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Northwest Gardening: High Style Landscape for Low Cost

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Here's a low-cost way to add high style to your landscape from Lowe's Northwest region garden contributor Marianne Binetti

Urns on brick pedestals say Welcome.
Set bricks on the base.

Place a plant on a pedestal, and it will be held in high esteem. Creating these brick pedestals to show off a pair of classic-looking urns couldn't be easier. And the entire project--including the pedestals, urns and cordyline plants--cost less than $100. That's what Lowe's gave us regional garden experts with the challenge to do or make something useful in the garden for $100 or less.

I built these pedestals to flank a garden gate, but I've also used stacked brick to make towers to elevate a container garden in the middle of a flowerbed, show off a piece of garden art, and even display a birdhouse in the center of a shade garden.

For the materials, you won't need mortar, cement or any tools. Just gather 24 bricks and four 16x16-in stepping stones to make two pedestals. As for the urns, I fell in love with the lightweight fiberglass stone challis urns I found at Lowe's for just $24.94 each. These urns have classic shapes that look great in contemporary and traditional landscape designs. Plus the opening is the perfect size for just dropping in an already potted plant.

I used spiky cordyline in a gallon-size pot ($7.99 each) to add some contrasting texture. But you also could pop in potted hydrangeas, a hanging basket, or an evergreen shrub such as a clipped boxwood.

Note the staggered seams on the second row of bricks.

First, set the first square stepping stone on the ground, making sure it is level. This is your base for the first row of bricks. Lay the bricks so the corners meet. You can use solid brick, or recycled brick with holes, as I did here. The top of the brick will not show.

The fourth row of bricks aligns like the second row.

Next, add a second row of bricks, stacked without mortar or adhesive, onto the first row, making sure you stagger the seams.

Add a cap to the stacked bricks.

I stopped stacking bricks after four rows, but you can keep adding rows of brick to give the column more height. Don't go too high or the tower won't be very stable. Notice that the inside of this column is hollow.

Finally, position the urn on top of your pedestal.

Now just add a cap to the top of the stacked bricks using another 16x16-in stepping stone.

This urn punctuates a bed with ribbon grass.

Finally, place the urn on top of the new pedestal and pop in the potted plant of your choice. Repeat to make a matching set.

I call these two my sentries for the entry. And with these classic containers displayed on top, this pair of sentries is definitely "urning" lots of respect.