hosta’s, impatiens, heuchera, kimberly fern, begonias and creeping jenny? SUN: ?ornamental grasses, petunia, verbena, sweet potato vines, geranium, succulents, ornamental cabbage, boxwood Thank you Tina! Now that you have gotten a mini crash course on how to work with urns both inside and out, lets take a look at a few more examples of the ?urn goddess’s work, shall we. Breathtaking, fabulous, gorgeous, sublime are all words that come to mind! I want to tell you a little about Debra. She has three shops! 23 years ago when she realized she was not going to become a mother, she created her business and this became “her child”. She says she feels at times she has unruly triplets, that are all demanding and needing massive doses of attention. Debra is blessed to be successful in a career that allows her to follow her heart and passions and clearly a God given talent too! As you if need more inspiration, here’s a snapshot of more of Debra’s incredibly beautiful work. Thank you again Debra……… Need more Debra and her magic? Click on over to her beautiful blog, brimming with even more inspiration….click here?to visit 5th and State. I have gotten my fill of beauty for the day, how about you? Wishing you a wonderful day! And dont’ forget to stop on over at Art by Karena if you haven’t already to be eligible for the beautiul crystal urn candle giveaway I am offering! Click here.