A New Potting Bench & A Double-Decker Hummingbird Feeder

There’s been so much happening around here lately, I thought I’d give you a little update all in one post. It’s kind of a in-progress post with some hopefully helpful tips mixed in.

After the new coat of marine varnish dried, the furniture was moved back out onto the screened porch. So glad to have the porch back together again.

Screened Porch After Floor Revarnished


The flooring in the guest room got its third and final coat of polyurethane this morning. The furniture will get moved back in tomorrow. I’d love to have repainted the walls in here this past weekend, but I’ve been too busy planting to paint. Oh well, can do that some other time.

Hardwood Flooring for Guest Room


Update: See the guest room with furniture back in place here: Guest Room Reveal with Hardwood Flooring

Front Yard Landscaping

Yesterday I managed to get four shrubs planted on this side of the porch. I planted the Green Tower boxwood in the corner and got two more of the large boxwood shrubs in the ground. So hopefully I’ll have a reveal for you before too much longer.

I also got the other Limelight tree-form hydrangea planted. I purchased this particular hydrangea last year with the idea of planting it in the ground. But I changed my mind and decided to put it into another planter, just a much bigger one.

Landscaping with Green Beauty & Baby Gem Boxwood and Limelight Hydrangeas


I was wondering how I was going to get it out of the planter it was in and up high enough to get it into the new planter without straining my back. It has grown since I bought it last year and has quite the root ball now.

I came up with this idea and wanted to share it in case you run into a similar situation. To get it into the black planter without killing my back, I removed it from its existing planter, then turned that planter upside down.

Next, I lifted it by its trunk and sat it atop the upside down planter. Then I moved my hands further down on the trunk of the tree so I could get a really good grip, then lifted it the additional few inches to get it into the black planter.

This two-step process was so much easier than trying to lift it out of the red planter and up, up, up and into the black planter. I don’t think I could have physically done that. Just wanted to share this in case you run into a similar situation.

Tip for Transplanting Tree Form Plant to a Large Pot


I knew I wanted to use really good potting soil for the hydrangeas.

Landscaping with Boxwood Shrubs


I decided to use the same potting soil I purchased when I planted these two Green Mountain boxwood because they have done extremely well over the past couple of years.

Green Mountain Boxwood Topiaries


This was the potting soil I purchased at a local nursery called Lost Mountain Nursery. It was expensive, way more than normal potting soil, but sooo much better! I can’t argue with success, I love how the Green Mountain boxwoods have done.

Fafard 52 Mix Professional Planting Mix


When I got out to Lost Mountain, they told me they still carry the Fafard potting mix but they recommended something else they called “Metro Mix” for the hydrangeas. (It says Sungro on the front of the bag and Metro Mix on the side.) They said the Metro Mix is what they mostly use and sell now because it dries out less quickly so they don’t have to water as often. So I purchased 5 bags of this which turned out to be two bags too many, but I didn’t want to run out mid-planting.

Sungro Professional Growing Mix, Metro Mix


I’m going to use one of those bags I had left over to replant the two Knockout Roses I have here on the deck. I learned something new on my visit this time to Lost Mountain. In talking about Metro Mix and how it dries out less quickly, I mentioned the granules you can buy and mix into the soil that helps hold moisture in the soil…you know, the kind that swell up and hold onto water.

The folks at Lost Mountain said to never use those because if you go through a rainy spell like we had about a month ago, your plants will get water-logged and have too much water. I know they are right because I used those granules when I planted two Knockout Roses out here on the deck and they looked really bad during the time we were getting so much rain. They are just now starting to recover. So I’m going to dig them back out and use the Sungro/Metro Mix, instead. I don’t plan to use those granules anymore.

Knockout Rose


Another little update, I just purchased this cute double-decker hummingbird feeder–have you seen these? I’m late getting my hummingbird feeder out this year, but maybe I’ll have a few visitors. Since hummingbirds can be so territorial, I’m hoping the double feeder will make them happy when feeding.  This feeder is available here: Hummingbird Feeder

Update: The little umbrella ant moat/ant guard that I’m using above the feeder can be found here: Ant Guard

Hummingbird Feeder, Double Decker


There’s a big box sitting in my kitchen right now. Any guesses on what’s inside? 🙂

Potting Bench


I shared this cute potting bench a few weeks ago. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted one for the spring potting I do on my deck. (It’s available with free shipping here: Potting Bench)


Potting Bench


I built this potting table a couple of years ago and had planned to place it up on the deck, but I never got around to getting someone to help me move it up there. I was kind of reluctant to move it up to the deck anyway because I use it so much downstairs.

I’ve decided to keep it downstairs under the deck for potting up plants I use around the yard. You’ll find the steps for building this potting table in this post: Build a Potting Table

Potting Bench, Potting Table Tutorial_wm


This is the cutest potting bench that I’ve seen in this style and the price is excellent. I was reading the reviews and I saw a picture where someone had even added a sink to it.

I was thinking of painting it a festive color once I put it together, but I may just end up covering it with a marine varnish like I did the one I built. Would you paint it a fun color or just apply a clear sealer and let the cedar wood show through? Since it’s made of cedar, it can also be left to age naturally.

You can read more about this potting bench here: Potting Bench. Be sure and check out the reviews to see the one with the added sink. Such a cool idea!


Potting Bench




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  1. I wish I’d seen that potting bench before I ordered mine a week or so ago from Amazon. I had a store credit which helped with the cost (which wasn’t very expensive anyway) but loved the one you’ve bought. Mine is redwood but I have some gray weathered stain so I’m going to stain mine with the gray….but I still love yours!

    I sure can relate to your aches from planting all your plants. I finished pressure washing our deck on Sunday (with the exception of 6 boards) but they will just have to stay “dirty” this year as I was hurting so bad I took a muscle relaxer which pretty much did me in for a whole day and night! We’re wanting to replace the deck anyway so those boards will not be washed this year.

    Your yard is looking lovely….great job Susan!

  2. We haven’t had many humming birds this year. Each year I eventually get a “guarder” though. I don’t think the two levels will help much. I have 2 separate feeders and they will guard both of them! I need some of that potting soil. My pots dry out really quickly and they are the glazed ones. Lost mtn. Sounds like it should be close to me. What street is it on?

  3. Again, you’ve done so much!! Each post leaves me a little breathless. Double-decker feeder makes me smile, and makes me wish I had a yard. Til I remember all your work.

  4. Bunny Rogers says

    My husband built one similar to this one, except he used large plastic trash cans to hold potting soil, vermiculite and perlite with sliding insert so I could easily access each can without having to move a whole bunch of stuff. I also asked for more shelves and didn’t need the trellis.

  5. Sandy Park says

    Glad the porch is back together. I just love your porch and wish I had a screened in one.
    Susan, thanks so much for posting about the double-decker hummer feeder. I just ordered one and can’t wait for its arrival. I’m having real problems with ants and the built in ant mote will really help.

  6. Patricia says

    WOW Susan just when I think there’s nothing else to learn/do you come up with another great blog. Love everything about your yard and your porch. Your neighbors are blessed with such beauty to enjoy and they don’t even have to work for it. Thank you for all the great information. Loveit all. Yard envy from Texas.

  7. Loving all the plantings. And your flooring, gah! Beautiful!
    This has got to be the cutesy efficient potting bench ever.

  8. I really love all the boxwoods in front of house. I love a classic green look myself in the front. I wanted to ask you if you have planted boxwoods in urns? The reason I ask is I have planted several winter gem boxwoods in cast iron urns about 4 years ago and they really have not grown much and look light green. What type of fertilizer do you use in urns? I am going to try to find that potting soil here in my area and repot mine. Your potting bench is nice. My husband built me one behind the house for my replanting and I love it. I have a double sink which helps with the cleanup.

  9. Looking beautiful Susan, you are a busy bee for sure. Love it all! We just hung a lantern on our side patio that we had at our old house. Fun to bring out things with memories and fun to have new stuff to make new memories with.

  10. I’ve used different potting soils and they all seem to be good one way or another. It gives the plants a good start. Your boxwood so are looking great- you’ve made a lot of progress!
    This year I bought potting soil for my flowers that has some cow manure in it. I’m hoping for great results. 🙂
    That’s a cute bench!

  11. Walmart is the only place I’ve found hummer feeders with slots instead of holes for feeding. A friend said the ants wouldn’t get in these feeders so i bought 2 and so far, two weeks and no ants in the feeders. But i still have to watch for black mold and bleach the feeders when i wash them. It’s great not having ants in the “bird juice” as the hummers won’t feed there. (Just gound on on the laptop screen though!!!!)
    I heard from an expert on the radio that if they ingest ants the hummers will “buy the farm.” Will you let us know how your ant guard works and maybe tell where you bought it? So everyone doesn’t have to buy new feeders!
    Your place is looking great and I’m looking forward to the planting “reveal.”

  12. christine says

    Thanks for the hummingbird feeder ant reservoir, I ordered one.

  13. Carillon Orban says

    It took 5 hummingbird feeders before they gave up being territorial. I guess they got tired of flying between all of them 😉 Your boxwoods look great. Thanks for sharing.

  14. The boxwoods look fantastic.

    I must say, the potting bench you had made, well, I like it more – way more – than the store bought one.

  15. Cyndi Raines says

    The hummers are so fun to watch. I only fill my feeder 1/2 full and change it out every 3-4 days so it doesn’t go bad, unless it’s really hot, then I change it every other day. Always washing the container really well. We keep a quart jar of the sugar water in the frig so it’s really nice and cold and they LOVE it! Hope you get some hummers soon. LOVE the porch – my favorite! Your bedroom floor looks lovely also.

  16. you sure have a lot of energy! It is all coming along nicely!

  17. Susan, I love your porch and know you are happy they are finished so you can move everything back. Since I am fairly new, have you posted a photo from the yard to see the entire porch (in the back) in the past?
    If someone has large pots that would require a lot of dirt and make them too heavy to move, I use crushed water bottles in the bottom. It helps the plants drain better and not get soggy roots.

  18. My hubby would love the double feeder, he has 4 feeders around the house and LOVES the hummers. Good Father’s day surprise! You are one busy, and clever woman, Susan. I have lost alot of strength as I get older. Maybe I need to start lifting weights:)

  19. Elizabeth Roderick says

    My husband was telling me yesterday that he had a white show dog who loved to dig up one of his rose bushes and lay in the soft dirt. He said the rose bush did so well after he replanted it, more than once, that he wished he had replanted all of them. I’m certain the good soil and replanting will do the same for yours!

  20. I had to chuckle when I saw the picture of your porch. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen the table top!

    Everything it looking wonderful!

  21. Marlene Stephenson says

    I love your bench and all you have done, looks great.

  22. I saw my FIRST hummingbird today…they’re BACK!! Yay!! franki

  23. Ace hardware has a hummingbird feeder that has a built in ant mote on the top of the lid. Simple great just put in water to keep ants out. FYI

  24. I just bought a hummingbird feeder at Wild Birds Unlimited that has a built-in ant mote. Now I’m just waiting for the hummingbirds to arrive.

    If you have a Wild Birds Unlimited near you, check it out. They are very knowledgable.


  25. Debbie Barkley says

    I have a Southern Living style home with red door & black shutters. Loved your benches,so mine arrived today! Can’t wait to assemble them.I love your home. Can’t wait each day to see what you are up to! I consulates you about a year ago about plantation shutters. Such good advice.i am enjoying them so much!

    • Thanks so much, Debbie! So glad you love your shutters, I still enjoy mine every day after all these years. Debbie, if you think about it, email me a picture once you have your benches together. I would love to see them on your porch. I can’t believe how much I’m using mine already I love to just sit out there in the evenings. They are such a great place to sit and open the mail or just rest between planting bushes and working in the yard.

  26. Your new hardwood floors are simply beautiful. Those are my favorite color! I have dark hardwood in my kitchen and it shows every thing. I have regretted that decision. Enjoy!

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