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I Broke The Number One Rule Of Container Gardening

Welcome to the 280th Metamorphosis Monday!

I never did much “container” gardening until I added on a screened-in porch.  My old deck was hotter than the hinges of…well, you know. The west sun beat down upon it every single afternoon making it impossible to sit out there. Forget sitting, you couldn’t even walk barefoot out there without risking 3rd degree burns on your feet!  And then there was the problem of mosquitoes. We grow ‘em big down here and they will tote you right off if you stand still for more than half a second.

Deck Renovation Screened in Porch Addition

 

Tearing off the old deck…

Deck Removed from House in Preparation of Adding a Screened-in Porch

 

…and adding on a screened porch was a game changer.

Screened in Porch with Bird Feeders

 

This outdoor room became as important to my home as the kitchen and the family room.

Screened in Porch

 

It seems like if you have a porch or deck you enjoy, the natural progression is to surround yourself in flowers, especially if that deck or porch is two stories up where you can’t really see the flowers in your garden or yard.

Green Ceramic Garden Seat for Screened-in Porch

 

Unfortunately, this past summer I had to remove some Leyland Cypress trees growing along side of my home. I had planted them 20 years ago as “screening” plants and they had worked well, but they were no longer in good shape. Once those were removed, I lost my privacy on that side. I’m going to plant more back since they worked so well for so long, but it will take them a few years to grow up tall enough to provide privacy again since the porch and decks are two-stories up.

In the meantime, you may remember from a post a couple of weeks ago, I added two Tardiva “tree-form” Hydrangeas to the deck.

Tardiva Topiary Hydrangeas for the Deck

 

When I purchased them, these were the only pots I had available to put them in. I thought they would work fine since they were pretty much the exact same size as the pots the Tardiva hydrangeas came in. The only problem was, each time I watered them (which is pretty much daily in hot weather) unless I watered them at the speed of a teeny trickle, the water had a tendency to run off the top onto the deck before it had time to sink in. I worried that they were not getting a good watering each day and they really need that this time of year.

Tree Form Tardiva Hydrangea

 

So, late Saturday evening just before dark, I decided to transplant them into a bigger container. Remember this large clay pot? I purchased two of these last summer thinking I’d eventually fill them with big, fat, round boxwoods

Plant Daffodils in Container for Spring Blooms 2

 

I’ve become obsessed with boxwoods ever since I added these two in front of my home last year.

Boxwood Topiaries in Lattice Planters with Annuals for Traditional Landscape

 

Since I never got around to filling them with those fat boxwoods I envisioned, I planted them with daffodils in late winter.

Container Gardening, Daffodils for Spring

 

Late Saturday evening, I removed the daffodil bulbs that had long since finished blooming and transplanted one of the Tardiva hydrangea trees into the much bigger pot. I finished the first transplanting feat just as it got dark outside.

Later that night a monster storm blew through. The winds and rain were so heavy, I would have sworn a tornado was passing by somewhere in the area. The tornado sirens never went off but WOW, was it intense!

Repotted Tree Form Hydrangea 3_wm

 

Sunday morning I awoke, headed downstairs to get going on the second pot switcheroo and this is what I saw out on the deck. :( The pot I had planted up the night before was still standing, but the much lighter, faux-concrete-style planter had not been able to stand up to the intense weather the night before. Wish I had started earlier in the day with the transplanting so I could have gotten both of them done before nightfall. Drat!

Important lesson to learn here, don’t put top-heavy plants in those faux, light-weight containers available in all the gardening centers. They work great for shorter plantings, but not well at all for tree-form plants.

Fortunately, when I pulled Mrs. Tardiva back up (after snapping this pic) she was fine and had not suffered any broken branches. Whew! Lesson learned, first rule of container gardening is to choose the right container! :)

Hydrangea Tree Toppled Over In Storm

 

Besides the fact they were filled with daffodils and had been destined to be filled with boxwoods, there was one more reason I had not used these clay pots when I first brought the Tardiva Hydrangeas home: they weigh a TON!

I had thought by putting the hydrangeas in light-weight pots, I could move them onto the porch or even inside for the winter, if necessary. Plus, I wasn’t sure how I’d get the large clay pots out onto the deck; it had been all I could do to just get them out of my SUV and onto the driveway when I first brought them home.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Right?

After completely emptying each pot of all its daffodil dirt, I rolled it on its bottom edge toward the garage. Once to the garage, I drug it across the smooth floor of the garage to the kitchen door where I hoisted it up onto this heavy throw I had spread out on the kitchen floor. Then, using the throw, I dragged it across the kitchen, out onto the screened-in porch, across the porch and onto the deck. WHEW!

Easy Way to Move Heavy Clay Pot

 

I added some dirt to the bottom of the pot, then wrestled Mrs. Tardiva out of her light-weight pot and into her new home. I actually lifted her back out and added a bit more dirt after I took this photo, but I left her in low enough so water can pool up a bit on top when I water and not just run off like it did before.

Larger Container for Tardiva Hydrangea Tree

 

This pot is such a better fit, even some growing room around the outside which I filled in with a great potting soil I discovered back when I planted the boxwood topiaries out front. You can see the potting soil in that old post here: Boxwood Topiaries For a Tradtional Landscape Design

Larger Container for Tardiva Hydrangea Tree

 

You can really see the size difference here…much, better for the hydrangeas. And the experience of the previous night tells me this pot can definitely stand up to the strong storms since Mr. Hydrangea never toppled over during the storm.

Comparing Container Sizes

 

So, here are Mr. and Mrs. Tardiva Hydrangea in their new homes.  They’ve lost a few leaves during the time they were in their almost-too-small pots since it was a challenge to keep them watered before. Hopefully they will flourish in their new abodes.

Tardiva-Tree-Form-Hydrangeas-for-the-Deck_wm

 

After that little “Before and After” I turned my attention to this brittle, pollen-encrusted grill cover. I thought I could take it out onto the driveway and hose/scrub it down.

Old Grill Cover

 

Then I saw this–an ugly tear. It’s so brittle from years of use, it’s beginning to deteriorate. Time for a new cover.

Tear in Grill Cover (2)

 

What did you work on this weekend? I can’t wait to see all the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

 

Pssst: If you’re new to reading BNOTP and would like to see more about the addition of the porch, you’ll find that old post here: Building a Screened Porch Addition

One on sidebar

 

If you are participating in Metamorphosis Monday, you will need to link up the “permalink” to your MM post and not your general blog address. To get your permalink, click on your post name, then just copy and paste the address that shows up in the address bar at the top of your blog, into the “url” box for InLinkz.

In order to link up, you’ll need to include a link in your MM post back to the party so the other participants will have an opportunity to receive visits from your wonderful blog readers.

Please observe these few rules:

Only link up Before and After posts that are home, gardening, crafting, painting, sewing, cooking, DIY related.

Do not link up if you’re doing so to promote a website or product.

Do not link up a post that was just linked last week since a lot of readers will have already seen that post.





Comments

  1. I have a bit of a container garden too.And your gorgeous screened in porch inspired mine,although yours is much larger than ours.We absolutely love sitting outside relaxing and eating meals without bugs :-)
    Thanks so much for hosting!
    xx
    Anne

  2. I can’t wait to see these blooming. They will be gorgeous. We had that high wind too. I’ve never seen anything like it. Power lines down all over town. No power for hours. Thanks for hosting the linkup. laurie

  3. Thanks for hosting, Susan! I’ve learned some transplanting lessons the hard way too. Your hydrangeas look beautiful. Hope they flourish and bloom abundantly! Have a great week!
    Blessings,
    Nici

  4. Susan, you are one determined woman, hauling those heavy pots around by yourself! :0) Out here in Arizona, the “it” pots to have are called cantera pots. Theyr’e very nice looking but they’re basically made out of concrete. Even a small pot can be very heavy. I also used the “drag the heavy pot on a blanket” method to move two large, extremely heavy cantera pots from my front yard to my back patio. I was so proud of myself and my husband was amazed. This weekend we didn’t do much in the yard. We’re watching the last of the winter/spring flowers get killed off by the heat. Next weekend we’ll replace them with summer flowers. Have a great day. :0)

  5. I giggled reading how you had to get that pot to the deck – oh the extremes we go to when we want something done!!!
    Love your deck – what a bonus to have !
    Thanks so much for the party !
    Hugs,
    Suzan

  6. Thanks for hosting Susan! I’m sure those hydrangeas will be very happy there:-)

  7. Learned my lesson of the pitfalls of fiberglass pots……………I suggest using KrudKutter to clean your
    grill. I don’t think there is anything this cleaner can’t tackle.Our grill looks the same as yours.

  8. Glad the trees survived and look like they are going to do well in their new home. Our weekend was busy with kids activities. Thankfully this is the last weekend like that and things settle down for the summer. Yay!
    Thanks for hosting,
    KC

  9. What a chore transplanting! So glad your branches remained intact Susan, can’t wait to see them in bloom :)

  10. Thanks so much for the party!!

    Hugs,
    Debbie

  11. Well that had a happy ending! I hadn’t much thought about those lightweight containers not being good for something top heavy like that- I’ll try to remember! When I water things I always say I want to see them “pee”! LOL… seriously though, water long enough that it does go right through and out the bottom because a tree form like that has an extensive root system. I hope they do really well for you- they look really nice! We went to a garden center and picked out a tree to replace one that is barely alive after the winter. Got the patio cleaned up and the water fountain running. It was a good weekend!

    • lol, that’s a good idea! I don’t know why the dirt doesn’t seem to soak up the water. It runs right through my hibiscus topiaires on the other deck. Wow, you got a lot done this past weekend! Now it’s time to just sit and enjoy a bit.

  12. I so understand about the light container….has happened to me and I too have learned my lesson…I love your hydrangea trees!….Thanks for hosting and have a great day!

  13. You’ve been busy! Lately I’m getting away from container gardening because it takes too long to water them all. LOL. I still have my flower boxes though, and a few flowering pots. And my porch always has big hanging pots of impatiens! :)

    • It does take a long time. I bought one of those long skinny hoses to attach to my laundry sink but it won’t reach. Wish when I had the porch built, I had thought to have them run a water line up to the deck.

  14. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Thanks so much for hosting, Susan!
    Have a great week,
    Suzanne

  15. Susan,
    Oh, my goodness, dear friend. . .that’s a lot of wind for your area!!!
    We continually deal with 60 + mph winds here on the Prairie!
    Your hydrangea are growing into lovely “shade” trees for your deck!!!
    Thanks for hosting Metamorphosis Monday each week.
    I come away with amazing inspiration each time I visit!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

  16. Hinges huh? Your trees look wonderful and may I say you are very ingenious when it comes to heavy lifting. :)

  17. That’s a good lesson for me to remember — especially since I live in the windy city! Needless to say, our market umbrella has taken off on a few occasions! Oh, and my grill cover looks even worse than yours!

    Thanks so much for hosting!

    :) Linda

  18. An important lesson for me to remember since I live in the windy city! My market umbrella has taken off in the wind in the past!

    Thanks so much for hosting!

    :) Linda

    P.S. My grill cover looks even worse than yours!

  19. Peggy Thal says:

    Thank goodness your trees are alright. When I first read your blog I though one of them snapped. I had that happen plus my market umbrella. Just when you think everything is perfect something has to happen – weather, bugs, and weeds. I am having wasp issues. They are making homes in odd place by my house. Like under chairs, in my flower pots and by the doors. Now I am on a wasp war path. – I can’t wait to see your trees bloom. They will be so beautiful.

    • That would have been awful…not sure I could have gotten another one. I know…always something with weather and bugs. Watch out with those wasp, Peggy…they are vicious!

  20. This transformation looks wonderful – love the clay pots! We have been having some amazing storms this year so far! Always on the alert! I do appreciate you hosting, Hope you have a great week,
    Kathy

  21. I love your blog! I love your porch! I love your trees!

  22. Can’t wait to see them in bloom! Thanks for hosting!…hugs…Debbie

  23. Another trick for watering plants that drink lots of water is to layer ice cubes on top of the soil around the trees. When I worked in a store we often used this method and would add a layer of ice almost like mulch onto the top of the soil (not touching the plants). As the ice melted the soil and roots have a chance to slowly absorb the water without it all running off the top or out the bottom of the pot. I do this at home as a way to also empty out the ice bin from our automatic ice maker so that the ice we use is always fresh.

  24. Love your screened porch. I want to do that to our front porch. Thanks for hosting.

    Shannon ~ bohemuanjunktion.com

  25. Oh, Susan, yes, I completely understand what you’ve gone through. I worked most of the weekend in my garden, and made sure I took a little time to relax and enjoy the view (without the need to get up and grab a yard waste bag to pick weeds!). Your porch guys are going to be cussing you when they have to move those plants! I even have gravel rocks in the base of two of mine in my courtyard – for both weight and filler for my annual container plants. With all the work we do in our gardens, we really should have more parties to celebrate it all, shouldn’t we?! Sharing with these links is the next best thing, so that’s what I’m doing – thank you for having us and hosting this garden party!
    Rita

    • lol, I’m dreading it when they show up to paint. They won’t be thrilled, I’m sure! Yes, to the parties! I’ve had one this year out there so far, hope to have a few more this summer. Thanks, Rita!

  26. What a gorgeous home you have! Everything is so beautiful and green! I’m sure your blooms will be fantastic. Thank you for hosting!

  27. Great story…One reason I got a hand truck…. My house is not 2-story as yours is & you probably don’t want a hand truck in your kitchen but I had 2 huge styrene pots like yours that had some dwarf arborvitae that were anything but “dwarf” in weight. I eventually threw them away. They were looking poorly. I had them on my patio & would move all my container plants off once in awhile to hose down & scrub the brick patio. They were very heavy due to plant size & also b/c I put crushed rock in the base to give the pots some ballast. I had the same problem with them blowing over all the time. They required my husband or son to move or someone helping me so I got the hand truck (Christmas present from my other son…I ask for ‘weird’ things since I do lots of gardening & DIY so I like tools), then could slide it under the pot & roll them out of the way…..Now my big pots are empty & I’m trying to decide what to plant in them.

    I have lots of decorative pots made of a variety of material & clay pots w/ blooming flowers that don’t blow over…..A suggestion: to save money on potting soil & to lighten the pots, when planting annuals in the containers, I put pine bark mulch in the bottom of the pot. (I’ve read suggestions of using Styrofoam packing peanuts but don’t like that…not eco friendly & what do you do when you’re done with them at the end of the growing season. I love them for packing/shipping & recycle any I get for that purpose)…..They don’t blow over due to the nature of the plant & since they are annuals, do not have the huge root ball a tree or shrub would have. I plant a variety of blooming flowers in them for décor on the patio. I put mulch in the bottom to lighten & save using so much expensive potting soil……

    Once again, a great blog post w/ lots of great photos…I absolutely love your screened porch. We have a couple of open patios & porches on our ranch style home but I’d love a sunroom or screened porch……By the way, I’m in NC. I know you’re in GA. We get SO MUCH pollen in the spring everything turns yellow. How do you keep your porch looking so clean & how do you KEEP the furniture & especially the cushions & other fabric from getting dirty w/ pollen & also dust? I hose down my wrought iron patio furniture & the seat cushions are the all weather kind that I take in the garage sometimes if rain threatens. Otherwise, I beat the dust/pollen out of them. I once tried wicker & plush cushions & that was a dirty mess so I got metal I can hose down & stands up to the harsh sun & rain better than wicker. Would love to hear how the southerners w/ horrible spring pollen keep stuff clean.

    • Thanks, Laura! I used to have a hand truck long ago. I think it went off to college with my son on one of his moves. He moved to a new place every year in college. So glad we’re not doing that anymore…that got really old!
      That’s a great idea about when planting annuals about using pine bark in the bottom! The porch stays pretty clean year around except pollen season. I just have to vacuum it and the cushions a few times or else cover things up. I usually don’t cover anything, just vacuum. I did wash the cushions on the table chairs for the first time this year and they came out great. I got two into my washing machine at the time. A lot of the wicker on the porch is outdoor wicker so it can be hosed down, too. There’s a bit more info about that under my FAQ here: http://betweennapsontheporch.net/best-container-for-a-tree-form-hydrangea/#comment-339022

  28. Your porch and plantings are so welcoming! I can just see friends and family gathering there.
    Love your style,
    Deb

  29. Lordy, lordy, it is a challenge isn’t it!!! It’s getting more and more difficult to stay “one step ahead!!” They look great…JUST WAIT UNTIL THEY BLOOM!! franki

  30. Susan, I’m sure I’ve told you before how much I love your porch. It’s great to see the equally gorgeous exterior facade. Love how you’ve created some privacy with the tree-form Hydrangeas – so pretty in the terracotta posts. I love hydrangeas and wish we could grow the tree form here in the Canadian Prairies. Thanks for hosting the party and have a great week!

  31. Hi Susan,

    I use sturdy round bases with caster wheels under my heavy containers so that I can easily move them around my back patio. They are available in many sizes at Home Depot or any garden center or nursery, and make heavy containers so easy to move. I have oak wine barrel containers which weigh a ton! I don’t know how kind they would be to your wood deck, though.

    Lisa

  32. We just planted summer flowers and veggies in our containers, but they have to bee off the patio a little bit because of the hot afternoon sun — still thinking of an inexpensive way to shade the area! Thanks for hosting the party, and have a great week! :)

  33. Thanks so much for hosting, Susan! Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  34. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, that picture on the homepage made me smile. And once you started to explain, I thought this was going to be another story about your trusty garden cart, lol. Darn those stairs! If anybody can find a way to get a fully laden garden cart up a flight of stairs, it will be you. :D I look forward to that post. ;)

    In the meantime, here’s my latest lecture — would you please knock it off! We are the same age and somehow you have managed to get through life without a bad back. That is highly unusual at our age. And believe me, back issues are no fun — so stick to the faux containers and short plants, will ya? I know, I know, you want the privacy. Well, you’re just going to have to put your ‘thinking outside the box’ glasses on and come up with something safer. Every time you get into one of these jams I think .. grrr .. that little fathead!

    Oh! I just thought of the solution for you. Bamboo. It grows remarkably fast — REMARKABLY. You could make it look like a fence. :)

    You’re welcome. :P

  35. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    I can just see you trying to haul that heavy wood (though gorgeous) potting/garden table/cart upstairs on your own. I can literally visualize you, on the bottom end, trying to push it up there with all your best Girls Raised In The South.

  36. Wow, Susan, your porch is gorgeous and so inviting! Thanks for hosting the party this week!

  37. Susan, you need a dolly and I do not mean the ones you cuddle!! :) What a feat getting that pot put into place, no matter what you tackle, you always end up doing it right!!
    I still have porch envy each time I see yours. I sadly had to leave mine behind in the last house.

  38. I never realized that porch was up so high. You must have a lovely view! I do a bit of container gardening, as I enjoy perennials in my yard, but everything is low and flowering. Thanks for the tip though, not sure that would’ve occurred to me either. Then again, I have always been a form over function girl!

  39. My friend also uses the ice cubes. I am going to try that on the next watering. I also put gravel or rocks in bottom of container then my dirt. It helps to make container heavier and also the plants do not sit in too much water if I do overwater or it rains too much. Your plants look great.

  40. Susan,
    If you place rocks in the bottom of the light weight pots it will add stability and they will not tip over. Also, there is a new tree similar to Leyland Cyprus that is much prettier, grows very fast and last longer than Leyland’s (which only live around 15 years normally). I will find out the name and give it to you. My friend built a new home several years ago and she planted several of them, they are beautiful. Will get back to you soon.

  41. Oh Susan, I had to laugh at your adventure brining those pots to their new spot. Sounds like me… where there’s a will… Love seeing the before and after of the porch from the back of the house. I hadn’t seen that before. Hope you have a great week!!

  42. Susan,
    If you place rocks in the bottom of the light weight pots it will add stability and they will not tip over. Also, there is a new tree (new to me anyway) similar to Leyland Cyprus that is much prettier, grows very fast and last longer than Leyland’s (which only live around 15 years normally) and does especially well in Southern climates. I will find out the name and give it to you. My friend built a gorgeous new home several years ago and she planted several of them, they are beautiful now. Will get back to you soon and give you the name.

  43. Susan,
    That doesn’t surprise me one bit that you would drag those huge pots across your house. Sounds just like the woman “stealing” flowers from Kentucky Fried Chicken!

  44. I love the tardivas in the clay pots. One thing that will help with keeping plants moist is putting an inch or so of mulch on top of the soil, same as you do in the garden. It makes a big difference.

  45. Yay! I’m so happy to see your party active again! I’m also very happy that your plants survived. I’ve tried doing it my way too many times with unhappy results! Thanks for hosting and blessings to you dear Susan,
    Patti

  46. Hi Susan,

    I didn’t realize you could purchase Hydrangeas in tree form — how neat!! I love, love Hydrangeas! You really are lucky the tree branches didn’t break when the pot fell over. I love the faux terra cotta pots, because the clay ones are SO heavy. But you’re right that the heavier pot is needed for a tall, top-heavy plant. Don’t you hate those violent thunderstorms we get in the summer? They really can be destructive.

    Thanks so much for hosting Met Monday and have a great day!

    Denise

  47. Note: if your deck is made of wood, you absolutely need to elevate those pots on a couple of bricks or your deck will rot under the pots. Even if the deck is Trex, or some lookalike, elevating the pots will provide better drainage and air to the pot. They look great!

  48. Susan I was laughing, cuz it does take an act of congress to move those heavy terracotta pots! I’ve drug many around on beach towels, all the while wearing my favorite perfume “Deep Woods Off “!!

  49. Rebecca Francis says:

    I feel your pain moving large pots and heavy things. My sweet husband bought me a small hand truck or dollie to move things when he wasn’t around. I love, love this little thing. They are inexpensive too. It is the trick to move pots around. Also I noticed your trees are located very close to your grill. Grills get very hot when using you may want to back them up a bit. I really enjoy your blog and all your pretty table settings. Keep up the good work…Rebecca

  50. Thanx for the party Susan! I wish I had a green thumb for potted plants but I just seem to kill um all.

  51. Mary Herron says:

    Your porch and plants are always beautiful. Clay pots are always my first choice. They fit into the “classics” category. Save your back next time with a small folding “dolly” or “handtruck”. I got mine from Walmart and it folds up to hang in the garage. It’s light weight and easier to handle than the large one my husband uses. Clay saucers under your plants would help hold the water in for your plants to soak up after watering. I have some new clay saucers that I save to use for plate chargers when we have dinner on the patio. The 12 inch size works with most dinner plates. Sometimes I add little clay pots with baked bread or chocolate pudding and oreo desserts. Love your pictures and posts. Wish I had a porch exactly like yours.

  52. Hi Susan. So glad that the Mr. and Mrs. made it through the storm. They make these little wheeled platform for plants that are too heavy to move. It’s just a piece of piece of wood or plastic with wheels on it. It might help you if you need to move them inside for any reason. I found some on Amazon under plant stand with wheels but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them in Home Depot and Lowes. Thanks so much for hosting this week.
    K.

  53. Hi Susan. So glad your plant survived! I enjoyed hearing all about it. Thank you for hosting.

  54. Virginia says:

    By coincidence this past week I also potted a hydrangea tree! I was inspired by your other potted trees. My project for this week was a small deck which I power washed and then restained the floor boards and painted the skirting. I then moved a seldom used bistro table and chairs from the patio to the deck. Along with my potted hydrangea tree I added a few more pots with flowers. We also purchased a new grill cover! What a difference this all made. I love this blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

  55. Cryptomeria is the name of the beautiful tree I mentioned to you earlier. Much prettier than a Leyland Cyprus and more hardy.

    • From what I’ve read and seen, they grow a fair amount slower and don’t have as much foliage near the top as a Leyland Cypress. My neighbor on the other side planted three Cryptomeria a couple of years ago and they have hardly grown at all. When I planted Leylands Cypress they grew lightning fast and I do think they are beautiful, though they seem to have fallen out of favor. Mine never got diseased and did very well…they just eventually shaded themselves out…they were about 30 feet tall and planted close together. One thing I really don’t like about Crytomeria is how they “bronze” in winter. I know some folks like that but I really don’t. There are a lot planted around here so I got a good look at them this winter and just don’t like the bronzing. Leyland Cypress stays pretty green which I prefer. So those are the reasons I want to go with those again: speed of growth, fullness all the way to the top and no bronzing.

    • Mary, I should add, if these were going in the front yard in a pretty grouping, I’d probably go with Cryptomeria for their shape, despite the bronzing. But in the back yard, I just care about screening and speed. I wish I had planted them last fall…wasted time. Thanks for your help and suggestions!

  56. Linda Mazzei says:

    You need to buy the heavy duty pot movers with wheels some come with a saucer for the water or some come with an ornate metal scroll or wood. That way you can bring them in when it freezes. I use them for my big pots, cheapest I have found is at Tuesday Morning. They will also protect your deck. You are small but mighty! There is nothing you won’t do! Reminds me of a Sunday School song. Love your house! I spent the weekend working and on Saturday yard work! In Texas the grass grows tall!

  57. I so love your porch. I think I would practically live in that room.

    Thanks so much for hosting. Enjoy your week!

    Gloria

  58. Susan, your home is so beautiful and I do love how you decorate and fix things up. Your plants are pretty too! Well, I had the same thing happen to me before as well. Way to big of a plant for the pot I had it in. I am still learning! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  59. Susan, I loved your storytelling and I loved your result. I’ve always been envious of your screened porch and your boxwoods in the front make me want to do the same. Great post!

  60. I bet in no time flat you will see a vast difference, Susan. I am glad this story had a happy ending. ♥

  61. Whew! Big job! You’re amazing. Looks really nice too. I’ve been doing lots of stuff around here. Painted the inside of my kitchen pantry. It’s now all refreshed and organized. Next painting project is the inside of the hall coat closet. In the meantime, I’ve been sprucing up outside, weeding, edging flower beds. Weed control is a time consuming job here. I have so many thistles growing in my beds. And they are prolific. But, I wanted to tell you that I hired Fish window cleaning service on your recommendation and they were here today and I’m more than thrilled with the results. My windows look the best they’ve looked in many years. I will definitely use them again. Thanks for the recommendation.

  62. Hi, have your hydrangea trees started to bloom yet? Just curious. I have two trees that look almost exactly like yours and they seemed to survive past this last brutal Chicago winter despite being left outside in similar sized containers. One is starting to bud, so I’m hopeful they will continue. Wondering if my trees are just late this year. Nice pictures, btw.

    • I noticed yesterday one is just getting blossoms (buds) on it, so I don’t think it will be long! I’ll be sure to share them when they bloom. That’s amazing your’s made it through a Chicago winter. That gives me some hope mine will this winter. I really don’t want to have to move those huge pots/planters.

      • Well, I just checked again and it looks like the new blossoms are starting to come out on both trees! What a nice surprise today. Hopefully they will be as full as they were last year when I bought them.

        As for surviving winters in containers, the good news is that mine are proof that it is possible to grow hydrangea tress in containers after surviving through nearly 6 months of the frozen tundra known as Chicago. Almost everyone I talked to at my local gardening stores said it would be a waste of time to try to grow these in containers here. The bad news is that I did take mine inside (despite heavy protests from my wife) for a few weeks in March when the weather started warming up. This was necessary due to the constant freeze/thaw cycle that happens here in the early spring…one day it’s 50 degrees, and the next 5 degrees. The little green leaf buds that starting forming would have frozen right off I’m sure had I not taken them in. If yours are too heavy to move, I suggest covering them up in plastic once the new leaf buds start coming in. You just need to keep an eye out for when they start forming. And make sure you water once in a while in the winter months. Good luck!

  63. Thanks for those tips! I could drag mine onto the screened porch but that may not be enough protection. We go through those same crazy weather cycles here, too sometimes in the spring so I’ll definitely look into covering them when the buds begin appearing. Thanks for that warning! I really don’t want to lose them.

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