I finally got smart this year and bought potted container baskets to fill my three big ceramic containers. In past years, I've leisurely strolled through the aisles at the garden store and hand-selected various plant colors and textures I like. This proves to be a) expensive and b) they never grow quite right together. I don't plant them deep enough in the pot because they're so small at first and they end up growing giant by summer's end. This year: already arranged containers = beautiful on the first day.
We hired a landscaping company and re-vamped our entire front yard last year with two perrenials flower beds and one annuals flower bed. Most of the perrenials came back from last year (and the landscaping company came out to replace the ones that didn't, thanks to the warranty), so I only had to worry about the annuals bed. Except, I've never really planted an entire flower bed on my own so I wasn't completely sure how to go about it. One afternoon while Jim and Janie were babysitting Tory, I hit the garden store and set to work. At first, I selected a bunch of flowers inside the greenhouse. Then, I soon realized all the cheaper, yet still colorful flowers were outside. I unloaded / reloaded my cart with some beautiful green, yellow, red and purple flowers. Planting the flower bed was a full afternoon of work, but I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Hopefully the ground cover flowers start to fill in nicely. The flowery plans on the corners are really starting to take shape.
I re-hired our landscaper to add some basic plants to our backyard this year. We didn't do much back there last year and I was hesitant to add even more plants to water everyday, but the area around the deck stairs needed something.
I'm dabbling in vegetable growing this year for the first time. My sister bought me a pepper plant after I mentioned to her I wanted to grow some on my deck this year. I'd still like to get a tomato plant yet and need to fill in two more planters on my deck as well.
Lastly, we spruced up our backyard deck this year with a new patio table with umbrella. We ate our first few meals outdoors as a family of three in May and Tory tried her very first corn on the cob. I sit at this table quite a bit as Tory plays outside and I'm really happy with its comfort and quality.
I also added this adorable wind chime to the back deck and it makes me happy every time I look at it.
Isn't that what outdoor living is all about? I'm definitely enjoying our outside spaces more with a little munchkin around. She forces me outside to enjoy all the beauty just outside our door.