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Let there be LIFE!

May 19, 2010

We’ve been busy with a flurry of projects around the house lately, so I anticipate several posts over the next week or so.

We have worked on projects in each of the following areas:

–        Front yard

–        Side yard

–        Dining Room

–        Garage

The one that I want to share with you today is one that I feel gave us the biggest bang for our buck.  Which is a good thing, because there were quite a few bucks involved.  It’s something that we had wanted to do for awhile, and when I nearly dissolved in tears at the thought of working on the garage attic for yet another weekend, Chris conceded that perhaps a break would rejuvenate both of us so that we could finish strong.

What did we tackle?  The front patio!!!  We have a gorgeous flagstone patio…but much in the same way that I jokingly call our backyard a concrete oasis, the front yard also boats several hundred square feet of concrete.  The one thing missing in the front yard?  LIFE!  No…not light…we already did the “let there be light” project.  Now, we are on to a let there be LIFE project!  We have grass in the front yard, albeit a small patch, and a sad little apple tree that Chris nearly choked to death when he trimmed, but other than that, there are not really any flowers or plants for us to boast about.

Here’s the before picture—notice the “Grandma” bricks lining the walkway and the perimeter of the flagstone patio.  Not ideal.  Not much else to notice here—that’s why we had some work to do.

We had our eye on some containers at Home Depot.  As a side note, I don’t recommend your local home improvement store if you are looking for deals on plants or pots/containers.  Your local nursery will almost always offer a better selection and a better price.  In our case, we wanted a particular look and feel for the planters, which was just something that our local nursery didn’t offer.  (Another great place to check—Home Goods!).

Since we bought the planters at Home Depot, we planned to just purchase the plants there as well, but the selection was picked over and largely wilted.  So, instead of spending money on plants that already looked half dead, we picked up the two Asiatic lilies that we were in love with, grabbed the two planters that we had been eyeing for awhile, and headed over to our local nursery the next day to get the rest of the plants.

My mom attended a gardening class at church once, and she came home with a little rhyme that I thought was pretty clever.  When you’re looking to fill a planter, go for the “Thrill, Fill, and Spill.”  You want a plant in the center that is large enough to draw your eye to (Thrill).  You want to fill in the outer edges of the planter (fill).  You should also buy some plants that may drape over the edges of the planter as the plant grows (spill).  She also mentioned that you should buy a planter large enough that you won’t have to constantly water it.

While my first attempt at this concept isn’t perfect, I’m still pleased with the result.

When we removed the “Grandma style” bricks that were lining the edges, it left a pretty big gap.  We bought some dirt and filled in the gap where the bricks had been, and then added some seed on top of it.

In addition to the planters, we really wanted to take advantage of the space in front of our house by putting some seating there.  We brought out our two person bistro table (which had previously been residing in the backyard), and set it up on the front patio.  Of course, lots of people do this and never use it, but with our friendly neighbors, Chris and I were confident that it would be put to good use.  And sure enough, we had barely finished watering in the plants when our neighbor came over to chat about the party we’d been at the night before and to catch up.  Seriously!  How perfect is that?!?!?!

We’re so pleased with the final look of the patio, and can’t wait to continue to put it to good use.

Do you have a seating area in the front of your home?  Have you ever used it?  What about planting in containers like we did here?  Any good tips or tricks to share?  We’d love to hear them.  Any tips on how to keep Asiatic lilies alive for longer than a week would also be appreciated! 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    May 19, 2010 7:11 pm

    Very inviting! I’ll come over for a beer. 🙂

  2. Jen permalink
    May 21, 2010 2:15 pm

    Super cute Katie. I still need to take a few pictures of our evolving outdoor space since it is starting to look a little less desparate. I am so jealous of your nice green grass!

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