Category Archives: Gardening

Planter Transformation

I had the wonderful opportunity to share this cool backyard project over at Applestone Drive earlier this week. I thought I would share it here as well just in case you missed it.

If you are like me, you might be starting to get out in the yard and do a little work. Not that I really do a whole lot because I wasn’t blessed with a green thumb and our flower budget isn’t all that big. But I still like to add a few pops of color where I can.

This is what our back yard deck has looked like in years past. It’s not that bad, but definitely room for a little improvement. This year, I decided to start things off in the color department by spray painting some of our existing planters.

Most of them are plastic and fairly plain. They serve their purpose fine but really aren’t all that attractive. I did a little research and found that some spray paints work on plastic.

After a trip to Lowe’s, I decided to go with Valspar’s spray paint which says on the can that it works on most plastics.

I chose orange and blue since I already had such pretty greens in my plants and patio cushions. Before painting, I lined all the pots up and sprayed them off with the water hose to get them good and clean. Then I used plastic shopping bags to protect the plants from the spray paint.

Next, I spread out garbage bags to protect my deck from turning orange and blue and applied the first light coat of paint. Spray paint works best if you apply in several thin and even coats.

So coat….

after coat… I sprayed until each planter was fully covered.

I just love the added touch of color the planters give the space now.

It makes me so happy to look out our living room windows and see this. Don’t be afraid of using bold colors. Nature is full of them, and they all work well together. I am leaning towards painting the rest of my planters now! For under $10, I was able to update the look of our planters in our backyard.

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Like New Cushions… Almost

With all this beautiful weather lately, ML and I have been itching to work outside before the heat becomes too much to bear.

Just because I have lived in the South my whole life doesn’t mean my body has adapted to this sweltering Summer oven. I’ve been spoiled by the AC!

(Last year’s picture)

Instead of the typical back yard concept that comes with most homes we have a back deck. It has been perfect for us as first time home owners because it is so low maintenance. No mowing, weeding, or fertilizing. We did have to do a little Spring cleaning though. First, we tag-teamed to sweep and clear our back deck of all the leaves, pollen, and other fallen debris.

Then, we got our cushions for the chairs out of storage. This will be our third year for this patio set, and I have been meaning to clean them every year.

So I decided this was the year. I did a little research to find out how to clean patio cushions and discovered a recipe to make my own cleaning solution. I thought I would give it a try since I had all the ingredients.

DIY Patio Cleaning Solution
  • 1 tsp. liquid dish soap
  • 1 tsp. borax
  • 1 quart warm water
Mix all ingredients together in spray bottle. Spray onto fabric, scrub with sponge, wait 15 minutes, then rinse cushions.
Seemed easy enough. Well, let’s just say it didn’t work as well as I thought it would. My first problem was that the original recipe I found called for dish washing detergent instead of dish soap. After spraying and scrubbing all the cushions on one side with the original mixture, I couldn’t notice any difference. It didn’t even suds up when I scrubbed it. So I got to thinking that dish soap might work better.

I remotivated myself, prepared another batch with dish soap, and began the whole process over again.

The first sign of progress was the suds when I scrubbed the fabric with my sponge. I was so excited! I was going to have “like new” cushions again. I waited my fifteen minutes not-so patiently and then rinsed them off.

The results weren’t as dramatic as I had hoped for, but they were a little cleaner. Unfortunately, there are a few areas that didn’t come clean. Thankfully, ML thinks they look better… and at least you know your clothes won’t get dirty from sitting on them anymore.

So while this isn’t an amazingly successful DIY post, I wanted to share in case anyone else had any other formulas that work great to clean patio cushions. Do you use a store bought solution or a DIY formula?

In the meantime I am going to be sitting back in my (semi-clean) chairs, possibly enjoying a good book!

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Every Woman Needs a Good Purs(lane)

I have been busy lately but don’t really have anything to show for it. Michael Luke and I have been doing some Spring cleaning around the house. I mean giving everything a good scrub down, purging and rearranging the closets, and organizing all our “stuff”.

One thing I do have to show is my new flowers that ML gave me for my birthday yesterday!

These pretty little flowers are Purslanes. They are the color Pazazz Red Flare and are my favorite. He gives them to me every year for my birthday. I love them because they require so little maintenance and are always loaded with blooms. This is good since God didn’t bless me with the best green thumb.

Michael Luke brought them home and planted them for me Wednesday night.

They always do great in this flower bed that lines our sidewalk. Last year we added some ground cover to the bed to fill in the areas where we didn’t have any Purslane. I’m not sure what the ground cover is called but it roots and spreads easily. Which makes it another plant I love! I spread it everywhere.

Every night the blooms on the Purslanes close and then once the sun hits them they open again.

The colorful blooms make me happy every time I walk by them.

Purslanes are incredibly drought tolerant so they do well once we get to the middle of our sweltering summer days down here in the South. The little tag on them says they need 8+ hours of sun a day but ours don’t get that much. They probably get somewhere between 4-6 hours a day.

We still have a lot of work to do to our front yard (cut the grass, trim the shrubs, and who knows what else) but the addition of the Purslanes is a start!

Do you have a favorite flower that you plant every year? Do you have any Purslanes? What do you like to use as a ground cover?

I am linking up at: Serenity Now, Centsational Girl , The Bungalow Blog, and Nesting Place

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