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!

joining in at these parties:



  1. Your planters and home look beautiful, Debra! I never thought about repainting planters...great idea!

  2. The Garden is looking beautiful Debra ! .... when we were in CA we had 2 beautiful Ferns we put in the Styrofoam planters which I have to say are really a bonus with lifting and moving them I couldn't agree more with you .. I wasn't sure how the Styrofoam would weather here in SW MO .. so thanks for sharing that .. now I know we can keep using them ... !

    Have a blessed day !

  3. Everything looks pretty, I'm still too nervous to place annuals out, still a change of freezing at I'm being extra safe:-{. It's great that Spring is really here and the weather so pretty...even though today is very humid! Styrofoam is great for ease of movement and I have several! I do need to repaint my Styrofoam but no biggy there!

  4. loving all your pretty blooms debra. have a great weekend and happy mothers day.

  5. Pretty planters Debra. Everything looks so ready for the nice weather and Mother's day weekend.
    Wishing you a very happy Mother's Day !!

  6. Love all your planters Debra. So pretty. Happy Mom's Day. Enjoy the week end.

  7. Your deck looks so pretty and your flowers are very lovely and colorful.
    Wishing you a very Happy Mothers Day.

  8. I have some flower pots that need help. Thanks for the inspiration! Sheila

  9. Your flowers are looking great. I use the styrofoam pots too. Much easier on my back. How do you keep birds from nesting in your ferns? I don't use them on my front porch because of that. They nest inside, and when I try to water the ferns, they fly out in my face. :(.. I love ferns, and may give them another try anyway, and just fight with the birds. Love the gate you have on the deck.

  10. Your flowers all look so pretty! It's a good idea to use those styrofoam pots like that. I like how you painted them. Our back deck gets full sun too. We can hardly walk bare foot out there during the summer!

  11. Debra - Your deck and yard are looking great! Don't overdo - yourself, not the flowers! LOL

    Have a great weekend.


  12. Hi Debra! It is a shame previous owners don't take the care of their property as they should, especially since those are the ones we buy! I understand completely! I'm sure you're really enjoying your deck and your plants look beautiful! I have so many empty flower beds to fill and keep telling myself, I can't do it all at once. Thanks for popping in to see me and Happy Mother's Day!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  13. Debra, all your containers are so colorful and pretty! I especially like the pansies with the bunny sitting nearby. I hear you about the heavy clay pots-- I also have a couple of the faux/styrofoam large pots, which works for me since it means I don't have to throw my back out moving them around.

  14. Oh Debra, it's all so Lovely and I had to Smile about your resolve to use Restraint at the new place since I am similarly inclined and holding back doesn't come so naturally to me either. *smiles* We're in the market for a new home and I have promised myself that should we move, I too can start with a blank canvas and work on excercising my Restraint muscles. *winks* Happy Spring from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  15. Love your pretty planted containers Debra! I have some styrofoam containers that could use a facelift and coat of paint.:)


I love hearing from you. Feel free to comment, big or small. Be sure and leave your name and blog if commenting under anonymous. Thanks friends