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Friday, August 23, 2013

Curb Appeal // Frame Your Porch With Easy Care Perennial Beds

Summertime, and the living is...work!  Our front yard is slowly coming together.  It's the only side of the house that is completely painted.  Well, I guess that's not exactly true...we still have to finish the trim.  A least the deck is stained and the columns are finished.  That's something, right?

Well this pregnant lady wasn't quite ready to call it good just yet - aside from new paint and a stained porchbeefed up columns and some pretty little container gardens, what this side of the house - the first impression side - needed was some more life.  During the summer no one in our town waters their grass (our water bill would be outrageous!) so everything goes brown until the fall, winter and spring rains begin.  Just about this time I am itching to get some colorful plants into the ground - and this year was no exception.  I was fully prepared (and equally poor) after a trip to our local nursery, Brimm's Farm & Garden, Home Depot and Fred Meyer.

I dug up each side - keeping as much of our soil as possible.  Before I plant anything in the ground, I always test out placement - moving them here and there until I'm happy with the arrangement.  And I always have it in the back of my head that nothing is permanent.  As plants mature and grow to full-size, like the hydrangeas, many plants will need to be moved so I try to plant a full bed knowing that things will change in the future.

After I had the arrangement set, I moved all the plants out of the way and amended the soil with some good ol' compost and then put the plants in the ground.

I finished it off with a healthy covering of mulch.  Why mulch?  It controls weeds, retains moisture, encourages earthworms and looks pretty damn good after all is said and done.

I'll probably border the beds at some point - once I get motivated to go on a river rock hunt but I can assure you that ain't happening any time soon.

For those of you interested, here's a list of the plants that were used:

Left bed:
  • Double Delights Peace Hydrangea
  • Blushing Bride Hydrangea
  • Cheiranthus Suffruticosum Gold Dust
  • Jimmy Dyce's Broad Wood Fern
  • Echinacea Hybrid Big Sky Sundown
  • Ipomea Sidekick Black
  • Clematis

Right bed:
  • Double Delights Peace Hydrangea
  • Blushing Bride Hydrangea
  • Echinacea purpurea Balscoberr
  • Echinacea Hybrid Big Sky Sundown
  • Armeria Maritima Alba
  • Blackie Sweet Potato Vine
  • Agastache Foeniculum Golden Jubilee
  • Some kind of purple flowered perennial (sorry, it wasn't labeled!)
And here's a little before & after action - I can't wait until the grass is green again!

Before - new porch & posts, old paint...

Progress...New paint, new stain, beefier columns

Are you taking advantage of the last weeks of summer to spruce up your yard?  What are your favorite ways to add some curb appeal?


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