In bloom

Now that the weather is holding steady at a comfortable temperature (well, except for this cold front which had me hurrying through a 50-something degree morning), it’s time for some outdoor projects around the house. I have been itching to whip our back deck into shape, but just haven’t budgeted enough for it. I’m also a little lacking when it comes to outdoor decor vision…But I’m not giving up yet.

Today, I wanted to rehash a very simple outdoor in-celebration-of-spring update that we recently made to the patch of grass and vegetation in front of our townhome. Meet our cheerful planter, Mr. Frog (boy am I creative at naming our inanimate objects, as also seen here).

His big gaping mouth is actually quite pretty when spilling over with blooms. Sort of reminds me of the cartoon fish in the “Kiss the Girl” segment of “The Little Mermaid” – You know, the ones that open their mouths to reveal a school of tiny singing and dancing fish inside? Well we don’t have any schools of theatrical fish for you, but we do have some lovely flowers to show off.

John and I picked up these two pots of pansies at the grocery store for under $10, planning to fill Mr. Frog’s wide-open jaws with them.

Time for the rest of the supplies:

  • Potting soil
  • Gardening gloves
  • Trowel

For some, properly filling a planter isn’t rocket science – But I actually had quite a time with it. So much so that my mother, who was coming over to help with wedding crafts at the time, had to take the project on for me as I stood over her shoulder trying to get the steps down mentally for the future. From what I could gather, this is what you need to do:

  1. Fill your planter with potting soil, and a lot of it – The more soil the better.
  2. Use your hands to shift some of the soil to the back and/or sides of the planter to make room for your flowers.
  3. Remove flowers from their temporary containers (if they came in plastic pots, just squeeze the sides a few times all the way around, tip over and they should come out intact).
  4. Nestle the flowers+roots into the space dug out of your potting soil and gently push down into the space. It’s okay to be kind of rough with the roots to make them fit since they’ll grow back to adjust to their new space.
  5. Fill in with more potting soil around the flowers and water according to the tag’s instructions.

After admiring Mr. Frog and his new blooms, we trekked out front to situate him amongst his live-in green neighbors. As you can see, our bushes are a little worse for wear – They seem awfully threadbare to me. We are just coming out of winter, but do you guys have any suggestions for weak-looking bushes? Are they worth keeping? We have landscapers come out and take care of our lawn and plants every few weeks, so I’m quietly hoping that they will do something about it…

On a happy note, isn’t Mr. Frog looking oh-so-happy with his new flowers greeting passers-by and visitors?

Any tips for sprucing up an outdoor space would be vastly appreciated. I think everyone has a certain aspect of their home that they just don’t know where to begin – This is mine. It’s possibly the only project list that I would happily outsource to a willing professional or friend. Help!

P.S. In an effort to purge some things from the house, I’ve decided to sell a few pieces of furniture. I wanted to throw out the offer to our locals (or willing near-locals who don’t mind traveling) first before Craig’s listing things or taking them to a consignement shop. Here is the short list in case anyone’s interested:

Two mid-century office chairs: $50 for the pair

Retro queen bed frame (mattress/box spring not included): $150

Grass cloth/wooden arm chair (pillow not included): $45

(If anyone is interested in the upholstered vanity bench, let me know – I might be persuaded to part with that too)

Solid wood nightstand with drawer and lower shelf, recently revamped: $50

If you are interested, email me at (or if a friend of ours, just shoot me a text or Facebook message).

Hope you have a great Wednesday!

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