June 14, 2012

All you need are flowers and a fresh coat of paint

Growing up I loathed the flower garden. During summers mom would leave a list on the kitchen counter for us 4 kids; Katie – vacuum downstairs and steps, Nikki- clean kids bathroom and empty dishwasher; Corey- take out trash and mow lawn, Brittany – Water all the flowers front and back. NOOOOOOoooooooo.

I guess reading this you are probably thinking, “Geez water flowers sounds a lot better then cleaning a bathroom”. If I only had a picture of my parents house then you would understand my hate towards this chore. The house I grew up in is a 2 story brick/vinyl house in a suburbia neighbor sitting on perhaps a quarter acre??? The front has immaculate landscaping with a garden island in the front lawn followed by flower beds that line the foundation of the house … on all 4 sides.

My mom has a green thumb beyond her years even back when I was younger so the property was always beautiful and stood out against others on the block. When mom said it was our chore to water that meant an hour or more of standing in the hot sun soaking every last pot, garden bed, and hanging basket… and she always knew if you missed one… always.

It’s funny how life values change over the years. Long are the days that I spent my money on a $80.00 pair of denim jeans, now that money is spent on gardening tools and of course flowers. Around the later parts of high school I was involved in the FFA at my high school (involved meaning on every committee and president of our chapter). We had a annual plant sale which I began to love to participate in and which that my teacher taught me names of plants, where they grew, how to properly water them, etc. Onto college my passion grew more and by the time I graduated I had an internship in one of Delaware’s more promising DuPont estates as a garden intern. Technically I was cheap labor, but with that each week we had a full afternoon of classes involving learning more about horticulture.

Now that I have my own home, and even when I lived in Mitchell, SD I really wanted to spruce up the place by adding annuals in baskets on the porch and in unique containers. I learned from my neighbor down the lane that the man who lived in the house prior to the owners we bought it from was here for 30 years and had a passion for flowers. This made me smile from ear to ear because I knew in the spring I saw lots of tulips, as they faded the peonies took sprout, and now we’re onto lily’s and Digitalis that line the farm buildings with bright pinks and whites.


With the tulips fading back in spring it left the entrance way to our home over grown with weeds and to my sadness no surprise of summer perennials in sight. Painting my be my husbands thing but landscaping is mine. First I took the time to weed out the beds near the entrance and then spread mulch with a dark brown bark. (yes, usually you mulch after the plants are in) About a week ago I went to Lowes and made a large purchase of two perennial wines for on the Quonset, and then an array of 6-packs and 3 inch pots.

If you are an avid gardener and want to save money create your own hanging baskets! They may take a few weeks to grow into a full size beauty but I just think hanging baskets at market price are ridiculous so each year I buy and plant my own then reuse the baskets for the next year. I also do not buy pre-planted pots. Last year {G} and I purchased a half wine barrel that I planted again this year. I also found on the farm an old feeder that I suppose the previous owners used for plants… it was filled with nothing but rooted grass that took muscle and a lot of clean up to dump and repot. I also found cute little plastic green pots for $1.00 a piece for my kitchen window.

IMG_0890(  Green and purple potato vines, Lantana, Begonias, and Dahlias )


Begonia’s 6 pack for $2.25, 3 seedlings in each pot, 3 seedlings x 5 pots = 15 plants divided by 6 (in a pack)  = 2.5 packs, 2.5 x 2.25 = 5.62

Cost of pots = $1 each x 5 = 5.00 + cost of flowers 5.62 = $10.62

Cost at market 1 pint = $4.58 x 5 = $22.90

Savings = market $22.90 – DIY pots 10.62 = total $12.28 in your pocket!

I’m far from being a math geek but I love saving money and this is the way to do it! I also love finding ways to reuse materials from around the house that may get tossed. My mom came up with this idea when she held my bridal shower two years ago. She found an old pair of boots in the garage and decided to plant them! I still have them un planted and now as decor in my entrance way but I saved a pair of {G}’s old boots and plant them each year!


Other ideas that are cute would be using an old tea kettle as a pot, broken pots laid down on the ground, old wheel barrows or bikes with baskets.


Here are some photos of my entrance way (hostas still need to take root a little more… looking a bit sad )



So with my husbands love of paint to bring the buildings back to life and my love of horticulture I believe our home is becoming a quaint little country home. :) I suppose I owe my mom for making my water those paints when I was younger.

*Also, when I say my husbands love for paint… what I really mean is he HATES to paint but he loves the outcome after. :) 

1 comment:

  1. I love all the things you have used to plant things in... very fun!


I'd love to hear from you... Please comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...