Thursday, April 22, 2010

April Showers, and Some Flowers!

 (new sign for the front door)

Okay okay-so the title is a little cheesy.  Its just not may yet, so it has to just be flowers. ;)  I've spent all day playing in dirt!  I love planting flowers.  Its awesome to put something in the ground and watch it flourish (if you remember to water it).  Last year we had all of the landscaping ripped out.  It took a small backhoe thing and about 8 guys to do it.  At somepoint, someone who owned this house decided it would be a fantastic idea to plant holly bushes and then put red lava rock on top of the ground.  Fast forward twenty years later-lava rock was NOT the best plan folks!  I digress.  I took some pictures to show what I have been up to in the yard.

First let me show you my planters.  I had hubby hang these last year and I love them.  This year I actually bought real planters and planted things myself.  Here's why:

Pre-Planted Planters: $7 (WalMart) - $12 (Lowes)...just for petunias!  Really??

Planters: $5 each (liners included)
Plants: $3 for 6....4 in each pot = $12
AND the planters get reused next year. :)

So, here they are:

And here they are hung up on the upper deck and lower deck:

I should probably explain what else I have planted back here.  After we the landscaping crew removed all of the lava rock and installed some nice top soil, I planted two yellow climbing rose bushes.  They were just roots last year, so they are doing well I think-hopefully they will bloom this year.  In the planter closest to where I'm standing I planted this creepy plant (the plant isn't creepy, but that's what it does-it creeps) with these BRIGHT blue flowers.  Its not come in all the way yet.  I think of it as a creeping phlox, but for the shade.  On the other side of the stairs, I have 2 Moose (Big Moosie and Little Moosie) 3 creeping phlox and another climbing rose bush.  The whiskey barrels have a bleeding heart and a trumpet vine.  Here's a better look (I guess I could have put the hose away-sorry):

Aside from the hanging baskets, and the trumpet vine, I planted everything else last year as little baby plants and this is what I got this year.  Next, the side of the deck, there isn't much sun except for really early in the morning.  I planted 8 hosta last year.  7 have started coming back.

Can you see where our boys run my little fence line there?  Its driving poor hubby nuts.  We also have a shed in the back, and again, once the lava rock was removed, I went to planting.  Originally I had a honeysuckle in this spot, but honestly, its too invasive (its native to KY sooooo I guess it thinks it can just rule the roost).  This spring I ripped it up, and planted a clematis instead.  A nice pink one.  Right now, its just a root, but hopefully soon it will grow.  I also have planted a Hydrangea root x2 (but I think I'll only get one) and my daylilly I planted last year.

The flamingos were a gift from my sweet Mother-In-Law.  What does that yellow extension cord go to you ask...let me show you...

That's right.  A bug zapper.  This is our source of entertainment in the summer.  I LOVE this thing.  Okay-so back to the tour.  Our yard is fenced in and in the corner I have planted a dwarf lilac, 2 peonies, and 3 roses.  There were 4 roses, but one didn't make it...twice.  I just gave up planting anything else there.  Oh yeah, and I moved a daylilly over here too-I'm think the one next to the shed will join it soon.

That one needs a little love...and mulch.  Well, I gotta have something to do this weekend.  These are some more daylillies I planted last year.

I can't wait for this stuff to start blooming!!!  Okay, so now to the front of the house.  The front of the house is where all the holly bushes were, so I pretty much got to start with a blank slate up front.

This is now.  I'm moving some decorations around in front, so please don't mind the flag and welcome flag and how they don't match.  I'm changing over to a patriotic theme for the summer.  When the holly bushes were in, you couldn't see the bottom windows at all, which meant no light inside.  The windows on the right are the garage so that doesn't matter, but the windows on the left are the family room, that needs some light! I'll start on the left side though, it gets 8+ hours of sunlight per day.  ALL of these plants are sun loving plants.

There are two rosebushes and those are dwarf daylillies.  Unlike regular ones, the flowers don't get any taller than the greenery.  I added the white and pink geraniums today, the rest I planted last year.

These are the new daylillies I planted today to complete the boarder.  In the middle is a purple clematis (it was just a root last year).

I have a confession.  I do not like hate "knock out" roses.  I may have just hurt someone's feelings, but I have a deep dislike for these flowers.  Don't get me wrong, they are great for most people.  They are disease resistant, come in standard colors, and they are hybrids etc.  I just don't don't like the way the blooms look AND they don't smell.  It defeats the purpose in my mind.  So all of the roses I have shown you to this point have been the real deal.  I have to prune them, treat them with chemicals, and baby them.  BUT they make the BEST flowers.  When Hubby and I were shopping for two more flower bushes, I considered getting some nice hybrid tea roses in orange or yellow or something.  Instead what I found was this:

This is a "double bloom knock out" rose.  It looks more like a "real" rose, but it still doesn't smell.  I can live with that.  I bought two.  That's right. Two.  They were the most expensive plants I bought-$20 each.  BUT they are really pretty.  :)  hehehe.  Okay-so back to my list o' flowers.  I also have a peony, bleeding heart, and two blue salvia.

My idea is, this flower bed should bloom from spring to first frost.  Its awesome.  On my stoop I planted a gerbera daisies and wave petunias in two planters.

I also have a little gnome that likes to welcome people.  He was a gift from my mother.

The other side of the stoop.  I start my shade garden.  Here's my problem.  This side of my house gets very little direct sunlight, mostly indirect (8+ hours a day).  So I begin with mostly sun/partial shade plants and move to shade plants.  I added 4 new columbine.  Some species like sun, some like shade.  These liked sun.  I also have two white azaleas (I just planted), 1 peony (from last year), and some dianthus (begin shade plants). 

Here is a close up of my new columbine.

If you notice, I have plants not planted yet.  Let me show you why.

That is a yucca.  Or what is left of a yucca.  This is a full-size version:

Well.  We had those and holly bushes.  I don't know if you've ever tried to remove a yucca-you can't.  Its impossible.  I cut them back ALL SUMMER LONG and they kept growing.  I dug them up, and they kept growing.  Its like nothing I have ever seen.  This spring, I got the idea to cut them back and spray round up on them.  It seems to be working so far.  We will see.  So the reason I don't have the flowers planted is because of roundup.  

This is what is in the containers still.  I don't remember what they are called, but I LOVE them.  They creep along and make a NICE boarder plant for shady areas. 

The rest of the flower bed is shade loving plants.  I did manage to not plant any hosta here though-

I have a all-summer-long hydrangea, a rhododendron-bought on clearance last year because they forgot to water it, half of it didn't make the winter, but its doing better now-, dianthus and columbine.  Oh yes, and froggy.  Here is a close up of my shade loving columbine. 

This is where I keep all my gardening stuff.  It was built by Hubby's Father and Grandfather for my Mother-In-Law.  She gave it to me when Hubby and I got married.  I LOVE it.

If you don't have a potting bench, you really should consider it, especially if you are outside in the garden a lot.  Also, that bag there on the floor-that's my secret to successful gardening.  I always dig a hole for my plant, and put the plant in, then instead of just pushing the dirt back around it, I add new dirt from this bag.  It feeds my flowers for 3 months or something, but it really does make a HUGE difference in my flowers.  I also water everything with one of the miracle grow hose attachment things.  Its wonderful.  The other thing you need, is a friend to help you pass the time, I think I wore mine out-what would you say?


So that's what I've been doing today-what should I have been doing?  Working on my careplan, but that's no fun.  Thanks for stopping by, and I'll be more than happy to help with any questions you have have about planting flowers.  I sort of design flowerbeds as a hobby.  :) 



  1. You did a great job on your planting and landscape! Your dog is so cute!
    I stayed 4 months in Mississippi, on the coast. It was an interesting experience. I love the South. When i came back people were asking me if i was from the South LOL. French accent and southern accent together, HAHAHA
    Happy new friend Friday!
    I am following you now, come follow me!
    Gros bisous

  2. Stopping by from New Friend Friday. I'm following you now! Hope you can stop by and follow me, too. :)

    By the way, I'm starting a NEW BLOG HOP!!! It's called Tuesday Tag-Along, and it premieres this coming Tuesday! I hope you'll be there to join in the fun!

  3. Im visiting from NFF!
    Love all the flowers!
    Im now a follower!
    Jen @

  4. Following from The Creative Girl's New Friend Friday.

    Stop by and enter a giveaway for a Rachael Ray Bakeware set:

  5. Hi..I’m Barb from Fri. Follow. I am your newest follower. I hope you will get a chance to visit my blog @
    & get inspired by something for your family/home. I hope you will follow me as well.

  6. I am stopping in from New Friend Friday at The Girl Creative (I know I am a day late!!)

    I am now a follower :)

    Visit me at

  7. Those are some nice flowers and I loved how you showed us everything you planted. I love the landscaping too. A very nice house with nice beautiful flowers to go with it. HAVE A BLESS MONDAY!!!

    Visit my blog at


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