Add Curb Appeal With A Flower Garden For The Mailbox

Welcome to the 279th Metamorphosis Monday!

For this week’s Metamorphosis Monday, I’m taking you into the garden sharing how I finished out the bed around my mailbox.

Landscape Around Mailbox For Curb Appeal


The goal was to add some curb appeal to this spot on the other side of the mailbox, an area left mostly empty after the front yard was sodded last summer. You may remember, it started out with some stubborn weeds that broke off at the roots when pulled, always coming back with a vengeance.


I got rid of them once and for all with Spectracide Weed and Grass Killer.


Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer

With the weeds all gone, I could get busy planting.


The day I went out to plant, I thought I had a mound of fire ants starting up. I’ve had so many problems with fire ants in my yard in the past. After looking closer, it was a false alarm, just a mound of Georgia red clay. If you run into any in your yard, Spectracide makes a product to get rid of them. There is nothing worse than stepping in a mound while wearing sandals…I know from personal experience!

Fire Ant Killer_wm


Before I could get busy planting, I needed to amend the soil. In many parts of Georgia, the ground is thick, red clay. If you plant flowers directly into the clay dirt without improving it, the plants may live a short while but they definitely won’t grow or thrive and they’ll most likely die because the roots suffocate in the thick clay.


I added two bag of soil conditioner to this bed.


The method I always use to prepare a bed for planting is I first turn over the bed with a shovel, then I sprinkle the soil conditioner all over the bed. Once that’s done, I go back and work it down into the soil with the shovel. The photo below was taken right after I had sprinkled the soil conditioner across the bed.

The main reason for adding the soil conditioner is to break up the red clay and make it more crumbly and friable and a lot less sticky and thick. The good thing is, once you amend a bed, it tends to stay that way forever. You may have to eventually add a bit more dirt as you pull plants out and put more in, especially if it’s an annual bed, but any future planting in that bed will be easier and go a lot faster.


Remember the inspiration photo? My mailbox area is in full sun but I was still hoping I could use a hydrangea. Several of you mentioned there are hydrangeas that can take full-sun.


I went in search of sun-loving hydrangeas and found one called Dharuma. Are you familiar with that one? The nice thing about this particular hydrangea, other than the fact it can take full sun, is that it also stays pretty small, growing to be around 3 to 3-1/2 feet tall. I didn’t want to plant anything here that would get so tall it blocked the view while exiting the drive way. Isn’t it pretty? I love the flowers!


I placed it pretty close-up behind the mailbox thinking over the years it will grow up and outward toward the yard, without getting out too far over the grass. I left the Bath’s Pink Dianthus in front of the mailbox (not visible in this photo) as well as the Stella de Oro daylilies. They look fine where they are and I wouldn’t want to transplant them while they are actually blooming, anyway.


In the comments of my previous post, several folks suggested Vinca for this area since it can take the full sun. I do like Vinca and I’ve used it in annual beds before, so I decided to take your suggestion and go with it for this bed. Thanks for all the great suggestions!


I came across an unusual plant while shopping in the nursery. It’s called Curcuma. Have you heard of it? I love the exotic-looking pink blossom it produces. I could have sworn the label said it took full sun but once I got it home, I noticed it said “part sun.” I’ll have to keep an eye on it and if it starts to show signs of decline, I’ll move it to another location or pot it up and put on the porch in a shady spot.

Curcuma for the Garden


Besides the pretty pink blossoms on this plant, it also has tiny purple flowers tucked down inside the pink petals. Hard to see in this photo but they are more noticeable in person. It’s like two flowers in one! I don’t think this plant handles cold weather since it’s a tropical plant, so I may be digging it up to bring it inside come wintertime.

Curcuma Has A Small Flower Within a Flower


The only thing left to do now is to add something to the mailbox to train the honeysuckle I have growing here…you can see it waving around wildly in the background in the photo below.

I planted it here years ago after seeing it on a tour in the garden of author and garden designer, Ryan Gainey. I used to have some wire over the mailbox for it to grow on, but it kept coming loose so I finally had to remove it. The honeysuckle grows prolifically so I cut it back drastically last fall. It’s already coming back out and looking for something to climb. Guess I better get busy!

Garden for the Mailbox


Here’s a picture of howΒ looks from this previous summer tablescape. I can’t remember the name of this particular honeysuckle now, but it’s a variety that’s sold in nurseries, at least it was when I bought mine.

Summer Table Setting With White Dishware


I also used it in this spring tablescape on the porch.



Thanks again for all your ideas and suggestions in the previous two posts! I’ll give you an update in a month or so and let you know how things are growing.

Garden for the Mailbox


I want to thank you all for the support on this project. Be sure to follow theΒ Spectracide Facebook page for giveaways, savings and tips.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Spectracide. The opinions and text are all mine.
Looking forward to all the Before and Afters linked for this Met Monday!

One on sidebar


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  1. Gorgeous hydrangea Susan, I’ve never heard of that variety! Your mailbox garden will be the envy of the neighborhood. We have red clay in NC too, you could throw a pot with it πŸ™‚

  2. It looks great, Susan. Thanks for the tip about the soil conditioner, I need some of that when I plant around the new screened porch we just built. It’s nothing but clay. (South Carolina) Take care – Dawn

    • I was wondering how far the clay extended. So you have it in SC and Mary has it in NC. Wonder where it stops? Part of Georgia is sandy because the ocean used to come all the way into Georgia long ago. The fall line runs from Columbus to Augusta and we have sandy soil to the south of the fall line and clay to the north of it. Atlanta is definitely on the clay side of that.

  3. Bonnie Gutierrez says:

    Susan, I hope you will share a photo of this area in a few weeks. It looks great now but it will be outstanding when the plants take off! …glad you decided to try the Vinca flowers and they look so professional the way you arranged them in neat rows. I am going to search for that variety of Hydrangea as I have all day sun in my garden and have to water the Hydrangea sometimes twice daily.Happy gardening!

    • Thanks, Bonnie! I was so excited to find a hydrangea that can the sun. There are quite a few now that can take sun so you’ll have several to choose from. I just went with this one since it doesn’t get too, too tall. Some of the pink and corral ones are so pretty!

  4. Linda Page says:

    You arrived in my email box this morning so I think your problem may be fixed. I hope so. I love your mailbox bed. It looks wonderful. Can’t wait to see how it looks in 30 days. Your grass looks good, too.

    • Gosh, I hope so. I’m still a bit worried since I heard from two folks last week that it had started back, then stopped again. Let me know if it stops again, Linda. I’m on the fence about going to a paid service so every little bit of info helps. The grass is definitely better…will have to post an update pic of it soon. It’s trying to fill back in. πŸ™‚ Hope your painting project went well!

  5. If I am not mistaken, your honeysuckle plant is called Golden Flame. I bought one after your tablescape post. =)

    The mailbox flower bed is beautiful and I am going to be on the hunt for that hydrangea. I would love to have one myself! You did a fabulous job. Those vinca should fill in nicely and the bed will be lush!

  6. Love the flowerbed Susan. I lived in Georgia for 10 years so I understand how tough it is to garden in clay soil. I’ve not heard of the new plants you added but can’t wait to see how they grow. Thanks so much for hosting. Have a great week.

  7. What a great transformation! I’m trying to get our inside done, then work on the outside. Thanks for the inspiration and for hosting.

    Shannon ~

  8. That’s looking great! I planted vincas like those last year and really liked them and they aren’t too fussy. I hope you can figure a way to get the honeysuckle to grow on the mailbox. Yours has a pretty flower- love the coloring. I never thought about the clay soil and how it could suffocate the roots. Always something. Good thing you didn’t have fire ants- that sounds terrible.

  9. Susan, your mailbox plot looks great. I like the Dharuma and Curcuma. We don’t get fire ants here, thank goodness, and our soil is so easy – river bed rich. The challenges of gardening are hard enough without some of those additional ones you face – I’m afraid I’d get too discouraged. I just finished my containers and put a nice surprise in mine this year that I shared. A funny thing – I have full sun landscape but my Endless Summer hydrangeas do fine except toward end of long, extended days of heat (usually by late July/August) – but they bounce back daily, even without watering. But the new variety, I’ve heard, is wonderful. My next-door neighbor just planted one also. Thanks for hosting another Met Monday, and Happy June!

  10. It looks so pretty, Susan. Hydrangeas are a favorite of mine, and that one is beautiful. I’ve got to get some of that fire ant killer. I know about those from experience too. Thank you for hosting the linky. laurie

  11. Looks great!! Thanks so much for the party!!


  12. Susan, your mailbox will be the envy of the neighborhood! I want to plant some full sun hydrangeas so I l will look for this one. I was going to suggest some small metal trellises on both sides of your mailbox for the honeysuckle vine. It’s gorgeous!

    • I may just do that…probably easier than trying to find a way to put something into or on the brick. Thanks, Jane! I bet your garden is looking great! Does you vegetable garden love all this rain we’ve been getting?

  13. It looks wonderful Susan, and wow, I am so glad to know about the hydrangea variety!

  14. Your mailbox garden looks so pretty. I love walking around my neighborhood and seeing what pople have planted around their mailboxes. xo Laura

  15. Susan,
    You’ve a great start to your inspirational garden for your mailbox, dear friend!
    Like you, so many of the plantings I would prefer to choose won’t survive
    in our arid, dry climate and clay soil.
    Thank you for the tip on ammending the soil.
    Thank you for hosting Metamorphosis Monday each week!
    I’ll be watching foran update as the plants fill in!!!

  16. Susan the garden around your mailbox looks beautiful!! Thanks so much for hosting!

  17. Thanks so much for the party Susan – your mailbox area looks lovely ( I didn’t know honeysuckle was considered a ” lowly ” flower – I just bought 2 of them to plant lol ) and I happen to think they look gorgeous on your tablescape!!!
    Have a great week

    • HA! I know, I feel the same way. I just remember when I created those tables a while back, a few folks expressed surprised I used honeysuckle. I guess because it grows wild, a lot of folks don’t hold it in as high regard but I do love it, too.

  18. Rattlebridge Farm says:

    I look forward to your gardening posts, so I was thrilled to find one today. Last year, I learned from you how to amend the soil, and it has made a difference this spring. I love the idea of a compact hydrangea behind your mail box; it will be such a pretty backdrop. I don’t know if all of the rain we’ve been getting has reached you, but it sure has put a crimp in my gardening. Hope you’re doing well.

    • So happy to hear that, Michael! Yep, been pretty soggy here…those pics in my post were taken on a gloomy day from all that rain. Pretty here today, though…hope you have sunshine, too!

  19. It looks so pretty. I love Vinca.

  20. Love the flowers by the mailbox! Looks so great. Thanks so much for hosting!

  21. I love the mailbox garden–such pretty flowers! Thanks so much for the party, Susan. Have a great week! πŸ™‚

  22. Susan,
    Love your mailbox garden. So great. Thanks for hosting your fun party.

  23. Love your mailbox Susan and those added flowers are perfect!Your home is gorgeous,I always enjoy seeing photos inside and out! Thanks so much for hosting!

  24. Beautiful “mailbox garden” Susan…have to look up that sun loving hydrangea in our garden center!…Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful week!!

  25. I can’t wait to see how it grows, Susan! Love that Curcuma…a new one for me! Have a great week!…hugs…Debbie
    PS…My emails keep on coming so far! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Debbie! I bet your gardens are beautiful with all the work you’ve been doing! So glad to hear the emails are still coming…gives me some hope. I did hear from another reader last week saying they had stopped again, so that’s two readers who have said that, but maybe that was just something weird on their end…maybe it accidentally went to a spam file or trash file. I have been finding perfectly good, unopened emails in my gmail trash file lately so now I have check it periodically. Just found one in their today. Such a mystery!

  26. Love what you are doing around your mailbox! I am allergic to fire ants and was bit on two separate occasions while living in Houston and ended up in the emergency room both times. We did not have any in Idaho and it was so nice to be able to go outside barefooted. Now that I am back in Texas I saw a mound in my backyard and called my bug man immediately and he took care of that. Should they return, I will take your advice!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  27. pam ~ crumpety cottage says:

    Susan, it looks lovely! A little island of pretty colors. I wish I had some of your honeysuckle – I love it!

    Btw, I found a couple of smallish trellises at Lowe’s. I have one of those old timey black mail boxes and was able to use a black wrought iron trellis at the back to train the hibiscus. It is probably in the area of 10″ wide by 3 1/2′ tall. You could always spray paint it to blend into your brick mailbox.

    Anyway, great job! πŸ˜€ I’m looking forward to seeing it in a few weeks or so.

  28. Thanks for hosting again this week – appreciate what you do.

  29. Leave to you Susan to find just thr ‘right’ solution and just the right product to do so! Your mail box bed looks lovely now, and the flowers in your gorgeous Summer table are wonderful!
    Thank you for hosting and have a super week!

  30. Cecilia says:

    Hi Susan,
    just a short note off topic: I re-read your post from April 26, 2012 and I am pretty confused… either those pretty Honeysuckles grew exclusively to be arranged in the center of that beautiful tablescape or those gorgeous plates were made to be placed around that lovely centerpiece… hmm… don’t know… Which came first? LOL…
    Seriously, I love, love, love that tablescape!
    And that wire basket is too cute! You should use it more often… πŸ™‚
    So, as I said, just a short note… πŸ˜‰
    ~Hugs to you~

  31. Thank you so much for hosting!! Happy week to you!!! πŸ™‚
    hugs x, Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

  32. Susan–what a pretty bed! Thanks for the tip about using soil conditioner. I had never heard of it. And I love the honeysuckles–so much prettier than the wild ones.

  33. Red clay in Mississippi too! Thanks for hosting Susan!

  34. Thick gray clay here in WV.. And shale. Lots of shale!
    Love that honeysuckle!

  35. Vinca rules!!! franki

  36. Thank you for hosting the party. I love your mailbox garden. Oh, to have sun instead of shade….

  37. Hi Susan,
    I love how you have landscape your front yard, its beautiful!! Gary and I still have to work on ours.
    Thank you for hosting!
    Have a sweet day, Elizabeth

  38. I love that tablescape. You are so creative. Thanks so much for sharing your inspiration.

  39. Love your plant selections, Susan! I do appreciate you hosting,

  40. Hydrangea paniculata “Dharuma” is the perfect small shrub choice for your mailbox garden. You probably know that this hydrangea blooms on new wood so you can prune it back in the fall and keep the size just as you would like. I am not familiar with Curcuma but it is a pretty plant. Is this a tropical plant? I have a honeysuckle that looks just like yours. Mine was labeled Mardi-Gras’. When your plantings mature a little this area will be a show stopper! Good job! Vikki in VA.

    • Vikki, thanks for that tip! I’m completely dumb about hydrangeas, have never grown them so I needs all the tips ya got! πŸ™‚ I was hoping I wouldn’t have to fight it too much to keep it from getting too, too big. Yep, Curcuma is a tropical plant. I thought it said full sun when I bought it, but it actually is supposed to get partial sun, so I may have to dig it up bring it inside if it starts looking like it’s suffering in the sun. I don’t think it will like cold weather either so another reason I may have to pot it up come fall.

  41. Last Thursday I was doing some shoppng and stopped by Home Depot. I saw the Curcuma – I thought to myself, ‘Aha! Susan’s plant!’ This Georgia clay is good and bad – when I add amendments, I usually use a garden fork; punching it through and rocking back and forth the bring down the amendments. I learned that a long time ago from a ‘no tilling method’. Gardening is such fun, but I’m not a great fan right now of the heat and humidity! I hope you have a wonderful week,

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