The 4-H Urn Project

Because so many of you (okay, two, but who’s counting?) have been clamoring for more detail about the Garden Club Luncheon the other weekend, I thought I’d show you what I came up with for the front porch urns in preparation for the big event.


The front porch has an eastern exposure and isn’t blasted with lots of sun, so that opens up the wonderful word of shade plants for me. I decided not to use flowers and to create a more foliage-themed planting.  My choices:

Hosta: I dug two different varieties out of the yard and divvied them up in each urn.



Hellebore: I love the interesting foliage and the faded soft color of its bloom.  Makes an interesting addition in any shade plant container.


Heuchera: I am increasingly Heuchera-smitten. Each urn was planted with two heuchera – one in chartreuse and one sort of soft brick tone. (I could never have a job writing for the J. Peterman catalog with my ineptitude at describing colors!)


IMG_20140506_085322Pansies are the club flower so a few of those were planted in each urn (hey, we have to have SOME flowers, right?) And some variegated ivy for a finishing touch:





Et voila: The 4-H Urn is complete:




Where’s Berkley?


But wait, we have Hosta, Hellebore, and Heuchera. Where’s the fourth “H”?

Why the Hedgehog, of course!


One of my favorite members of the “concrete menagerie.”

And thanks for reading,





About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. And the odd thought or two.
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24 Responses to The 4-H Urn Project

  1. How beautiful! You just gave me a gardening lesson. 🙂


  2. Diane Ahlberg says:

    Your urns are always gorgeous!
    And so are these, love the hedgehog , a great change from ” bunnies” !


  3. carolwallace says:

    Thank you, from One of Two.


  4. Pat S. says:

    Oh, to have your artistry! Simply beautiful!


  5. dorothy says:

    Blue ribbon to you for the urn project. Perfect combo and easy to it. Cute bunny too……you’re so talented……


  6. Betsy says:

    Looks great!! Love all your urns too!! Love the different colors and textures you used..I’m sure everyone enjoyed your beautiful home and gardens!!!


  7. dorothy says:

    We want more more more about garden event…table, etc…you should have bragging rights.


  8. Dearest Barbara,

    My HEAVENS! Those dower cast-iron urns of yours sure did start to smile when you got to work, didn’t they! Why, I don’t think John Keats himself would have the words to aptly describe their magnificence! Good show, my girl!

    Incidentally, have you met my neighbor, Mr. Keats? Perhaps his wife Anne? Now that they’re in their golden years, they do enjoy a calm stroll most evenings, and often pass by your homestead! While I will confess to hearing Mr. Keats postulate that your acreage would produce a “better yield” if it were to be “plowed rather than pruned,” I still count him among your admirers. “It’s all well and good to grow handsome flowers,” he said in that deep, booming voice of his, “but they’re no substitute for hearty potatoes or a paddock full of mutton when there’s a harsh winter coming on!”

    Just between us, Anne secretly wanted to attend the Garden Club Luncheon ever so badly, but Mr. Keats explained to her that to impose would be “bad form indeed.”

    “Besides,” he chuffed, “What’s she going to serve for brunch? TULIPS?!”

    Oh, drat! I must be off, Barbara. My dear husband James is at work on his “Book of Play,” or whatever he calls it, and is talking loudly to himself in the study. Whenever he does this, it never ceases to wake the children, and Lord knows they need their sleep after watching our youngest, Timothy, expire of the Consumption just last night.

    Be well, dear!

    – Elizabeth Ash



    • Dearest Elizabeth,

      Well, I am flattered that you could pull yourself away from your so recently deceased Timothy to comment on my urns. Tulips were not on the menu for the luncheon -although pansies were considered – so you and your dear friend, Anne, should have just popped by. We had champagne. Lots of champagne which would have made it all so much more endurable for you, I’m sure.

      Fondest Regards,


  9. Mary Ellen Yost says:

    Beautiful! You have such a bright green thumb!


  10. Sue Mayo says:

    I want one. They are beautiful!!


  11. Mary says:

    Dear God, you are not coming to my yard! I just slap some nasty flowers in a pot and say Voila!


  12. Hi Barbara! 🙂

    That was fun. Don’t worry, Berkley is completely safe, as I live in Canada and am obviously not your neighbour in Virginia. Though I’ve driven through your state and it’s really nice. I just like to practice my writing as often as I can, and if I can do that while visiting blogs I like? Then it’s pure enjoyment rather than a chore, you know? 😀

    I believe I commented some time ago that I initially followed your blog because I grew up in a house of around the same vintage, so I really like looking at all the work you’re doing on yours.

    My Mom has two big urns with similar arrangements to yours on both the front and back porch of their home. I’ll take pictures and post them for you next time I visit.

    (Posted in my own style, of course!)

    Anyway, just wanted to make sure I didn’t spook you! Heh heh.


  13. Dianna says:

    So beautiful!!! I bought a few plants yesterday at the nursery…tomorrow will be planting day, and I’m looking forward to it!


  14. There’s a hedgehog, so you can’t go wrong!

    Very nice, Barbara.


  15. Your urn is just stunning, Barbara! Such a beautiful combination of happy plants. I’m impressed that you did it all with “digging and dividing.” So inviting for your friends’ arrival! Best wishes, WG


  16. Pingback: Ode On a Virginian Urn: “Comment Awaiting Moderation” | The Offensive Playbook

  17. Love the combination of plants that I never would have thought to containerize. Thanks for sharing, Barbara.


  18. Margie says:

    These urns are beautiful. I feel inspired to copy some of your ideas for the two lonely pots that are sitting in my backyard, waiting for spring!


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