Saturday, May 9, 2015

Container Planting and Painting Styofoam Pots

Like most of you, I've been excited to finally get some outside work accomplished. Earlier this Spring we had our deck rebuilt. It was torn down to the studs and given a complete overhaul. This is the point that I can get really negative on the previous owners for neglecting an amazing 10 year old deck and landscape, but I won't do that. So instead I'll tell you how nice it is to have it mostly finished except for some painting we need to do under the floorboards, and how it's quickly becoming a comfortable place to relax and enjoy our beautiful back yard.

I'm always in a hurry to get my plant containers filled and out. I love seeing lots of color on the deck and in the courtyard, although I've tried to be conservative here at the new house. In Southwest Missouri, they say by Mother's Day it's pretty safe for gardens and plantings to be started. 

The upper deck is much larger than our previous house, and so far I've managed to keep my "decorating" under control. The small glass top table and chairs are there, my outdoor sewing machine based table with the metal grate on top and a couple of decorative metal gates are here. It gets full sun all day, so sun-loving plants are the only thing that works up here.

This will be a "patriotic" pot, with a red-white-blue mix.

In this other corner I have a mix of color and white. I'm hoping for some hummingbirds and butterflies with the red/orange/yellow combo. 

In the courtyard I had to be conservative. Our new landscaping plants are still small, so I don't want to overwhelm the space with too many outdoor garden statues or pots. At the other house I could tuck in a rabbit or squirrel statue and it wasn't noticeable from the street. Here it is, so I'm attempting to be "neighborhood" friendly and not have too many "things".

Last Fall I had one humongous lavender mum in this large concrete pot, and this Spring I went with variegated coral/red Geraniums and some Bacopa. 

We put the small birdbath in the corner and I have a few birds that are now "regulars". I can always tell when the cardinals are here, since they are a loud chirpy bunch. All the little shrubs made it through the winter, with only a trim here and there. I came out with Miracle Grow and doused them thoroughly a few weeks ago and they really responded with some nice new growth.

The porch really isn't big enough for much decoration, I may bring out one of my goat carts in the Fall for Pumpkins, but for now I don't want to overdo the area. The urns filled with Boston Ferns are vintage and super heavy. I had them at the other house filled with Impatiens on the front steps. 

I've never bought Pansies before, but since I had purchased a flat for my Easter decor, I filled up this small pot with the leftovers. They really filled out and withstood some cold, cold temperatures last month. I've loved their happy multicolored little blooms so much, I'll be doing this from now on.

These two are on the lower level patio, 
where they get full sun about half the day.

I love using clay and concrete pots, but for me to be able to move them around, I've used the heavy molded Styrofoam kind for several years. You can find some pretty ones that look just like vintage concrete but don't break your back when you need to move them around. They can get gross after one season. The moss and patina that I love on my clay pots doesn't work for me with these. Every other Spring I give them a scrub and a quick paint job at the beginning of the season. I just used a mix of ASCP and an exterior latex. These have a slightly gray tinge since I was using paint "leftovers". 

I love "Chippy White" and "distressed" on some things,
 but Styrofoam pots are not one of them.

After ripping out all the weeds and dead things last Fall, it looks pretty bare out back. There are no ornamental shrubs or bushes, although there are some nice stone retaining areas, so I'm trying to figure out where a couple of Hydrangea, Forsythia, and Lilacs can go. Wish me luck, Hubbs is not a gardener, and all he sees is more "work". It's Mother's Day weekend, so I'm hoping he'll be more agreeable to digging some holes. Maybe if I'm real sweet he'll not gripe too much. (maybe) Have a wonderful Mother's Day everyone, Hope your weather stays nice!

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