Fill Those Summer Pots and Planters Without Blowing the Budget

This past Sunday I managed to get a little planting done before the rain started back.  Most of the planting took place on the deck off to the right of the porch, the one with the bottle tree.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

Come spring, I’m always looking for ways to spruce up and add color and life to the deck without spending a whole bunch.  Bottle trees are a great way to add color and liven things up and they require no weeding, replanting or watering!

I noticed this year, a few of the bottles have faded since last summer, but most have held up pretty well.  A while back I gave all my red bottles to my friend, Jan for her bottle tree seen in this post: Jan’s Bottle Tree.  The pic below was taken when I still had red ones on the tree.  I decided to go with the colors I love in the garden: pink, blue, yellow, green and purple.

Tip:  It’s best to use bottles where the glass is truly colored all the way through and not just on the outside of the bottle.  (Read more about this bottle tree in this post: Bottle Tree Dreams)

Bottle Tree

 

Hanging Baskets: Lots of Plants for Less
One of the sneaky ways I “flower-up” the deck each year without spending a fortune is to buy a couple of hanging baskets at Home Depot where the prices are very reasonable, then divide them up to use them in a variety of ways around the deck.  Most of their hanging baskets have at least three separate plants in them.  I did that this year with a big hanging basket of yellow and white striped petunias.  Two of the plants went into the pot here in the center of the table.

Update:  Several folks have mentioned in the comments, you can also find hanging baskets (for dividing) at reasonable prices in Kmart and Walmart, too.  I’ve also shopped there in the past and found great prices.  You don’t always find as much variety but the prices are usually much better than you’ll find in the nurseries and specialty garden stores.  Also, Lowe’s has their hanging baskets on sale right now…perfect timing!

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

The other wave petunia went into this pot…more on this little pot in a sec.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

If you’ve been reading BNOTP for very long, you know I always, always place a big red geranium on the shabby white chair that lives on the porch.

Garden Seat with Red Geranium

I’m am not sure why, but it just always has to be a red geranium. Nothing else will do for that spot.

Geranium on white shabby chair

I’ve learned over the years, geraniums become very unhappy if kept on a shady porch for too many days.  So, every few days I bring Miss Geranium out on the deck to sunbathe.

Garden Seat with Geranium on Deck

I’ve never had a great spot to place her, though and she always ends up on the floor of the deck which was hard on zay back when it was time to bring her back in to her chair on the porch.  I don’t want to hurt her feelings, but {whispers} she weighs a small ton! {whispers}

This year I got smart and decided to place her atop her own queenly pedestal.  A garden seat gives Miss Geranium a lovely place to sunbathe (when she isn’t on the porch) and works as additional seating for parties.  My back is much happier, too!

Garden Seat with Geranium on Deck

This planter below is another frugal combination planting, receiving some of the yellow petunias from the hanging basket and Creeping Jenny I wintered over in the tall urns that live on the other deck under the pergola.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

A strange thing happened this year with the Knock-out Rose topiaries and the Creeping Jenny on this deck.  In one urn, the Knock-out Rose died over the winter, but the Creeping Jenny survived just fine.  In the other urn, the Creeping Jenny croaked, yet the Knock-out Rose was fine.  Isn’t that strange?!

So, this year I purchased another inexpensive Knockout Rose topiary to replace the one that didn’t make it through the winter and I divided up the Creeping Jenny between both pots.  I really love Creeping Jenny.  Within just a month or so it will start to dramatically cascade down the sides of the urns.  Love that look!

New Knock-out Rose with Creeping Jenny

I love trying different plant combinations in my planters each year.  It creates a little mystery and excitement as I watch and wonder how it will look in the coming weeks.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

One of those tried and true “rules” for container gardening is to fill your planters with something that “thrills” something that “fills” and something that “spills.”  My “thrill” plant is a Ponytail Fern, also known as a Fox Tail Fern.  It gives the planter a bit of height and whimsy.  It’s almost impossible to walk by this planter and not reach down and run you hands around the soft, fluffy tail.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

For my “fill” I chose a few inexpensive small-flowering plants.  I forgot to save the labels and the names escape me right now.  If I remember them, I’ll add them later today.

For the “spill” I’m using one of the yellow and white “wave” petunias from the hanging basket I broke apart and the Creeping Jenny I wintered over from last year.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

I’m trying something totally different this year for the cozy seating/dining area tucked away in this corner of the deck.  I love playing with this part of the deck because it’s a little world of its own, the perfect spot for a romantic dinner for two.  You can see several table settings I’ve created for in this area over the years here: Romantic Tables for Two

Normally, I put tomato plants in the large pots but I usually only get a few tomatoes before something (squirrel? chipmunk?) gets to it.  So this year I’m going a different direction.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

I’m using Sky Pencil Hollies.  Upon arriving home with these guys, I was slightly aghast to see how tall they can get!  Note to self: Read labels PRIOR to buying plants! ;)

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

Hopefully, I’ll get 2-3 years use out of them before they have to be transplanted, maybe longer if they are slow growing.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

I divided up another inexpensive hanging basket to fill in around the hollies.  Love those wave petunias!

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

The west sun can get a little intense in this area in the afternoon.  I sometimes have trouble with the plant that ends up in the corner on the right since it has “house” on either side of it.  That seems to intensify the afternoon sun.  We’ll see how it goes this summer.  Hopefully the holly will handle it okay.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

I love using pink geraniums in these pots under the window each year.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

I found this plant stand in Marshall’s a few years back and it was the perfect height for what I was trying to do in this spot.  I wanted the geraniums to look kind of like they were growing in a window-box, so this was my sneaky way of getting a window-box planter “look” without actually having to mount one under the window.  The family room is on the other side of that window and the flowers are really pretty peeking in through the window.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

I love how the clay pots are naturally aging with the years, taking on an old world patina.  It’s my own little mini-taste of Italy.  ;)

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

 

So, that is what’s shaking on the decks this year, at least so far.  Are you planting up a storm yet?  Trying some new plants this year?  Have a prima donna geranium that likes to sunbathe on a regular basis? ;)




Comments

  1. I’m so glad you talked about using the hanging baskets as plant sources! I’ve been doing this for years…sometimes there are 5-6 plants in there! I find them cheap at the grocery too and also places like KMart and WalMart! I always plant geraniums too. They are old fashioned and don’t have a pretty smell but my Granny always put them in her window boxes (I’m sure because they were the cheapest) so it always brings back memories for me!

    • Lorriane, I’m so glad you mentioned those sources, I’ve also bought baskets from Walmart and Kmart. :) I didn’t think about them this year…will have to take a pass through to see what they have in. Geraniums also take the heat so well…they love it! That’s so sweet about your Granny!

  2. Susan – we are kindred spirits with the red geraniums! Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Holly

  3. Susan, my geraniums live in pots in my garden. The TX sun and heat can be hard on them, so they are in the back garden that doesn’t get the direct afternoon sun. I usually plant white, but this spring I planted a large red one in the wall planter. It is so happy. Hope it continues to like its spot. Geraniums are a favorite plant for me ever since my childhood. I love the scent of geraniums.

  4. You had me fooled with that window planter! I thought at first it was mounted to the house. Great idea!

    Plants are soooooo expensive and your idea of dividing them really makes sense. At our cabin, there is a place that opens just six weeks a year (now) and their prices are less than half of what most other places go for, plus they have stunning flowers. I actually just did a post about them because I used a wood bassinet I recently scored at a rummage sale as a planter and wanted to show it off :).

    I love everything about your deck, but what I love most is you don’t seem to be on top of your neighbors. Mother Nature is our best and most reliable decorator (and cheapest).

    Your plants look lovely already. In a few weeks, they are going to look even nicer. Don’t forget to show updates!!

    • Doreen, it just happened to be the perfect window height…lucky break. Mother Nature really is the best decorator of all! I’ll be sure to post an update when things hopefully start to fill in. So awesome that you have a reasonably priced place near your cabin…that’s wonderful!

  5. Your deck looks great Susan. Good idea about the hanging baskets. Lowes is having a sale on hanging baskets, two for $10.00 and they are really beautiful and full.
    Hope that you and Max are doing great, your in my prayers.
    Have a wonderful Mothers Day.
    Mary

    • Shoot, I should have waited and checked out Lowes. lol I always end up at HD since it’s about 2 miles from my house and Lowes in about 20 minute drive. I do love Lowes garden center.

  6. You have some good ideas. Even though we’re having a nice spring (all of a sudden) I can’t put out annuals just yet, but I sure would love to! I usually pick a color that I want to be dominant in my annuals each year. I might go red this year! I always mix my own plants for containers but this year I was thinking of buying some ready made ones like you did with the hanging pots and just lifting the whole thing and planting it into my own containers. It does add up quickly! Your deck area will look fabulous as all these plants fill out more. I do love creeping jenny too- you can count on it and does a great job of enhancing planters and is even good on the ground! Have a great weekend Susan!

    • Thanks, Liz! I do that too and you’re right, it works great. I forgot to include a pic of one planter that’s over behind the table, but that’s what I did with it…just lifted it right out of the hanging basket and added a little additional dirt…instant full plant. :)

  7. Susan, that flower is lobelia. I just bought a flat yesterday! It is hit or miss with them here, but I always give it a shot.
    Our biggest prob is the deer feasting on the flowers! We are just starting to plant, it is usually safe after Mother’s Day.
    I am trying sunpatiens this year as we can’t plant the regular ones due to a blight. It won’t be safe for 2 years. Everyone is scrambling to find something to take its place.

    Your pots will be gorgeous when they are all filled in! I have never seen that pony tail fern. One tip I have to keep costs low and making pots look light is to buy a pot of sweedish bridal veil. Then I rip pices of it out and just stick into other pots or beds. Dark green leaf with a little white baby’s breath like flower. It makes the pots look so pretty.
    Winter the pot indoors, and you are set to go come spring! It keeps giving and giving!
    Happy Mother’s Day!

    • I never see the Swedish Bridal Veil in the nurseries here…will have to keep my eye out for it. Unfortunately, with all hardwood flooring, I’m always afraid to winter stuff inside, afraid it will leak and I won’t know it. I have had success with wintering geraniums over in garage, though. I did that last year but they were so large at the end of summer, I decided to not winter those over again. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  8. Dorinda Selke says:

    Love your tip on breaking up the hanging planter plants. I will definitely give this a try ! Still can’t plant – this coming Monday night frost is expected again UGH ! But, your beautiful post today will be an inspiration of things to come ! Meant to mention that we went to a restaurant called The Farm Table at Kringle Candle in Massachusetts that had beautiful bottle trees inside and also bottle tree light fixtures. Tried to get pictures but they didn’t come out too well. It was the first time I saw bottle trees up north, though! Happy Mother’s Day to you, Susan ! Hugs, Dorinda

    • Dorinda, I hope your spring arrives soon! What a fun name for a restaurant! The name alone would make me want to eat there. So bottle trees are making their way north?! Cool!

  9. Love all the planters…and the faux window box is WonderFul..I LOVE Marshall’s & TJ Maxx…it’s a good thing they are both too far away for a daily visit….I’ve used those hanging planters too…then I found out the prices on the flowers our high schoolers grow for their annual sale…so I’ve been shopping at the school..I grow from seed myself as well..I like having flowers that they don’t sell in my tiny area of the world…my mom Loved red geraniums…she said they didn’t like to get wet..she liked hers along the sidewalk..between it and the porch..the over hang of the porch roof did a fine job of keeping them from getting too wet..she liked the ones with double flowers…the deck looks like a nice place to have breakfast..lunch..and that romantic dinner…or…a nice iced tea and a fav magazine……

  10. Peggy Thal says:

    Looks lovely Susan! So inviting. I just picked up large pots premade and plopped them in my planters in the garden, around the pool , and by the door. Quick but it looks great. Already a bird made a nest in one of my pots. Couldn’t hang my wreaths on the doors , because it is a pain having a nest on your front and side door entrances.. Have a blue bird in my mailbox too. Happy , it is finally warmer weather here in Smithfield, Va.(across the river from Williamsburg and Newport News)

    • Peggy, that is too funny! You must have a lot of birdies in your area! Sounds like they just wait for you to get busy planting so they can get busy nesting. :) I have had them nest in my door basket and you are right, that is a bit of a pain because you really can’t use your door for weeks.

  11. I would love to get planting but the temps are still a little cool here in the Valley. Monday morning it’s only going to be in the 30s! :-(

  12. Mary from Virginia says:

    yes, I have been planting up a storm! I have a whiskey barrel by the garage door filled with blue salva, purple African daisies, Dazzler Violet impatiens, duster miller, and Twister Pink Verbena. The kitchen window box has a lavender ivy geranium, Dazzler Violet impatiens, dusty miller, lantana, sweet potato vine, and blue Angelonia. The window box on the shed is filled with Dazzler Violet and Blue Pearl Impatiens and down by the mailbox is Carabiniere Blue Salvia, dragon wing begonia in pink and white lantana. I am going to make a real effort to winter over the ivy geranium and dusty miller. I am hosting my niece’s bridal shower next weekend and her colors are purple, but we will have purples and pinks for the shower. We have a game planned for outside, so we have worked hard to get the yard in shape!

    I hope your pots do well and thanks for the cost saving tips!

  13. ~Susan~
    Your deck planters look lovely !! I too love geraniums, I get them every year! On Mackinaw Island there is a yellow home with red geraniums in every window box and porch planters, it is called the “Geranium Cottage”. love it!!! I will be checking for the Sky Pencil Hollies, I have the perfect place for them. Did you find them at Home Depot??
    Did you make the bottle tree?
    Have a super day and Happy Mothers Day!
    Paula
    In.

    • Yep, the Sky Pencil Hollies are from Home Depot…hope they last a few years, though they weren’t expensive. I didn’t make the actual metal part of the tree, just added the bottles. I found the tree a few summers ago in Ballard Designs Outlet in Atlanta. It was reduced from $230+ down to $60. About two weeks later, after I had already bought mine, they reduced them down to $20! I’ve never seen them in there again, though. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  14. I picked up a fox tail fern this year too…my hubby saw it and HAD to have it because of it’s uniqueness. Creeping jenny is also one of my favorites. I’ve never had much luck with geraniums…although…that doesn’t keep me from trying every year :-P Too bad you didn’t post this sooner as I have already broken the bank! Oops…

    • Luisa, I’ve learned over the years that there are two things that seem to matter most when growing geraniums: 1. They like a lot of sun and 2. They don’t like to be over watered. During the summer here, I have a hard time keeping them watered enough on the decks because the sun beats down hard out there. I have to water them daily during the summer. But they don’t like to be wet a lot or as folks say, they don’t like wet feet. They love sun, though! I fertilize mine with Osmocote so that helps keep them blooming during the spring/summer. Hope that helps a bit. It’s amazing how fast it adds up, I know.

      • Thanks for the tips! I did buy one this year and it is in full sun and is planted in a hanging basket. So far, I see new blooms but the leaves are turning yellow. Anyway, I’m also in Georgia (45min north of Atlanta), so I’ll make sure to water every day during summer! I’ve never tried Osmocote, but I’ll give it a try :-)

        • I’m about 15-20 minutes north of Atlanta so we’re not too far from each other. Usually when the leaves on mine turn yellow, it’s because I have either watered it too much or too little and I’ve done both! Luisa, they make those little plant watering thingies that you stick down into the soil to check it to see if it’s time to water. I have one and use it occasionally. You can see one here: http://www.midlandhardware.com/709074.html Usually garden centers sell them…probably Walmart, HomeDepot, too. Not sure if that would be helpful. :) During the summer, I do have to water mine daily, unless it rains.

        • pocosmom33 says:

          I have found that the yellow leaves can come from 2 different sources. One is lack of water, and the other is lack of nitrogen–the first number in the 10-4-4 (or whatever ratio is on your bottle) on the side of the fertilizer. Geraniums in the ground have not seemed to want fertilizer (for me) but those in containers have all the nutrients washed through when they require frequent watering in plastic pots in hot weather. Found it out, actually, from what happened to my ferns in the kitchen. I think zonal geraniums are about the toughest plants in the northwest. Ivy-leafed ones are more fragile when it comes to cold weather. They definitely need to be in a garage or protected place in the winter–but if you are near Atlanta, that makes no difference to you. We get snow west of Seattle.

        • Thank you ladies!

  15. I “discovered” Grower’s Outlet LLC in Loganville on my way to pick strawberries in Watkinsville a couple weeks ago. I’ve lived here for 12 years and have never heard of it. Best kept secret EVER! Check out their website as they have updated availability and prices.
    They have 10″ geranium hanging baskets for $5. I bought one and divided into 2 separate hanging baskets. The hanging boston ferns – $8 for a 10″. It is an amazing place – they have everything from annuals, perennials, shrubs, vegetables, drought tolerate, shade loving…you get the idea. We went on a weekday and it was crazy busy so I can imagine the weekends must be even worse.
    Another great place to find cheap plants is Lowe’s – recently I’ve had awesome luck in their clearance section in the garden department. Scored some lantana for 50 cents a pot.

  16. I think the inexpensive fillers are lobelia.

  17. Diane Hinnant says:

    Susan, thanks for a look at all of your beautiful plantings. I’ve just moved back into my home, after having rented it for the past 3-1/2 years, and am having to repair and replace so many things I can’t even think about the yard this year. :( I don’t even allow myself to go near the garden centers. I love, love, love working in the yard and having flowers, but this year I’ll just have to play voyeur and enjoy ones such as yours … there’s always next year, right? BTW, I remember your incredible porch being one of the first things I ever saw when becoming addicted to blog land. To this day, I still drool over every picture of it that you post!
    Diane

    • Awww, thanks Diane! Appreciate that so much! Sorry you can’t play in the flowers this year. Hope you get your inside stuff done, though…I know how important that is. My yard is what needs the work now…gonna be super expensive so now sure when it will get done.

  18. Thanks for sharing! Love your tips and how you have decorated your deck! I have 2 clay urns in my front yard that I plop a 10″ geranium in each. The fit perfect….no need to re-pot! And with that location getting FULL SUN, the geraniums are a perfect fit. I am hoping to buy and plant a whole lot this weekend, Mother’s day weekend. Perfect for getting the house all set up for the summer!

  19. Everything looks so pretty!!!. The red geranium is perfect with the white on your porch. I got 3 hanging baskets at HD at a great price but did not divide them up. Having a time this year with the squirrels digging in the pots of begonias I planted – had to replant 3 again yesterday. :/
    Enjoy your weekend.

    • Glenda, I think I must have had a squirrel attack, too. The pot I have underneath the outdoor chanderlier was missing about half it’s dirt the other day. It was all out of the table…so something had fun digging in it. I read somewhere that freshly overturned dirt draws critters looking for worms and bug and such. Maybe squirrels are looking for old buried nuts but they have bad memories! :)

  20. Sharon From Michigan says:

    I’m currently in the process of making my own gazing ball for my garden from an old bowling ball. I love ideas that re-purpose items that would otherwise end up in the landfill. I chose the least heaviest bowling ball I could find at our church’s rummage sale (price was $1). Then I went to Michael’s Crafts and bought a couple bags of the pretty glass tiles and used liquid nails to glue them all over the bowling ball. (I filled in the holes with some sheetrock mud we had leftover from a previous home project. I’m going to mix up a small batch of leftover gray sanded grout and grout the ball this evening. I can’t wait to put it in my garden. Total cost of the trash to treasure project was about $10.

    • Sharon, that sounds beautiful! I’d love to see it when you’re done! Years ago I came across a blog where the blogger had outlined all her flower beds with colorful bowling balls. It was an amazing thing to see, great recycling like you said.

  21. Now I want to go to the nursery. I am not an expert at growing flowers, but for the lady that does not have luck growing geraniums – they do not like wet feet. Don’t ask me how I know, I will just say I think everything is a water lily, and my sister thinks everything is a cactus – we need to find a family member that strikes a balance. :)

  22. Your deck is beautiful with all your lovely pots. Thanks so much for the money saving tips. I generally drop a bundle every spring and love getting tips on how to save some of that cash. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks, Wanda! Apparently, there’s a sale going on right now at Lowes on hanging baskets. Also, Walmart has some great buys so check both of those places. Kmart, too if you have one in your area.

  23. Susan, usually I do the same as you – dividing the hanging baskets or the patio containers. I went to Home Depot as I normally do, and thought the prices were really high this year compared to past years. I then went over to Lowes, found the sale! And my final stop after I bought enough to fill my car was Walmart. The prices and selection were great, and their outdoor planters were really reasonable as well. Now if the rain stays away tomorrow, which its not supposed to, I will be on the hunt for red cedar mulch for less than $6.00 a bag. Happy Mother’s Day!

  24. Great minds think alike, Susan. I did the same thing this year . It took so long to warm up here and I was too desperate for beauty that I just couldn’t wait. This weekend is the perfect time. Every place has hanging baskets on sale for Mother’s day! Thanks for sharing all you wonderful ideas!

  25. SheilaC says:

    Hi Susan,
    I too, split hanging baskets for my planters. Up here bargains can be found at Stop and Shop good for fill ins later in the season… Don’t know what big supermarket chain is in your area. Re the aging plant pots, I have “aged” plant pots by liberally applying yogurt and letting them sit. They look pretty yucky at first, but after a while they take on that aged look. Maybe someone else has the exact formula??? Also wonder if yogurt applied to one’s face could have the opposite effect, HMMMMM
    Enjoy the weekend,
    SheilaC

    • I’ll have to try that…love the aged look. You just put plain yogurt on them? Nothing else?

      • Shelly Powell says:

        Susan,
        Martha Stewart showed how to “age” clay pots on one of her shows several years ago. The “aging” that she demonstrated made the pots grow a little green moss on them. She painted the outside of each pot with buttermilk, then took some live moss and rubbed the green side over the areas that she put the buttermilk on to spread the spores. She then put them in a lightly shaded area and misted them everyday for a few days. You can do this with an empty pot or one that is already planted. It did not take long for it to start looking aged. :)

  26. Margo Kuhn says:

    Susan, as usual, you have so much going on. I love, love, love what you are doing with your patio, however, I wonder, how you do all of it. I am exhausted just thinking about it.

    • Ha! I love this kind of stuff so it doesn’t feel like work. Wish I had a big ole vegetable garden to play in but unfortunately my back yard is way too shady. :)

  27. Dearest Susan… you inspire me! After your post about the solar lamps for posts I went to the local HD and purchased some – perfect! I love geraniums and have six big pots of them along with lots of other things. I will tell you something that I learned from a family member about having birds nesting in planters/baskets…. put a tiny rubber snake in the container. At first I didn’t think it would work, but it did. Don’t get me wrong, at first it’s alarming to look out and admire all of your planters and see that little body and head looking back at you, but again it’s fake and pretty soon the flowers grow so much that you don’t see them anymore but the birds remember and will keep away from the planters and baskets. I love the birds in our area, we have loads of bird houses and feeders and I probably spend way too much on them each year for seed and suet – but they make my heart happy. We are extremely happy to have goldfinches that are sticking around this year. Take care and I hope you have a very special Mother’s Day!
    Lisa

    • Lisa, aren’t they awesome?! I LOVE mine so far! I love coming down the stairs to the kitchen after dark and seeing all those little lights out back. :) My back yard is pretty shady with all the trees but they burn brightly from dark to around midnight which is really long enough. If I had more sun, they would probably last longer. Let me know how long your’s last. Is your backyard pretty sunny or do you have a lot of trees?
      Thanks for the snake suggestion! I may just put my basket back on my door this year with a snake tucked inside. Hopefully it won’t give the mailman a fright when he leaves a package by the door. hee, hee I love having the birdies around too. Goldfinches are so beautiful! So glad yours are hanging around! They are supposed to really like niger seed but I actually have a lot coming to my feeders for the sunflower seeds.

    • Lisa, I have a question for you. In the directions that came with my solar post caps, it says, “There is a thin protective film over the solar panel on the top of the Post Cap. Gently peel off this protective film after installation.” I have looked and looked and do not see the protective film. Did you see a protective film on your solar post caps?

      • Dear Susan,
        Funny that you noticed that too. My instructions said the same thing, however there were not any protective coverings. As long as it sits atop the post and casts off that wonderful glow of light I’m a happy camper. The area that I’ve placed my caps in has some sun (from 10 a.m. til 5 p.m.) but otherwise I’m completely surrounded by trees. Hope that you continue to enjoy yours.
        Take care and give Mr. Max a cuddle for me!
        Lisa

  28. Susan, every part of your porch is G-L-O-R-I-O-U-S! Love your bottled tree and your flowers are magnificent. A Green Thumb I do NOT have, reason why I lean more toward Perennials and let Mother Nature do the work for me. (At my age I do not cope well with frustration or aggravation as the da_n Earwigs in our vicinity devour everything in their wight ….. ☺ ….. thus prefer to labour over my sewing machine than weed or play in the dirt.) Have a super weekend!
    -Brenda-
    P.S: How is Mr. Max doing today? Please give him a fur-baby hug for me.

    • Thanks, Brenda! I love perennials, too! Yikes! Earwigs sound like a royal pain! I’ll give Mr. Max a big hug for you! :)

      • You are very welcome Susan. Something I neglected to mention re your bottle tree, it kind of reminds me of ‘Tipsy Turvey (Planter) Pots where often several different sizes of pots are stacked vertically in the form of a tower and is an ideal solution for those who lack space.
        -Brenda-
        P.S: For those interested, there are plenty of ‘How To’ instructions on the internet.

  29. Oooops, that should have read ‘sight’…… ☺ -Brenda-

  30. Cecilia says:

    Oh, Susan,
    I love your own little mini-taste of Italy! :-) But, hey, in Italy clay pots don’t look “years” old, they usually do look several “decades” old… LOL
    But speaking of Italy, Susan, have you ever considered growing miniature lemon/orange trees or miniature olive trees? Their smell is heavenly and their fruits are very tasty! I think the temps in your area are perfect for growing them. A German friend of mine loves all of them very much. Every year she buys more pots for her patio because she loves Italy and she pretends she lives on the “beautiful” Amalfi coast! (Now, this is fun for me since I am from the beautiful Amalfi coast but I get fresh citrus fruits from my Nordic, German friend, for free! LOL)
    ~Hugs to you and a Happy Mother’s Day~
    Cecilia

  31. I planted lots of seeds today. Trying to not buy plants. But I HAVE to have a red geranium.
    Brenda

    • Brenda, I never have much luck with seeds. I tried it one year but I didn’t have a great window/light source to get them started so they were pretty spindly. You can save a bundle that way! Love that idea!

  32. Hi Susan,
    Great to see you on a good track again. I am so busy with all the conferences and being mentors of the summer interns at work and the biggest PROB was: my Samsung Ultrabook, only 3 months old get virus and the SSD was totally crashed. I just got it back yesterday 10th of May. That’s the reason I am so quite this weeks past but I been reading and follwoing your journey no mattter what. Like your blog is our bible, LoL*

    Anyways, I am doing the re-planting and so on and so forth. I almost die (kidding) coz sneaky BAMBI came and ate all the plants and flowers I planted, so I started from the start again. So I was busy yesterday until 10pm re-planting the new purchased flowers.

    Hope you have a great week-end and Happy Mother’s Day. Sweden will celebrate the Mother Day on the 26th May.

    Hugs from D´Box,
    /CC girl

  33. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR ANSWERING MY REQUEST FOR INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR BOTTLE TREE!!!!! and yes, I am shouting with joy :) I so very much love your blog…..you are incredibly inspiring!!!! Thank you FOR your blog!!!!

  34. mary grazia says:

    i read your blog from italy….thanks for citing my country!!!!!

  35. I’ve got the bottles, now all I need is the tree. I love all the color so easily added to the porch. It looks like you are all ready to enjoy time in your delightful spot.

    • Linda, I know there are some folks who will make the trees…weld them together. I’ve googled and found them online. I wonder if there is someone near you who makes them?

  36. I’m woefully behind on my containers this year — we’ve had such crappy weather and when it’s nice, I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off! Hopefully this week… my son graduates in two weeks so it better be done prior to the party!
    xo Heidi

    • Congrats, Heidi…exciting times! I remember when my son graduated. I know what you mean about the weather…we’ve been getting it, too. Don’t stress…you’ll get all done! :)

  37. Fidelia says:

    Susan-your beck and porch are always so beautiful. I always get such great ideas from you. We have a 10×20 deck . Half of the “20” is covered with a tin roof and we have curtains that we can pull together and zip closed. It makes a nice little room. We have a beautiful, incredibly comfortable fir pit/dining table that we use 9 months a year. Unfortunately, it leaves room for nothing else. On the other side we have two chairs and a small table. This side also leads to a small pool. I usually use two big pots with a ornimental grass, geranium and trailing petunias. I also have smaller pots with various plants sitting around “everywhere” as my son says. In the yard on that side of the deck we have a small, two level pond with water Lillie’s, which we love watching bloom. A flower bed surrounds the pond with clematis in the corner, day lilies along the side of the house. The edge of the garden is lined with liriope. Mix in some black eyed Susan and purple coneflower against the deck and peonies areound the deck. I always say my deck is my favorite room of my house. Not fancy but comfortable and homey. Wanna come for tea?

  38. This is great and so lovely. Thanks for the inspiring ideas and tips. I have been looking for a way to make my deck look nicer this summer, especially since I am having visitors for the first time.

  39. Brittany P. says:

    I also love geraniums and have a red one on my porch. I have a sky pencil planted in my yard and at first we had it planted in lots of sun but it was not liking it at all so we moved it to a very shady area and it seems happy there. I don’t know how hot it gets where you are but this is hot south Georgia so I don’t know for certain how it may do for you. Good luck and happy gardening!

    • Thanks for letting me know, Brittany. I may end up having to move it because that area does get some sun in later afternoon. Appreciate the heads up on that.

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