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Monday, February 22, 2016

A Spring Makeover For Less


Recently my yard has been showing signs that spring is on its way.

(I ADORE bulbs. I planted these last fall and it’s always such a lovely suprise. :)


We’ve been working very hard on the outside of our home painting, installing new gutters and creating new brick flowerbeds. But they are pretty much empty. We also have about 12 medium and large container pots. Most currently look like this:


I thought that the two pots that flank our front door needed a Spring makeover STAT!

I went to a big box store and the price to fill just these two pots was over $33 in plant materials.


There is something to be said for instant gratitification but I still have 10 more pots and eight large beds to  fill. A person could go broke creating a pretty yard.

Not to mention since we have 16 mature trees in our yard the majority of the beds are shaded areas. Last year I had a hard time finding shade loving plants readily available at our local garden centers.

So, what’s a flower loving frugal lady to do?

I’ve decided to plant seeds.

I’ve never done this before.

But I’m an INGALLS for heavens sake! My people are pioneers.

I can do this!

(Right? Someone tell me I can. :)


I have been saving our egg cartons to use as pseudo peat pots. I also found a great tutorial on how to make seed starters from tissue paper rolls HERE.


So, this is an ongoing adventure. Here’s hoping the bay window in my kitchen makes an excellent green house.


Now it’s your turn to offer all sorts of sage advice.



Stacey said...

My kind of post!! It's definitely spring in our yard and I'm off to take pictures today. My zinnias are blooming. :)

I can't wait to see what happens with your yard. We had 22 oaks in our backyard in Oklahoma. It's tricky to get things blooming under them. Are you familiar with heuchera or coral bells? They are perennials that make a beautiful backdrop for the annuals. If you have really deep shade you can try hostas. They don't like how hot it gets here but if they are in total shade they will work. I love perennials and then add the pops of color with annuals.

Plant those Morning Glories and Zinnias in full sun. They like it bright and hot. They will both drop their seeds and come back next year. :)

Christine Graves said...

I really envy you doing this. Every year for I don't know how many years I say I am going to do this, and I never get around to doing it. They are going to be stunning!

Lisa said...

It looks like you're off to a great start! I think this is your year to have a green thumb!

Gypsy Heart said...

I've done this in the past and had success. I hope you do too! Plants are very expensive most of the time and then they burn up in this Texas heat. I'm being much more selective in what I plant this year.


Linda said...

I'm sure you'll have great success :) ♥
An avid gardener all of my life, I've actually never started seeds - I just prefer the self-sowing method or I buy plants already forming. Here - we can't even think of planting anything outdoors yet; Wednesday is bringing us a pretty substantial snow and it can snow and freeze here until the end of April. Still, that being said - I don't follow the northern-gardening rule #1 (which is to wait for outdoor planting until after Mother's Day). I've never followed that rule, I normally plant outdoors by end of April and have pretty much always had great success - though my Mom has always said of me that I could grow dirt. Gardening is in my blood. See - same for you! You'll have great success. :)

Julie Reinwald said...

I have zero advice, Laura, as I have zero gardening skills, haha. But you seem to have a good start, and I'll be cheering you on!

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

That may be the way to beat the cost for sure! Since you have a longer growing season you can get them growing and planted and reap the benefit rather quickly. It's fun to see them grow. They love the sun so I'm sure your spot will work. Filling the planters in the spring is one of my favorite things to do!

Stacey said...

Not my zinnias!! My irises are blooming. Sorry friend I'm always in a hurry. Good thing I came back to see what others are suggesting. :)

Mountain Mama said...

I posted about seed starting twice this week already - I can't wait to get started but it's a bit early for us in the Northeast just yet. Can't wait to see how your project goes - good for you!

Katie Mansfield said...

So fun. I can't really get too much to grow under the oaks because of the slugs. I hope you have better luck. Your front containers are wonderful!

Jemma@athomewithjemma said...

Good luck with this gardening adventure, I suspect that you secretly have a wonderful green thumb!

Laura said...

I have the same problem with shade.
I love ferns in flower beds with caladiums bordering in front.

Kimberly and Macho ferns grow well.

I agree that it can get expensive. My grandmother always shared cuttings.

I look forward to watching your progress!


Art and Sand said...

I have been planting flowers, seeds and weeding. It is so nice to have warm days and be working in the garden.

Hena Tayeb said...


Botanic Bleu said...

How about a spring flower plant swap for the Texas bloggers? Bring some, take home some.


Auntie Em said...

How lucky to be able to plant your flowers already and start your seeds now for summery blooms. We will be starting ours in March and will have to wait until later in May or June to plant due to the chance of frost.
But I do plant the sweet peas on the first new moon of April. I have had to dig through ice and frost to do the planting some years but the reward is the sweet fragrance and delicate blooms of those dainty little flowers.
Can't wait to see your seedlings sprout! :)

Jeanie said...

Finally catching up on blogs and my! You're busy! Great idea about the toilet roll peat pots. I suspect in another month or so I can start inside seeds -- usually mid April but this has been a warmer winter (well, till today as we are predicted for 10" of snow-- I just hope they are again wrong!).

No great tips as I'm not the best of gardeners -- I blame bad dirt! My best luck is in huge pots with lettuce, cosmos and dill. Mostly I bite the bullet and buy starter plants! Rick is Mr. Seed guy, tending them with his spray bottle and moving about for the best light! Good luck with the project! I suspect your climate might be better for it!

(Oh, and thanks for visiting the Gypsy last week! Lovely to see you and looking forward to linking!)

Estelle's said...

Great garden inspiration! I am itching to plant those empty pots....but I am still deciding on the colors I would's such a sweet time of year to see the buds and blooms beginning! Wishing you great and beautiful success in your gardens!