A Gardening “Before and After”

Wow, crazy day! This post was suppose to be up hours ago but so much has happened today, I’m running way behind.  I’ve decided to go ahead and sod the back yard at the same time the front yard is being done.  Since the job has grown, we’ve decided to wait and start it on Monday. Monday will be prep day and Tuesday will be install day, barring no more rain. The sod farms can’t cut sod when it’s standing in water, so keep your fingers crossed the rain holds off for a few days.

With all this yard work/gardening going on, I thought I’d share a quick update on the flowers I planted back in May out on the deck…share what worked and what hasn’t worked.   Remember the planter with the ponytail fern?  In May it looked like this…

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer

And today it looks like this.  Looking good!

Ponytail Fern_wm

I always love putting a big red geranium on the chair out on the porch.

Red Geranium on Shabby White Chair

This year the geranium started out like this…

Garden Seat with Geranium on Deck

And now it looks like this. Wow…gotten huge!

Geranium on Garden Stool 2

It’s a whopper to move in to place on the chair which is why I’m glad I have the garden stool now…not so far to bend over when I want to move it onto the porch.

Geranium on Garden Stool_wm

Remember the small seating area…here’s how it looked in May.


The three small geraniums in the planter under the window looked like this a few weeks ago.

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer


Here they are today.  Geraniums like sun and they haven’t seen much this summer. All the rain has been good for the plant itself but not so great for creating the pretty pink flowers.

Pink Geraniums_wm

This pot on the left with the sky pencil holly and petunias didn’t fair as well.  In May it looked like this…

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer 01

And here’s how it looks today.  The holly looks happy and has put on some new growth, but the petunia croaked.  Umm, guess I need to pick up a replacement sometime soon.

Sky Pencil Holly

Over  on the other side of the table, things are looking way different!  Here’s the before…

Decorating the Deck with Flowers for Spring and Summer 12


Check this out!  Look what happened while I had my back turned?  How would you like to sit in that chair? πŸ™‚

I left it just like that. It was so pretty, I just stood there imagining for a moment what it would be like to sit in a bed of flowers and be completely surrounded by pink blossoms.

Sky Pencil Holly and Wave Petunias

How are your planters looking? The deck is getting so much more sun (when we have sun) since the Leyland Cypress were removed.  Will need to water more when the rainfall returns to normal.

*If a post is sponsored or a product was provided at no charge, it will be stated in post. Some links may be affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. *

 Never miss a Between Naps on the Porch post! 

*Subscribe to have updates delivered to your Inbox. 


  1. Looks like your plants are doing much better than mine – as mine never really sprung back after Spring’s crazy weather.
    Enjoy your evening.

  2. Betty819 says

    Send some of that rainfall up here to my part of Maryland! We managed to get a smidgen over an inch of rain, two nights ago. It’s 80 degrees now; don’t know what the high today was but this morning was absolutely delightful with a nice breeze, no humidity. I was able to work out in the two front flowerbeds for about 3 hours. I would have stayed out longer but had an appt. and had to stop. It felt good to be able to work in the flowerbeds without 95-100 degrees baking you.

    • Betty, I wish I could! You can have it all. I just kept marveling at how beautiful the sunshine was today. It was real sunshine…not the kind we’ve been getting where the sun is shining while it rains at the same time. The breeze sounds wonderful! I’ll trade you a few breezes for all the rain you want! How’s that for a deal! πŸ˜‰

  3. Mary from Virginia says

    Your plants are really hanging in there. I have a mix of good and bad. My kitchen window box which usually is huge by now has really suffered this year. I used a different potting soil; I won’t make that mistake again. I have really pretty container that has done very well, but the whiskey barrel by the garage door is pitiful. Once again I blame the soil, not the gardener πŸ˜‰ The one container that is doing well has the better brand of potting mix.

    Looking forward to seeing your yard!

    • What potting soil did you use? I keep buying one that feels like it’s 95% air…no substance. I don’t like it but I always forget and buy more. I think it’s just all peat moss and that’s why there’s no substance to it. Do you have a favorite potting soil? What brand is the one that’s doing well? I need to find a better one.
      I’m sure it’s the soil and NOT the gardener! πŸ™‚

  4. Linda Page says

    Susan, except for the petunias on the left of the table, all of your plants look great. I guess if you watched how the sun and shade fall to the left of your table and compare it to the right side, you may figure out why the petunias did not fair so well on the left. Petunias generally like sun or lightly partial shade. But your deck plants really look good. Looking forward to seeing your newly sodded yard. I will keep my fingers crossed that the rain will hold up for a few days for you.

    • I need to do that, watch the sun. I was so used to the Leylands providing some shade, I didn’t water the flowers for about 3 days and they almost burned up during one of how brief periods without rain. Thanks, Linda! If all goes well, I’ll share the prepared yards after Monday and hopefully some green lawns and curvy beds after Tuesday.

      • Linda Page says

        I forgot to mention that I love your garden stool. I have been looking at them and want one for inside the house and one for the patio. I do covet yours though!!! I might have to sneak over to Georgia and nab it! I also like your ponytail fern. I think that will be on my list for next year. You are just full of so many good ideas.

        • Linda, I found that one at (of all places) Home Depot. They sold out as soon as they got them in but when I was in there buying something recently, they had more. Thanks! The Ponytail fern is so cute! I couldn’t resist it. πŸ™‚

  5. Angie Bell says

    Just 35 miles south of you so I can relate to the RAIN and all of your trees, bushes and plants. We have camellia, but ours are becoming too large for area also. Your ferns are very healthy and green. One of my favorites is the gardenia bush. Love your beautiful geraniums. Perfect spot! It must feel great to make all that progress in your yard. No sweetgum trees, you are so lucky!

    • Angie, funny you should mention sweetgum. There used to be one directly over the deck with the flowers and it dropped those prickly balls everywhere. A big limb split off during a storm and landed across the deck and yard but fortunately didn’t do any damage. I had it taken down after that since it was not in good shape. I don’t miss those porcupine balls all over the deck and yard…painful under foot.

  6. They all look great..that red geranium sure is happy where he is…bet it’s been a job keeping those watered..my friend said this yr she wasn’t having as many pots…she said it just took too long to keep those up..would rather weed…she has a beautiful yard..that is so full of gardens…weeding is just about all she has time for through the summer…can’t wait to see the yard with it’s new sod…hopefully you’ll have plenty of rain afterwards so you don’t have to water it too…I just love flowers…your place looks so nice in it’s summer wears…..hope the rain holds off…we could actually use some in my tiny town..it goes in a circle around me..up the Chesapeake missing me by about 15 miles…hope your tomorrow is a bit slower =^)

    • Thanks, Wende! Watering hasn’t been that bad this year because we’ve been getting so much rain. Most summers it is a challenge. Wish I could send you all this rain! Hope you get some soon. Every day is a little crazy right now, I’m afraid. I’m transplanting flowers or digging something up or spreading mulch trying to get ready for the sod. This too shall pass, right? πŸ™‚

  7. I love watching things transform over at your house, Susan! You always have so many fun things going on and the end result is always fabulous!!!! πŸ™‚

    xoxo laurie

  8. Your plants are beautiful Susan. What is it about red geraniums…just love them. I have four hanging baskets of pale pink petunias on my deck and they are going crazy! Tons of blossoms, deep green leaves. The hummingbirds are having a great time. My window boxes are filled with sweet potato vine and geraniums. I’ve actually had to cut them back! The weather in Minnesota has been amazing this year.
    Your posts are always so much fun. Can’t wait to see the lawn all done.

  9. Susan, I love the petunias through the chair, it looks as though it was designed that way. Please send me some rain too, we are having such hot weather. The strangest thing was, my pink wisteria began to bloom, now of all times but the sun is so hot they are all limp. We do have a watering system but the poor things did not know they should have bloomed earlier. Actually, it was nice because I missed my other one whilst I was on vacation.
    Am looking forward to seeing your new lawns, your house looks so pretty without the trees hiding it.

  10. Hi Susan,

    Here in UK, after all the sunshine, rain is now pouring down – but maybe the plants will be grateful! I was surprised to see what you call ponytail ferns. We know them as foxtail ferns, they’re a member of the asparagus family. Always interesting how the same plant can be known ‘locally’ by so many names!

    • I think I read online these are called that…I like foxtail fern better than ponytail fern. I think I’ll start calling it that. I didn’t know they were part of the asparagus family…interesting!

  11. carol ann says

    I love how those petunias grew right over your chair, so pretty! I had a big pot of cosmos in the middle and petunias around the cosmos. It was beautiful, but they are now finished. Replaced them with cannas and a butterfly weed plant. We’ll see how they do. I like what you did with your container gardens!

    • Carol Ann, Thanks! I always see cosmos in magazine and think, I should grow those…but I never do. I can’t wait to start playing in my flower beds when all this major landscape stuff is done. What color are/were your cosmos?

  12. My flowering plants have NOT fared well this summer — too much water and not enough sun. :/ I’m tempted to cut them all back, fertilize, and pray for some sunshine! You’ve done much better than I with all our rain, Susan!
    xo Heidi

  13. Susan,
    Just wanted to pop in and say I am amazed at how well your plants are doing. Most of mine, like your pink geranium, have lots of leaves but, no sun in Cobb County, means no flowers. πŸ™
    Loving your yard re-do. Can’t wait until completion.

    • Pat, I know exactly what you mean. All this rain is good for foliage but not so great for flowers, which is what we want! Can you believe…two days of sunshine in a row!!! πŸ™‚

  14. Susan, for your flowers that aren’t blooming, it’s time to use Miracle Grow “Bloom Booster”. It’s a different ratio of the fertilizers, and you will be astounded at the results in a few weeks. I usually don’t use it until mid-July, but started a little early this year due to the heat baking everything here (So. IL). Mix it just like the instructions say, water first, then fertilize. It won’t hurt your flowers that are already doing great either. Just gives them some extra food to keep them going till frost!

    I’ve been using it for years!


  15. Susan,
    Gorgeous transformation taking place on your porch, dear friend!!!
    I adore the black patio chair filled with pink blooms!!!
    Thanks for sharing!!!

  16. Don’t you love this time of year?! When you plant in the spring, you have such high hopes. You water, rearrange, tend, worry and when your plants flourish, it’s so rewarding!! Your plants look lovely!! Thanks so much for sharing them.

I'd love to hear from you! Please leave a comment!