Today I have Sarah, from craftosaurus, with us and she has got some great exterior decorating tips to share with us today. Let’s just say I’m got one of the blackest thumbs around, and I am so envious that she can keep a plant alive for more than a week. I love that she blogs about everything, from recipes, to gardening to posting some cute pictures of her pooches… she’s a girl after my own heart. Take it away Sarah!
Hiya folks! When Samantha started throwing out ideas for a guest post, one in particular that struck fear in my heart was a house tour. We have about 700 square feet of living space in various states of in-progress, so not only would I have no hope *at all* of keeping up with Samantha’s decorating chops, it would also be the quickest tour ever. One of those “don’t blink, you might miss it” kind of deals.
While our kitchen might be long overdue for a facelift (we’re talking pale pink countertops with gold flecks in them — see what I’m sparing you from?), we’ve been able to do a fair amount of exterior decorating, in a manner of speaking. A garden tour, yes, that I can do.
We’ve gradually removed a lot of shrubs suffering from decades of inadequate pruning at the hands of the house’s previous owner and incorporating plants we actually want to look at.
The one item that’s been allowed to stay, though, is a sedum plant that probably wouldn’t leave if we kicked it out. This thing is tough. It’s a succulent (think cactus family) that manages to survive New England winters, and it’s pleased as punch to have a monsoon or a drought. But it’s also really pretty, and it darkens to a pretty faded cranberry color that lasts into December.
Pale pink may not sit well with me when it appears as an expanse of counter space circa 1962, but it looks just great on some dainty little anemones.
They’re super cheerful in their own right, of course, but they’ll always have a special place in my heart: we planted them to use for our wedding last year. (We planted other flowers too, but these were especially successful, and they’re perennials so they come back every year as a nice reminder.) We spent perhaps an inordinate amount of time monitoring their progress during the summer of 2010, but it worked out well and they dolled up the reception tables nicely.
Less cooperative in the Homegrown Wedding Flowers Project of 2010 were the sweetpeas. They churned out tons and tons of leaves last year, but as for flowers? No dice. This year, of course, they bloomed up a storm.
Before we started planting with an eye toward wedding flowers, my main criteria for what earned space in the garden centered on the effort to beauty ratio. Who am I kidding; my criteria never changed. I save my time and energy for the vegetable garden, so I always have and still do focus on flowers that can get planted and forgotten and still look really good. Oh, hello irises!
Even better than a plant that can thrive with little to no attention and still look good, of course, is a plant that can do that and earn its keep, too. Chives look adorable when they’re in bloom, plus they’re super tasty.
Even for a lazy flower gardener like me, though, sometimes it’s still fun to plant a packet of seeds. Annuals like marigolds aren’t common in our yard because they involve the effort of planting and only stick around for one season, but I gotta say, they’re pretty fun to have around.
We’ve also planted a hydrangea and a few varieties of day lilies that were given to us by generous fellow gardeners, but we’ll have to wait until next year to see how they look. Seeing as how everything except for the marigolds will be back again with no effort required, I think it’ll be all set without having to plant any annuals. Which, of course, means more time to tend to the vegetables. Marigolds are pretty, but they certainly don’t taste as good as fresh peas.
Thanks Sarah! Those are some beautiful flowers, and now I’m itching to grab a few big pots and plant some flowers to add a little color to the front of our house! Everyone be sure and head over to Sarah’s blog and leave her a little love!c