Dressing up the patio

Hey there! How was your weekend? We had lots of baseball activities and I did get my DIY project half done. Now onto painting…my favorite part.

Yay. Whoo. Hold me back.

You wouldn’t know it from the past few days, but the weather around here has been just unbelievably beautiful. I held off of buying most of our outdoor flowers though, because…well. They are just SO DANG EXPENSIVE.

Seriously, every year I’m totally taken aback at how much it all costs. For. real. You think I’d be used to it by now, but no.

Now that we have our patio, we have a few more places to add flowers (I took a couple of my regular spots away on the deck). So last week I finally started gathering some flowers for the back:

On a quick side note – I am thoroughly enjoying having a potting bench!! It has been a joy and it’s SO nice to have a dedicated space to spread everything out.

If you remember, my Dad and I built it last year, and I asked your advice on if I should paint or stain it. I ultimately decided to do neither, and let it patina naturally:

Now it’s a beautiful grey color and I really love it. (That black bucket is supposed to be for fire ashes, but I use it for my potting soil. Tricky.)

So anyway, we have two big urns on each side of the outdoor fireplace that I got at Garden Ridge last year. They were $20 each and I got them buy one get one half off. They are plastic but have held up really well, and (I think) they look like stone from far away.

Anyway, I wanted something dramatic to flank the fireplace. It’s an awesome spot and I just couldn’t find anything BIG enough that I liked. I tried flowers, they were too wimpy. I was going to try a variety of plants and flowers, but couldn’t find a combo I liked that worked with the sun back there. Then the idea hit me…I would do something evergreen.

This solved a couple problems – one being the cost factor. It would be an investment up front, but from what I read online, they can live two to three years (or more?) in planters, and then you can just plant them elsewhere. AND they stay alive all year round.

I kept mums in these planters since last fall, but they were brown and crispy. ;) These will stay green. I hope.

And they definitely gave me the drama I was looking for. At first I was looking into regular boxwood plants, but I wanted the option to add seasonal flowers around the base.

Then I saw the PERFECT one – similar to this:


How FUN! Ack. I loved them.

I planted them and then added wave petunias around the base:

The wave version rock my world – pretty soon these will spill down the sides of the planter and be all lovely.

Drama at the top, drama at the bottom. Me likey. Not to be confused with business up front, party in the back. Something entirely different.

I love how they look on each side of the fireplace!:

OK, when I went to take photos I realized these may be a bit anticlimactic. ;) With the green behind you can’t really see them well, but I promise you they are way cool in person.

My goal is to go for an “English garden” type of feel in the backyard, around the patio. These are one step in the right direction!:

My PeeGee Hydrangea trees are directly behind them on both sides, so hopefully when they start blooming (crossing fingers), the spirals will show up even more.

I like that you can see them from both the front and the back:

On another side note, our landscaper friend (who did all the work out here last summer) didn’t think the tree rose I got on major clearance would come back, but look at her now! I don’t remember what variety it is, but I hope it gets just a bit taller. I cannot WAIT to see blooms!

I will show you more of the landscaping we already have and more of the plans for around the patio soon. I’m so very excited about the possibilities for this space.

So far we just have flowers on the table and the petunias in the planters. I would love to add more to the patio, but I’m trying to keep the cost factor under control:

stone patio and outdoor fireplace

A few planter boxes along the wall here and there would be nice, wouldn’t they? My wallet doesn’t think so. ;)

Are you planting flowers yet this year? When do you usually start? Wave petunias are my favorite go-to annual – what is yours? I hope to get our front window boxes planted this week, and that will be it for now. I hate the cost up front, but if I can keep them alive, their color and beauty make them SO worth it!

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