Thursday, May 28, 2020

Front Porch and Landscaping Update

I've been trying to get this post out for awhile, waiting on warmer weather to get some flowers and a fern for the front porch. We had a lot of rain and chilly weather with freezing temps even at the beginning of May. My Cervical Spine problems and surgery have kept me from being able to get plants and flowers potted, so I had to wait for last weekend to persuade my husband to take me out to find some. We tried 3 different places and since I'm about 4 weeks behind on this project all the plants were picked over and way overpriced. I had to make choices in a hurry because the nurseries were crowded and 3/4 of the customers weren't bothering to wear masks. I ended up with a bit of a hodge podge, but at least I have a few colorful blooms.

The porch is looking a little bare in the above pic since this was taken about 2 weeks ago. Now I have a Boston Fern in the big concrete urn in the corner, and Impatiens in the smaller vintage urns on either side of the porch. It still needs a little extra color, though. Since the new pillows have pink, red, and coral Hydrangeas in the print I had wanted to find some Geraniums to follow through on the theme, but there were only tiny Geraniums in red available. I potted those for the backyard, but hopefully I'll be able to get out on my own in a bit to try to locate more for a larger sun-loving container here in the front area.

These are pics from Sunday afternoon. When I woke up Monday morning I found a baby squirrel digging in the containers with dirt spread all over the porch. I caught him red handed with some blooms hanging out of his mouth. I shooed him away, but he was so cute I had a hard time being mean about it. We have a bumper crop of squirrels here and I've decided the parents have let the young ones run wild with no parental supervision. The older ones know I'm a pushover so they don't worry that I'll come after the babies with a broom.

Earlier in the Spring I had my door basket filled with faux Daffodils hanging on the glass storm door. I've had a running skirmish with the purple finches because they are all about having a nest somewhere here on the front porch. They are relentless, so I let them alone to do whatever nature was calling them to do.

So when it came time to do a more Spring/Summer basket I found their little nest. No eggs, just the nest that they had left there. Anyway, I took that opportunity to change out the faux flowers to multi-colored faux Hydrangeas. I put the nest back in the basket and hung it on the wall instead of the door. 

Well, of course the little buggers  sweethearts found it,
and proceeded to remodel their nest since it was time
 to get serious about egg laying.

Here are the culprits enjoying their new nest location. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE birds and don't like to disturb their efforts, but these guys are maniacs with their loud chirping and swooping and pooping. When you walk out onto the front porch it's like you're in a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds".

When I started looking for outdoor pillows in early Spring everything was either geometric or modern, but I wanted something that looked more in keeping with the vintage vibes out here. I think I found these on Overstock. I'd like to add some Buffalo Check pillows if I can find something that will match.

Little Chipper has been on maternity leave for a bit
and I hadn't seen her around, but she's back now with two babies I think.

I did this post on sun loving containers a few years ago
and hope to get a few more pots put together.

Here we are a couple of weeks or so ago, with the landscaping pretty much done. We were able to salvage a few of the old plantings. We kept the large cone-shaped shrub and 2 Hydrangeas and a small tree on the other side of the house. Hubby's out watering there on the right.

We changed the footprints of the beds a little to encompass the small tree and balance things out. We put in new Azaleas in front of the double windows. We wanted to keep the color of the rock similar to the taupe brick so that the house would appear larger and less cut up. The massive shrubs from before caused the house to look squashed and much smaller because of the heavy dark green shrubs that cut up the visual flow.

This type of Azalea blooms multiple times throughout the growing season.
(they are planted in front of one of the windows to the in-ground basement)

I wanted something natural and organic for the brick border.
 There weren't a lot of options but we found these at a quarry that were cut to fit.

The small round plantings are Boxwood. The new landscape isn't super exciting or cutting edge, but I think things came together well and we have a little variety. I'd like to add in some perennials like a few varieties of lilies and some other bulbs this Fall. Our main objective was to clean it up and make it fresh.

This is a post from last Spring after we first moved in.

Views of the Front Porch and Yard from Real Estate Listing in 2018.

My main objective for the front was to remove the dated wrought iron posts and railings on the porch and to replace it with a more English Cottage Timber Frame look. We accomplished that before we moved in, but the shrub removal had to wait until last Fall.

 I've never been a fan of the "Ranch" style house, but the inside had most of what we were looking for, basically on one main level. We use a couple of the basement rooms as storage. Also a "man cave" for my husband and a place for all his "stuff".

New View this Spring

The fresh new plantings that replaced the almost 60 year old shrubs allows 
more of the house to show and not be hidden behind the overgrown landscape.

This little triangular area between the driveway and sidewalk had been a no man's land. It had a back row of ragged stone (the landscaper saved a few for interest) that looked like Stonehenge. (except truly ugly with no charm) We salvaged some of the Lambs Ear which I love and added Vinca and a pygmy Spirea. My concern with this spot is that it's impossible to get a hose to, so whatever was planted would have to survive on it's own.

This is the little area around the Magnolia that has a few Azaleas, but mostly overrun with ferns. Here's a pic from early Spring when the Magnolia was just about finished blooming.

Now in May...

I'll share more pics of the porch and back yard once I get some more containers together. The backyard landscaping has also been freshened up. Last summer the yard was such a mess that I didn't even like to be out there. The old mulch attracted mosquitoes and bugs and mold. yuck. It's a 56 year old house so things aren't perfect, but oh so much better than when we first moved in. It's all definitely a "Work In Progress"!

Have a great rest of the week, friends!

Hope to see you Monday evening 

joining in here:

All About Home at Common Ground and Follow the Yellow Brick Home
 Celebrate Your Story at The Zucchini Sisters,  Create Bake, Make at Across the Blvd
Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda,  LouLouGirls Fabulous Party
Tips and Tutorials at Home Stories A to Z,  Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Make it Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
Party in Your PJ's at Apple Street Cottage
Tuesday at Our Home at Our Home Away from Home,
  Keep in Touch at Let's Add Sprinkles  Talk of the Town at Knick of Time
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode,  Share Your Style at French Ethereal
Charming Homes and Gardens at Shiplap and Shells
Vintage Charm at Our Hopeful Home,   Wonderful Wednesday at LeCultivateur 
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home,  Grace at Home at Imparting Grace
 Create, Bake, and Grow at Shabby Art Boutique Farmhouse Friday at The Painted Hinge


  1. Debra I know even with your thin pickens you will have it beautiful. Oh my gosh about the birds nesting on your pretty basket hanger. LOL you make it too inviting for them. I love that beautiful iron bench on your porch that is amazing. Love it. Hope you are still feeling better each day. Happy Thursday.

  2. Debra,
    Your planting choices for the landscaping are amazing!
    Once they begin to fill in you will reap the harvest of your efforts.
    I agree, planting choices have been slim here on my side of the Prairie.
    Just this evening, "Mr. Ed" & I planted our containers on the porch
    and in front of the garage.
    Great to hear that you are up and about after surgery.

  3. Debra, I've been so looking forward to your landscape update. Your porch looks great, and all the plantings so young and fresh. This is something that even if one loves their landscape, if you live there long enough, mature plantings need reworked. That had to be a huge job getting all those roots of the mature plantings out. It was something our former home was going to need (and still does, the new owners haven't touched ANYTHING for over a year, not even trimmed back the perennials, ugh). That bed beneath the tulip magnolia is great. This is definitely a year of rebirth for you! Enjoy.

  4. It all looks lovely. All of the changes have made such an incredible difference. Thanks for sharing with us at the TFT link party.

  5. You will love the azaleas. Your thoughts about the gravel and the color of the house are genius. I would never have thought of that. Your house is darling. Your menagerie of critter friends is adorable.

  6. Hi Debra, pretty porch and space, and I have Chippies on my front porch, too! Hugs, Sandi

  7. I hope you are feeling better. Your summer porch is gorgeous. Your hanging basket is so pretty where did you find it.
    Have a great day,

  8. I hope you are doing well and recovering quickly from your surgery Debra! Your porch is beautiful! I am a sucker for geraniums, and that fern is gorgeous! Great job, loving it all!

  9. Your porch is lovely. I've featured it at the TFT party today. Congrats!

  10. Debra, so glad you are feeling better. Your porch looks lovely. Ferns, geraniums and azaleas are so pretty. Our squirrels are so cute, however they eat some of the flowers.

  11. Wowza! Everything looks fantastic and how fun to be able to have a little mama squirrel and babies around. I hope your recovery continues to be quick! Love this. Pinned


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