Monday, April 30, 2012

A sad attempt at curb appeal

It’s embarrassing to show and admit this … but I have ZERO talent for gardening or knowing how to design an outdoor area.  Our front yard is sad.  It’s bare, and lonely, and uneventful.

As you can see … I’ve made a few attempts… there’s a bench, some solar panel lights, a lantern and my little friendly night owl who protects us.  But I mean seriously… it’s just sad.

So this past weekend I made another small effort to at least bring some happy cheerful color onto our front step.
As here it was before…. (oh are plants supposed to go in those? they’re not for decoration as is? hmmm)


I actually had the potting mix and Miracle grow from last years attempt at gardening (yes, a #fail) but headed to Lowe’s and picked out some African daisies. They looked colorful and happy and they said full sun so I figured they had to be strong.


I wasn’t feelin the terracotta color of my pots so I did an extremely fast DIY and just did a layer of primer (wasn’t sure if I needed too or not… so I did) and then just grabbed two neutral colors I had on hand.


Then just plopped the flowers in and VOILA! COLOR!


Jackson was a fan of the pretty flowers … {they smelled so good.}

It’s a little prettier now? Right?


That’s my watch dog owl.  He’s pretty cute isn’t he?  He has a light inside him that’s energized by the sun so it stores up energy all day long and then he glows a bright blue at night. 


I’m thinking I need a bright big fun wreath to adorn our door too.  Any takers on making me one? Smile

But here’s where it really needs some help. Our little “garden”…. I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT TO DO WITH IT! The soil is terrible…. and it gets direct hot sun almost the entire day.  Last year I planted a row of colorful flowers along side of the lights to border in the shrubs, but if I didn’t water them twice a day they died by night time.  I just don’t have the energy, care, dedication, time to be able to water them twice a day.  Any ideas of what else I could do here that can withstand the sun and not great soil?  The shrubs there (no clue what they are… they were there when we moved in and never get water and never have come close to dying) are pretty boring and that one in the middle seems overgrown, but no clue how to cut it back correctly.

So I’m taking any and all suggestions if you can think of ideas for this area!




  1. I think you've done a beautiful job! :) Megan

  2. Where can I find that adorable watch owl? it's very Clash of the Titans! I love it :)

    1. I picked him up at my number one go to place :) TJ Maxx! They have them in all different animals, even just spheres. They're cute :)

  3. Your front porch looks great - makes me wish I had a front porch! I suck at gardening, but I would talk to the people at Home Depot or go to a gardening supply like Armstrong (not sure what you have there) and tell them you need something that will live well in direct sunlight. I doubt you'll be able to do actual flowers, but there are some hearty bushes that flower and would be pretty. Good luck!!

  4. Hi Pamela! The porch looks wonderful (want to paint my boring white door badly!) And I love the owl too. Agree with Kristin tt someone who has gardening in full sun experience in your area, but an instant change would be to separate the grass from the landscaped area with yard edging trim, bricks etc.. and fill in the area with mulch after you lay down some weed block. Then you can go back and fill in with any plants that will handle all the sun and you will be set for summer. Adding "paint front door" to list....

  5. Hi Pamela! Your porch looks so great! I love the bench with the pillows!

    My suggestion for your front garden is to fill around the bushes with some sun-loving perennials. Not sure what to get? Go to a good garden center and speak to one of the associates - I always find them to be a wealth of info. Once you plant them, fill the garden bed with mulch. Mulch will help keep any weeds at bay and it will help lock the moisture into the soil. Perfect for full-sun gardens.

    Perennials are great because unlike annuals, they come back year after year. A nice flowering ground cover might be nice? Find a variety that is hearty and loves full, direct sun.

    Our back garden is full sun and it gets H-O-T! Perennials work really well out there.

    Good luck!
    Michelle from

    1. Thanks for those suggestions!!! I may need to go to a nursery or something because honestly I LOVE lowe's & HD but they've actually never been of much help in that department for me.

      Do you think it's too late in the season to plant now?

  6. Agreed. I love your cute porch.
    I have become somewhat of a garden junkie wannabe. I can't remember where you live but I would definitely go to a nursery. And better yet, take a picture in with you.
    They will be more likely to help you, even if it costs a bit more. (You can always bargain with them though if you tell them you'll buy everything there. That's what I do, but I am shameless for a deal.
    One thing I have found I love is growing "native" perennials. They tend to thrive in your area and won't get bugs. Plus, like Michelle mentioned they will come back year after year.
    It looks like the plant on the far left is a boxwood. I like those because they are easy for lazy gardeners like me and they stay green all year.
    I wish I lived close and I would come do this for you! I LOVE this kind of stuff.
    Best of luck and post pictures for us when you decide what to do!

    1. Thanks for the tips Laurie!! I live in VA so ... ya know it's not TOO far away if you're up for a road trip hehehe :)

      I live by a few nurseries maybe I'll get to them this weekend and see how my persuading skills work to get a deal.

      Thanks so much! & I will ... I mean as much as I'm not a fan of gardening... if I'm working so hard to make the inside of my home beautiful, the outside should match it -- that's what people see!

  7. It's so pretty and springy now! Your little porch area is adorable and so welcoming! I suck at gardening too, so our yards have always looked pathetic. It's crazy what a change a few pots of flowers can be though!

  8. What about succulents or any other desert dwelling plants. They love the sun and don't need a ton of water. Love the new flowers & pretty pots :)

  9. ranchgirl is right on IF youu have a rapport with a nurseryperson. OTHERWISE how about registering a mylowes acct and working with their online tools to come up with an original design??????????????????????????/

  10. Your porch is SO CUTE!! I love the African Daisies. They are always so easy to add some quick color. Here is a link I found for some native plants to VA; You can kind of look over this and see what is available in your area. I would definitely go to a nursery over Lowes or HD. Listen to the local news for schools or groups selling plants. They generally have plants that grow well locally.

    I live in southern AZ and trust me the soil here is HORRIBLE!! I have gotten to where I add Miracle Grow Moisture Control to the hole and mix it with the soil (if you can call it that). It seems to be helping a LOT. The hole I make is rather large compared to what I am planting, but I want to give the roots some place to go easily. I also go through a lot of the LARGE bags, but I am able to get some things to grow (finally!) (I am trying hard to grow a couple of vegetables. I *LOVE* fresh vegetables.)

    I just had a thought! You could use a bag of Miracle Grow. Get a couple of wooden trellis's and plant some peas. Peas have pretty flowers, and they would be beneficial as well. Your little one would be able to pick the vegetables and eat them too! :)

    1. Just shot you an email, thank you so so much for such a wonderful and detailed helpful comment!!!

      You're the best!

  11. I'm coming down to plant petunias. No, not them, they only last 1 year. But they grow huge and spread! How about some pink things. And red things. And yellow things. Make them perennials. See what sticks. Fill in the rest with petunias. That's been my strategy. Has worked for the whole 24 months since i started planting things... at least 50% of the time. Okay?

    You are WELCOME!

  12. It looks beautiful Pamela. So warm and inviting :)

  13. Your plants look like boxwoods and look like they need fertilizer. You might want to carefully dig them up taking care not to hurt the roots and plant them a little bit out from the concrete driveway. After you move them water them good and fertilize them, they should look a lot better then you can trim them into circles or squares make sure if you get fertilizer on the top to be sure to water it off so it won't burn the plant. Boxwoods when healthy require very little care. If you leave enough room between plants you can plant flowers I between each plant. Have fun with it like you did your porch!

  14. Where can I find giant lantern like that? I think your porch looks great!


Love hearing back from my readers, you make my day! Thanks, Pamela of PBJstories

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