Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring Curb Appeal

Since the year I got married, nine years ago now, and had a home of my own to beautify, I have been faithfully decking out my porches, pots, and flowerbeds with beautiful spring color.  As soon as Southern Belle Nursery gets their spring plants in, I am chomping at the bit to get there and pick out plants for the spring and summer. (And Mrs. Jan Bloxham, owner of the quaint little nursery, has patiently answered my many, many questions about the plants each spring.  I knew absolutely nothing about gardening and plants when I first got married and have been gleaning all the knowledge I can from those in the know.) 

Since we have only been in our current home for almost two years, I am still getting adjusted to what I can plant where.  I have a lot more shade in the front yard than I did at our other home, so I have had to change up some of my go-to plant selections.  To fill my pots, Mrs. Jan helped me pick out some plants that coordinate well together and compliment each other nicely. 

I have two rather large pots at either side of our side entrance.  The picture really doesn't do it justice as to size.  All I had planted was some asparagus fern that my friend Stephanie gave me. (I'm not going to say, "Thank you," for the plants she gave me.....because as any avid gardener here in the South will tell you, if you say thank you for a plant given to you, it will die. You have to say, "I appreciate it.") So, Stephanie, I appreciate the lovely asparagus ferns you gave me!  (And I still appreciate the Scrabble tile you gave me as well.)

I put the plants in the pot in their little containers to see how I wanted to plant them all. It's always a good idea to do a trial run to make sure it will look like you want it. 

And here it is with everything planted in its place.  The pot on the other side of the doors mirrors this one. 

I used:
Asparagus Fern
Purple Fountaingrass
Joseph's Coat
Dusty Miller
Red Hot Sally Salvia

I look forward to it all growing in together.  The Fountaingrass in the middle will give the pots some nice height and the asparagus fern and Joseph's Coat should spill over nicely.  I love the green, red, and purple together. It is a good contrast against the orange brick. 

And here is what our little corner looked like at the beginning of this week. Last year, I used the ladder as a plant stand and it looked so cute.  But now, the poor thing has seen better days.  And the freezes we had killed a lot of my plants so I didn't have a lot to fill in anymore.  This corner had been pretty neglected through the winter and was looking pretty bad. 

I am kind of at a loss as to what to do in this corner because our gas line and dryer vent is right there.  I might try to plant something permanent there later when I figure out something that might can live there.  For now, I added a plant stand with ferns and few pots below to fill in that corner. (I still need to add pine straw to the ground there to make it look nicer.)

We just planted our landscaping last in the front early spring last year.  Everything is growing and filling in nicely for the most part.  (To see the before, go here.)

We still have a few bare spots to fill in, but for the most part I am satisfied with how it is looking. 

But on this side of the house, we have some issues.  Nothing is growing as quickly as the other side because of the shade here.  There is a large Crepe Myrtle and River Birch that keep the flowerbed shaded most of the day.  I think we will have to find some shade tolerant plants for this side and move the Knockout Roses somewhere else so they can thrive as the other side has. 

The two pots at my front door have coleus, alyssum, and I forget what those flowers are. 

I added Petunias and Alyssum to the flower box.  Right now it looks kind of puny, but I hope that it will grow well and fill in and spill over eventually.  

Just look at those puny Knockout Roses and Boxwoods compared to the other side of the landscape!  Too much shade to grow well. 

I really need to figure out what to plant on this side so it doesn't look so sad compared to the other side of the house. I think I will add some hostas and holly bushes like that one in the background that does well in that spot.  Not sure how to bring color on this side, though. 

And this little guy is my Canadian Hemlock.  He isn't very big now, but he will be.  They are so pretty and I can't wait until it grows. I planted it last fall. (I ordered it from the Arbor Day Foundation.)

Can you see my little friend there on my daylillies?  We have lots of those around here. 

And we have lots of these guys, too. They like to torture our dog, Molly. 

So here is where I need your help.  This tree I'm not sure what the name of it is.  It has little yellow blooms that smell just like banana Laffy Taffy.  We just call it our banana tree. 

Anybody know the correct name for this tree?  

Also, I'm not sure what this one is, either.  It has pretty white blooms.  Anybody know what it is?

Okay. I will stop over-sharing about my yard and flowers now.  I just can't help myself.  I love, love, love to get my hands dirty then see my hard work pay off when my plants thrive.  Have you had spring fever too? 

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