It’s summer! Time to go outside and nerdify that boring garden with these Mario-inspired garden nerd ideas! Let’s-a go!
Hi there! My name is Heather and I am a giant nerd. No, this isn’t a meeting of Nerds Anonymous (is that a thing?), but you do need to know that tidbit before continuing. I love Harry Potter, Doctor Who, superheroes (vigilantes, anti-heroes, villains, etc.), and old video games. In fact, as I sit here writing this I'm wearing an Avengers t-shirt. On top of that, I’ve also become a bit of a plant nerd recently. Between the fruit trees and watermelons, flowers, vines, cacti, and never-ending supply of succulents, I’ve got quite a collection going!
Before we get too far, let me back up a bit. I said I like old video games. Old, for me at least, means games for Game Boy and Nintendo 64. We’re talking Tetris, Super Mario, Super Smash Brothers… the list goes on and on and on! Let’s be honest, I like these games because they’re the only ones I could ever really play well. Plus, how can you go wrong with Mario? Now back to your regularly scheduled blog post...
Lately, I've developed a desire to combine my love of plants with my overall nerdiness. Thus, the idea of a nerd garden was born. You decorate your home with the things you love, so why not your garden? Today, I’m going to focus on Mario-inspired garden ideas, but don’t worry because I’ll have many more garden nerd ideas for you down the road!
A week or so ago, I was scrolling through Etsy (after purchasing a Bulbasaur planter as a wedding gift for my favorite nerdy couple) and stumbled upon people selling 3d printed Super Mario planters. Instantly, I decided I needed a Mario Warp Pipe planter and a Venus flytrap. After all, what could be more perfect?! There’s nothing wrong with the planters I found; however, being the crafty person I am, I figured I could make my own and for way less.
Less than 24 hours later, there I was at my local gardening store in the PVC aisle looking for just the right piece. Miracle of all miracles, I found the perfect piece of PVC: a 1.5” x 2” coupling. Combined with a 1.5” cap, some hot glue, green spray paint, and a Venus flytrap, I now have the most adorable, nerdy planter for far less than it would’ve cost to purchase just the pot online. I’m quite proud of it, to be perfectly honest!
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Like the example above, my warp pipe planter is very small. If you’re looking for something on a much grander scale, try out this awesome Mario-inspired DIY: question block planters! All you need is some cinder blocks and paint! The individual holes in the cinder blocks make this project perfect for container gardens.
I think everyone, regardless of age, has played some version of Mario Kart at one point in time. How cute would it be to have a Mario Kart Planter?! Grab an old toy car (or new… no judgment), put some dirt in the trunk or front end, and add plants! Now, unless you repurpose a four wheeler, you won’t be able to plant shrubs, but small plants like cacti or succulents will definitely work in this container garden! It also might be a good idea to drill holes in the bottom for drainage purposes. Just don’t throw a banana peel out in front of it - you wouldn’t want your plants to go flying! (Now, I know this image isn’t exactly correct, but it gives you a rough idea of what I'm going for.)
I think everyone has seen some version of garden spheres. Some are just concrete and some are covered in mosaic tiles. They seem to be sold everywhere and are considered garden art. I don’t really get it, but to each their own. However, a garden sphere that I can get behind is one that looks like Bob-omb! Buy an already made sphere, DIY one from concrete, or upcycle a bowling ball, paint it black, and then add Bob-omb’s cute little face. Tada! Mario yard art that’s the bomb!
Via The Garden Glove
Again, you’ll have to use your imagination on this project. But trust me; this DIY Mario project is really simple. Take an old globe light fixture (shown below), draw or paint Boo’s face on it, and put a string of LED lights in the globe. Normal Boo during the day and glowing Boo at night. You can’t find a much cooler way to spruce up your garden design than that!
Via DIY Home World
At my high school, we had something called After Prom Extravaganza (APE), which was essentially a lock in party after prom so that none of the kids did anything stupid that night. Every year had a different theme and the parents always went ALL OUT with the decorations. (I promise this is relevant.) My junior year the APE theme was video games. A giant Donkey Kong blow-up was placed at the entrance (ape, get it?) and inside there were vignettes and cutouts from different games like Pokémon and Zelda. All of this was super cool, but the most memorable decoration to me (and the whole reason I’m dredging up high school stuff) were the Toadstools. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to make a Toadstool of my own. And now I know how! With a bucket, fabric, and some crafting skills, you can make your own Toad (or 1up stool), too!
I wouldn’t suggest trying to flatten anyone with this Thwomp… mama mia that would hurt! But he sure would make a cute addition to your Mario nerd garden. This DIY project isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you do make a Thwomp, he will protect your garden from intruders!
Your pets want in on the fun, too! Your small dog or outdoor cat would love this chain chomp pet bed to relax in. Don’t worry, no pets will be harmed by this chain chomp - he’s harmless. Unfortunately, you can’t buy this beauty anymore, but if you’re brave enough, you could try to DIY! The original was made from Styrofoam covered in various products to seal it and give chain chomp a metal texture.
Via Teche Blog
Don’t have a pet? Don’t worry, it’s not game over! Chain chomp would still look fantastic in your garden as yard art. Bonus Level! The wooden box chain chomp is attached to can double as storage! One star for you!
Looking for something a little simpler? If you don’t want a complete garden makeover, but still want to incorporate some nerd in your garden, try upcycling an old clay pot (works great for indoor gardening too) or painting a birdhouse like the featured image! The possibilities are endless!
Do you have any video game related items in your garden? Show me your nerd gardens! I’d love to hear your ideas. Please comment and share below!
**Featured image via Nerdy with Children