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The Uncommon Life

Video: How to Grow Herbs
Indoors & All Year

February 22, 2019

1. Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden

Mason Jar Indoor Herb Garden – $20 Buy Now »


2. Kitchen Essentials Herb Planter

Kitchen Essentials Herb Planter – $18-25 Buy Now »


3. Antiqued Brass Growhouse

Antiqued Brass Growhouse – $150 Buy Now »


Maker Stories

This Just In-spiration: Meet Gardening Gurus Nathan Littlewood & Robert Elliott

May 25, 2018

Robert, left, and Nathan, pictured here with the fruits of their labor

Apartment-dwellers—especially those of us in large cities—know all too well how difficult it can be to bring a little bit of greenery indoors. After all, plants are mysterious creatures that seem to get mad when you care about ’em too much, and starting something from seed can be a real rollercoaster. Can you tell I’m a helicopter parent to my houseplants? Anyway, growing your own stuff with minimal space is now much, much easier thanks to Nathan Littlewood and Robert Elliott, creators of our foolproof Bottle Stopper Garden Kit. With only a wine bottle, seeds, and Nathan and Robert’s expertly engineered “smart soil” capsules, you’ll be harvesting buckets of sweet basil, purple basil, and lemon balm in no time. (OK, maybe not buckets, but trust us: you’ll be seeing a lot of happy little leaves.)

After meeting at NYC’s own Columbia University back in 2016, Nathan and Robert bonded over shared interests in food and sustainability—and when they started a business together, they, like us, vowed to use it as a force for good. To find out what that means to them, we spoke with Nathan and Robert about their product, the ethos behind it, and cool stuff they’ve got lying around in the office… like, you know, a betta fish. Read on for more.

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Gift Guides

Father’s Day Gifts for the Backyard BBQ Master

May 24, 2018

Father’s Day Gifts for the Backyard BBQ Master | UncommonGoods

Ah, the lawn-loving dad. You know the type: when he’s not atop his riding mower, he’s getting veggies sliced and spiced for the grill—and when he’s not doing that, he’s setting up the badminton net or the croquet wickets. Ready for a little one-on-one? OK, calm down, we’re just setting the scene. For the pop that’s always outside, we’ve assembled 13 little somethings to enrich the experience this Father’s Day, from hammocks to handheld tools that keep the grill extra clean. Read on for more.

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Gift Guides

Our Favorite Products This Week:
Garden Edition

April 18, 2018

Our Favorite Products this Week | UncommonGoods

Is it just us, or did winter feel endless this year? Or maybe that’s what it feels like every year. We’re losing track. At least we know this much: gardening season is here, baby, and that means dirt, bugs, and flowers galore. (Seriously, we love all those things.) It also means our weekly picks this time around feature a selection of our favorite stuff for your corner of the great outdoors, from watering cans to spinning sculptures to bird feeders to, of course, grow kits. Read on for more.

1. A watering can in the shape of a friendly frog.

Frankie the Frog Watering Can | UncommonGoods

If you’re lucky, you’ve probably spotted a toad or two popping up from your garden already. Since tree frogs are a rarer sight, let Frankie bring the charm of the tropics to you. We also hear he makes a great gift:

My mom loves to collect frogs, and this watering can was perfect. She loves to garden, but decided she would display it more like an art piece than actually use it to water plants because she loves it so much. Success!Rani, Boston, MA, ★★★★★

Frankie the Frog Watering Can – $42 Buy Now »


2. A set of mama and baby bird garden sculptures.

Quail Set Garden Sculpture | UncommonGoods

Baby quail are so adorable, we couldn’t resist these handmade steel versions. Here’s one satsified customer’s take:

We have several quail families in our area and even they are curious about these sculptures! They are fun to move around and rearrange. We consistently receive compliments from our many visitors. They are well made, sturdy, with a strong attention to detail. Great gift or addition to any garden!NW Quail, Washington, ★★★★★

Quail Set Garden Sculpture – $45 Buy Now »


3. Cast brass plant markers for your favorite herbs.

Cast Herb Plant Markers | UncommonGoods

Say “goodbye” to popsicle sticks and “hello” to these charming, durable replacements, each handmade in New York.

Cast Herb Plant Markers – $50 Buy Now »


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Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Can a Self-Watering Pepper Planter Be Trusted?

December 4, 2017

Data scientist Dr. Ken proudly displays his wee peppers. Spicy!


Self-Watering Pepper Planter


House plants that enter into my care rarely thrive. More often, they have the sort of existence Thomas Hobbes (no, not that Hobbes) might have written about—that is, “nasty, brutish, and short.” And while I’ve tried many different types of plants, the problem is always the same: water. Some occasions it’s too little too late, others it is a root rot-inducing flood. Frequently, it’s one followed by the other as I overcompensate. Whatever knack is required, I don’t have it, and I was ready to give up on the idea that anything could grow in the barren desert landscape of my living room.

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Maker Stories

Talking Purpose, Fun, and Sustainable Design with Fred Conlon

September 6, 2017

Photo by Nan Chalat Noaker/Park Record

Fun fact: Utahan Fred Conlon has been working with us here at UncommonGoods for over ten years, and in all that time, we’ve only mentioned him on the blog a teeny-tiny handful of times. But it’s 2017, and we’re saying, “No more.” It’s time to give Fred his due the best way we know how, and that’s with his very own maker story.

Raised in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Fred’s the son of two high school English teachers, which may at least help to explain how he wound up with a degree in Public Communication despite his ambition to open a pottery shop. After a brief tour as a ceramicist, Fred transformed his shop into the full-time metalworking studio where he now crafts punny paperweights and his signature Gnome-Be-Gones, both fixtures of our assortment here at UG for the better part of the past decade. Read on for a Q&A with Fred that touches on inspiration, sustainability, and what makes his job so special. (We also took a couple of moments to scour his Instagram, the evidence of which, too, lies below.)

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Maker Stories

Where the Wild Things Grow:
Artist Catherine Murphy Turns Metal to Magic with Her Garden Decor

June 19, 2017

Catherine Murphy has always been an observer. From the rich architecture she saw shuffling around European cities as a child, to the awe-inspiring complexity she’s discovered in nature, Catherine’s brain is a mosaic of interwoven experiences. Today, she fuses these influences into stunning designs for your garden at the Haw Creek Forge. Nestled on the edge of the French Broad River in Asheville, North Carolina, you might find Catherine and her team of artisans collaborating on a new idea or welding shiny plates of copper into praying mantises and hummingbirds. We had the pleasure of learning more about Catherine’s process and her magnificent journey to becoming a metal artist.

Catherine’s garden fairy makes an enchanting addition to your yard.

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The Uncommon Life

10 Easy to Grow Succulents for Every Home [Infographic]

October 6, 2016

Indoor Succulent Advice | UncommonGoods

With spring on the way it’s time to spruce up your gardening game. If you’re hoping for an easy and beautiful indoor garden sanctuary try succulents. Succulent plants come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, suitable to all kinds of interior spaces. Easily identified by their juicy leaves and stems, these plants aren’t just pretty—they’re designed to hold water during droughts. Good news for the forgetful gardener: succulents are resilient, hardy, and versatile.

But with thousands of varieties to choose from, it’s hard to know which types of succulents are right for your indoor space. Low levels of natural light and cooler temperatures mean you’ll need to adjust how much water and fertilizer you use. Some adapt to hanging planters and terrariums better than others and some indoor succulents can even be toxic to your pets. When you get right down to it, there is a lot to know about succulent care! That’s why we’ve researched and compiled a list of 10 favorite indoor succulents to brighten up your home as the spring sunshine begins to brighten our days.

The 10 Best Indoor Succulents | Indoor Plant Tips | UncommonGoods

Thanksgiving Catcus | UncommonGoods Continue Reading…