2433 Home Tour – Outdoors

We’ve reached the last part of our home tour of 2433, the outdoors.  Until we moved into this house, I had NO clue that I enjoyed working in the yard or could even keep a plant alive more than a few weeks.

Our outside responsibilities organically happened as Hunter would always keep the lawn mowed, weeded & edged and I tackled the beds, pots, hanging baskets & window box.  It worked out well and we have spent many weekends and a LOT of sweat making our yard look good.

The biggest compliment I ever received was from a neighbor who not only spoke highly about our yard, but then asked me advice on planting. Totally called my mom after that because I knew she’d be proud.

The fire pit and stone work to the back were there when we moved in, but put a lot of work in with the grass and the plants.  I was super proud of my blueberry bushes and the patio when we made it nicer too. So long, 2433! It was a great few years and so many wonderful memories made – onto the next chapter!

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Patio, Porch & Planting

The first weekend in the new house we were busy tackling some of the smaller projects we had identified on the screened in porch, patio and yard.

First things first, the front porch.  There was a hook for a hanging basket, but we decided we wanted 2 baskets so we unscrewed their hook, measured and screwed in 2 screw hooks into the wooden frame so they were equally spaced out.

The old flowers in our hanging baskets had a rough few weeks, so I went to Lowe’s and decided on 2 vinca flowers and a blue haze trailing flower in each basket.  Then up the baskets went!

Next step was to remove the old piece of plastic that used to be a flag holder from the porch pole.  This took a little effort, but eventually it was down, a new flag holder was screwed in and our American flag was hung!

The rocking chairs went on either side of the window, my American burlap wreath was hung on the front door and the porch had a little bit of us on it! Now to the backyard… We have a screened in porch, deck area, then some beds around the deck and grass elsewhere. There were some random plants (and lots of weeds) in the beds so we took the plants out and did a lot of weeding.

The strangest thing was the previous owners had put some of the plants in pots and buried then into the bed and we had no idea until we dug them up and found they were in pots!

Note: Apparently this is actually a normal thing, aka my mom had heard of it before. When we were at Lowe’s Hunter found some autumn blush coreopsis (mounding perennial with yellow flowers) that were pretty and we also picked up lavender – 6 of each.  We alternated those around the deck, with our pots that used to be by the fire pit at the old house on either side of the stair.

Long term plans for the deck include finally retiring the plastic chairs I’ve had since my first solo apartment and getting a table and chairs so we can eat outside.  We’ve also talked about totally replacing the deck and redoing it with stone (super long term there).  Shorter term projects include cleaning up all the trees in the yard, replacing the fence (it’s dry rotted), possibly sodding the yard to the fence and pine straw beyond the fence to the fairway and edging the beds to create a distinction between them and the lawn. We have our work cut out for us!

Finally, the screened porch. When we moved in, we put our previous patio furniture out there and that was about it.The previous homeowners had some rope lights screwed in around the perimeter of the porch so we took them down and unscrewed all the clamps holding the lights up.  The door was also missing a handle on the inside, so we screwed one of those in too.

We found some great string lights from Target in white (so the wires blend into the walls) and bought more screw hooks from Lowe’s to hang the new lights around the patio.  I also hung our anchor door hanger on the post, put an outdoor tray out on the table with a pot of succulents.

The best part was enjoying the porch with Hunter and Cleo on our first Sunday afternoon there, once all of our projects for the weekend were done.  We listened to music, I worked on my computer and we just relaxed and talked about our list of projects.
Next up for the porch: Finding an outdoor rug and new pillows for the space.  We will also replace the furniture when we find a great deal on something we like to maximize the space out there 🙂

Potted Paper Philodendron

Danielle and I were both really excited about our Cricut Craft Night, and she came across this cute potted paper plant you could make with a Cricut or on your own.  We both agreed that it would be perfect to be one of the two crafts we offered on our craft night.

Potted Paper Philodendron

What you’ll need:

  • 4 pieces of cardstock in 2 shades of green (2 per color)
  • 32 gauge floral wire
  • Hot glue
  • Floral tape
  • Terra cotta pot
  • Styrofoam ball
  • Fake moss

You can customize this to your needs and make the leaves smaller, use different shades of green, or even a different pot like the white one I had laying around — so use this to get you started and personalize as you wish!

First, download the leaf template on Lia Griffith’s site.  If you have a Cricut, use the SVG, or download the PDF if you want to cut the leaves by hand.  I cut 2 different sizes of the leaves so it was a little more realistic.

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When your leaves are cut, fold them in half to create the middle vein.  Then create the stem of the leaf by using floral wire.  Attach the floral wire about an inch above the base of the leaf using hot glue.  Attaching the stem there will allow the leaves to naturally hang down like they normally do.

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When the wire stem is attached, wrap floral tape around the stem, starting at the base, to cover the wire and make it look realistic.  This step seemed to take forever for me. Repeat these steps for all of the leaves you are going to put in your pot.

Put your styrofoam ball in your pot and cover the ball with the fake moss.  Then stick the leaves into the foam ball at varying heights and angles to finish your masterpiece.

Finally, pick a place to display your cute potted paper philodendron!  I put mine in our guest room because I keep forgetting to water the peace lily in there and I’ve killed two (oops).  Now I won’t have to worry about killing this plant too!

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Spring Yard Updates

This past weekend Hunter and I spent all day Saturday (seriously, 10am-5pm) working on the yard.   A few weeks ago we dug up the bushes in the front bed, because the water company left a note on our front door.. So we had planned on using Saturday to plant that bed, prepare the lawn, and plant lots of other flowers for spring.

Here’s a before of the front yard for perspective.  Front bed = empty.  Plus we have a fire hydrant and water meter in it… great, right?

Okay, so this is what we accomplished in those 7 hours:

  • Aerated the front and back lawn
  • Raked the lawn and beds. Bye bye leaves!
  • Mowed / edged the lawn
  • Transplanted a tea olive plant to the side yard
  • Transplanted a camilla bush
  • Dug up the last big, ugly bush in the backyard bed

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  • Returned aerater to True Value
  • Trip to Abide a While for consultation & plants
  • Planted 3 pineapple guava plants
  • Planted 2 sunshine ligustrums

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  • Trip to Lowe’s for more yard supplies
  • Planted 4 lantana in the backyard
  • Filled 2 new pots with creeping jenny, bacopa, and orange flowers
  • Moved the old planters away from the fire pit.  Put the new pots in their place.

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  • Pruned plants and bushes in the back yard. Lots of weeding in the beds.
  • Planted creeping jenny and pink petunias in the 2 hanging baskets
  • Transplanted 3 mexican heather plants.  Dug up 1 dead mexican heather plant.
  • Planted 2 more mexican heather in front

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  • Planted 6 osteospermum in our window box
  • Put out grass seed and fertilizer in the front and side yard.
  • Watered the back and side yard
  • Turned sprinkler on to water the front lawn and beds while enjoying a beer on the front porch!yard_16 07It was an exhausting day, but you can already see the results from all of our hard work!  After a big dinner, we were both passed out pretty early that night.

Next up on the yard list:

  1. New patio furniture in the back
  2. Water the lawn and hope that the seed does it’s thing
  3. Finish planting the front bed – encore azaleas or saucy wine salvia were the suggestions from Abide a While
  4. Plant another azalea on the side yard
  5. Add some pavers around the driveway / sideway

Hopefully the next time I talk plants, all of these are still alive and kicking and the yard looks fab!

Winter Garden Updates

I knew the 70 degree temps couldn’t last forever, so I finally broke down and worked in the yard to get it ready for winter and looking good again.  A few weeks ago I weeded all of the beds, and they still looked good, so I turned my focus to hanging baskets, the kitchen window basket and planters by the fire pit.

After a trip to Lowe’s, I was ready to go.  I started with the hanging baskets and filled them with fresh soil, then added a plant that looks like rabbit’s ear (found out later it’s dusty miller!).  I finished them with some purple pansies, because together they just look like winter.

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I put two different kinds of mounding violas in the window box by the kitchen window, and the planters by the fire pit.  I like them because they’re like smaller versions of pansies, and pansies remind me of my great-grandmother, Varina.

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If you’re looking to spruce up your yard for the winter, here are some tips that I’ve learned from Pegs and Lowe’s:

  • Look for healthy plants with lots of buds. Don’t buy plants that are already in flower – they won’t transplant as easily, and you’’ll have more time with blooms if the plants are only in bud when purchased.
  • Remove the plants from the plastic by pushing up on the bottom of the container. Don’’t grab them by their delicate stems.
  • Gently loosen the soil around the roots, and plant in the ground at the same level as they were in their cell pack.
  • Mounding violas should be spaced about 6-8 inches apart. Trailing or spreading varieties can be planted 10-12 inches apart.

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A few weeks in, and they’re all still doing well, despite the frost and lack of rain!  Hopefully these will hold us over until it gets warmer and spring is officially here.  Now we just need to lay some more pine straw..