porch seating pots added

New planters for front porch: Curb appeal step one

I am on a mission to improve my home’s curb appeal.  It is not a bad looking house, but it is definitely lacking some oomph.  This is going to be a multi step process.  I already have a great chair set with a table.  All three pieces need to be freshened up a bit.  The front door needs to be replaced.  Both the entry door and the storm door are all wrong for the house and both of them have some functionality issues as well.  They probably won’t be replaced until next spring or summer, so I am concentrating on the seating area for now.  The seating area could use a bit of color.  I am starting with some pots planted with annuals.

front porch before

I was on the look out for a set of square pots to flank the entry.  My ideal pot would have been a paneled style at least 18″ wide in black, to echo the shape, texture and color of my shutters.  I had found a couple that I liked, but I was too hesitant to order anything expensive from a catalog without being able to see the quality in person.   Everything I saw locally was round.  I had my heart set on square.  This always happens to me.  I get the vision of what I want and I just can’t shake it.  I search high and I search low and then I get really frustrated.  I am working on trying to be more flexible in an effort to get projects completed.  June was coming to an end.  How long was I going to wait to plant flowers, for crying out loud?

black flower pots

One day I was walking through Lowes and spotted these bad boys on clearance for $15 each.  I could buy the two planters that I would need and the soil and the flower and still spend less than what it would cost for one of the fancy models that I had seen in catalogs.  They only had 2 left in stock.  I snapped them up.  The next day when the Hubs was at another location, he spotted more and called to ask if I wanted a third planter.  Sure, why not?  So now what do I do with the third planter?

flower pot location

Place one in front of each pillar?

flower pot pillar location

I loved the way the planters looked in front of each pillar.  They would catch some rain water that way too, leaving less work for me.  It looked quite nice also.  In the end, the door area was just too bare.  I stuck with the original plan and placed one planter in front of the farthest pillar, near the seating area.  I can always move them and I still may.  We’ll see what happens with the door.  I have some ideas for that project that I won’t get into here.

pot in seating area

Here is the front door with the two planters flanking the entry.

pot flanking entry

Here is the seating area with the pot all planted and lovely.

porch seating pots addedThe previous owners already had a lot of purple flowers in the front beds.  The color is quite a nice contrast against the red of the brick.  Since it was late June when all of this went down, the selection at the nursery was limited.  I had intended to get a deeper, bluer viola, but they were all gone.  I chose purple pansies and chartreuse coleus for a pop of color and to keep a cool color scheme.  I have never been very impressed by coleus before, but I have a new appreciation for its simplicity.

purple pansies chartreuse coleus

The planters have filled in more now that the plants have grown and I added some of those spiky salvia from the $5 flower flat I purchased last week.  The salvia added some needed contrast in height and color.  I really like the way that this combination looks. The plants still need to fill out a bit, this might even become my signature look.

salvia coleus pansies

five dollar flower flat

Major garden score a flat of flowers for five bucks!

The other day I came across a major garden score.  I was able to pick out an entire flat of flowers for five bucks!

five dollar flower flat

Dhalia, Salvia, Pansies and Gallardia.  Many of the plants had nice blooms on them.  I got them planted as soon as possible, knowing they would be a bit root bound and eager to get into the ground.  I was able to fill in a lot of bare spots and add a bit more color at the same time.

The remote garden is growing well and a garden update

I have a garden update on how well my remote garden is growing.  I know that I have mentioned it before, but I have not take any photos of it this year.

We were able to pick about 5 quarts of black raspberries.  They were just coming ripe and now they are at peak.

Raspberries ripe and ready

The Hubs had just freshly tilled between the rows of green beans, which were looking good.  The remote garden has been such a saving grace.  I am too embarrassed of what the green beans in the home garden look like to even show a picture.  Poor germination, yellowing leaves and overtaken by grass.  These babies are doing great.  Plenty to harvest to eat fresh and to freeze for winter.

green beans in rows

He also tilled around the pumpkins and squash.  The vine crops are off to a great start too.

Pumpkins and sqaush

The cucumbers are loving their happy home under the black plastic.

cucumber plants gaining size

The peppers are looking great and have lots of small fruits as they grow along side the beans.

Peppers and beans

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

I spotted this amazing spider web sight when I glanced out the window.  Later, without the morning dew, it was not nearly as impressive or imposing.

huge spider web filled with dewThe pepper plants are loaded!  All the necessary ingredients for stuffed hot banana peppers are awaiting harvest any day now…

Lots of peppers on the plants

We can see developing tomatoes along with oodles of blossoms.

Tomatoes and blossomsOur first zucchini is just a few days away.  Eggplants and okra are steadily developing fruits and getting larger.

Eggplants and okraThe sunflowers continue to climb to the heavens.

Sunflower height is increasingCheck out this super heavy duty hose cart the Hubs ordered.  Aesthetically, it is not so great, but can be wheeled out of sight quite easily.  It is super functional when you have 300 feet of hose to wrangle.  It came from AM Leo and if it is as good as every other tool that we have purchased from them, it will serve us well for some time.  (Seriously, check them out.  I am in no way getting compensated for this endorsement.)

The new hose cart

I am eager to start eating all of this tasty produce.  Then when we are overwhelmed, the food preservation will begin.  This weekend I am going to make jelly and jams.  The deep freezer needs a thorough cleaning and defrosting, so I will get to that as well.  We also plan on tilling up those awful green beans and plant a fall crop along with peas.  I so want peas.  We did not get this veggie garden started early enough for spring crops this year.