Urn Gardening

Top urns with grass, balls of birdseed and moss, or a family-photo collage for unexpected garden flavor all around the house and yard.
Grass-Urn Place Markers
This grass urn makes an easy grass
place marker at your next dinner.

Make a bunch of these place markers in an afternoon to give your dining table a fresh face fast.

What You Need:

  • One 5-inch cast-iron urn per person (available at local garden centers)
  • Potting soil
  • Grass seed, any variety (1 cup of seed is enough for six place markers)
  • Water
  • Copper plant markers
  • Medium-tip permanent marking pen
  • Indoor grow light (optional)
  • Spray bottle


Step 2

1. Place potting soil inside each urn (fill to about 1/2 inch from the top to give the seeds enough growing room). If you're planning a dinner party or other important event, plant the seeds about two weeks ahead to ensure enough growing time.

2. Sprinkle seeds on soil until they completely cover the top of the dirt. Press the seeds gently into the soil, or cover with a light layer of soil. Water well.

3. Place urns in an east- or west-facing window (or any window with medium-bright light) or under an indoor grow light. Use a spray bottle to water the urns every other day so soil stays moist. Seeds will take about seven to 10 days to germinate. (Kids get a kick out of keeping track of the seeds' progress.) Keep the sprouts away from the family cat, who may mistake the slender stalks for catnip.

4. To make the place cards, write each person's name on a copper plant marker using a permanent marking pen. Gently push each marker into a grass-filled urn, taking care not to smudge the name. (Nail polish remover will erase the names if you make a mistake or want to reuse the place markers for another event.)

Continued on page 2:  Moss Spheres