Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Decorating the deck... cheap

Ivy geraniums which will someday become lush,
flowing over the side of the flower pot.

I'm glad you are enjoying the book and film list. I have added a permanent link to it above the Follower's widget (doesn't "Follower" sound like this is a coffee, book, and tea cult?). :)

We live in a small-ish house but the former owners built a huge deck and changed out the sliding glass doors for French doors going out to the deck. In good weather, it adds a lot of living space. Last June, we were able to host a large gathering for Christopher's graduation since we were blessed with great weather that day.

I love the look of a lush container garden but there is no way I can afford to create one as they do on the HGTV shows. However, what I lack in money I make up in... patience. :)

This will eventually be filled with lush geraniums and ivy hanging over the side. I started snipping ivy from an indoor plant in late winter and sticking the "starts" in jelly jars until their roots were all a good size when planted.

It would actually look much better if it weren't for the flooding rains we had last week. The large, blue pot is a Goodwill find, I found two just alike last winter and put them in the shed for later. I have a large collection of containers now which are reused from year to year. I find them at garage sales very cheap.

I have a few beautiful flowers that are rather lush already. They were all about $3.00 each and they add color. I've learned to look for flowers that bloom all summer, now staying away from those which bloom mainly in spring.

I've been purchasing a bag of soil now and then since they became available (off brand for the most part) and the plant "stands" were purchased years ago and stored when cold weather comes.

This year I moved a few "country" accents from the front porch to the deck. All ideas received from pouring over gardening magazines (mostly found on the free shelves of the library).

All the accent pieces were from thrift shopping and garage sales, cheap enough that if they don't hold up to outdoor weather, they'll just look a little more shabby than chic. :)

Those two green pots contain zinnia plants but no flowers... yet. Soon, very soon. Small plants are a fraction of the price of the larger containers with mature, flowering plants.

Of course, when you are surrounded with God's natural decorations and all those shades of green... it is already beautiful. :)

The only way I can do this each season is by keeping a pantry. Except for purchasing milk and eggs, most of my grocery money goes to purchasing flowers and plants... food for the soul. My sister, Bonnie, does the same thing.

The raised bed garden is being built with the money hubby earned by working at the bookstore one week. I'll show pictures once it is complete.


Vee said...

Yes, I shall have to practice patience this summer myself...the way we used to do...remember those days? By the end of July, no one will be the wiser. Anyway, I found some trailing ivy that overwintered again this summer from last summer's pots. Smart me, I didn't toss them so far over the banking last fall as I did the fall before. Every $2.95 comes in handy!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Your deck looks beautiful. I think it's so neat that you were able to save money at the same time. My daughter is working in her yard after work every night. It is coming along. I love that you have a special place with the deck. Very peaceful looking.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Beautiful, Brenda. It has a very happy feeling already. I have some special geraniums that I've been keeping going as houseplants and they start bloomng each year inside when they begin to get more light. This is an exciting time of year.........

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'd love to sit at the umbrella table with you!
joanna :)

Joanne said...

What pretty deck pots you have! We just planted a few pots with geraniums, our favorite summer flower. We also grow zinnias, the 36 inch tall variety, outside our kitchen window. By midsummer, we have a pretty view when working at the sink!

Bernideen's Tea Time Blog said...

Sounds like a gfrandplan for a garden!

Sharon said...

Everything is looking lovely Brenda!Thanks for sharing!Hugs~Sharon

scrappy quilter said...

Your plants and deck look beautiful and all for little cost. I've always said you can have wonderful gardens at little cost if you plan well. great job Brenda!!

the pleasures of homemaking said...

If gardening teaches you anything it's patience! It's really better to start off with smaller plants anyway. They last longer and will be healthier. Everything looks lovely!


Anonymous said...


I have a friend who is a wonderful gardener with a small back yard (she is so good at this that she is being featured in a Chicagoland gardening magazine next month).

She has absolutely breathtaking containers of cascading flowers and greens, something I have never been able to achieve. When I asked her for some advice on this she told me that I was too impatient and spend way too much money on the lush hanging containers that I see at the nursery every May.

She said that you have to start just as you have with small plants to have a summer's worth of beautiful flowers. When you buy those ready-made already fully-grown containers, they are on the way out! They have done most of their growing and they won't last long.

I am glad that I got this advice this May because now I can't afford that wasted money that I used to spend.

Anonymous said...

What a pretty extra room you have!! :) I have noticed my new neighbor has lots of plants...all gotten they told me from bulbs and snips of plants his family was discarding. For 3 years now they have added this and that for free and the yards are looking so pretty!! :) Some of the things origionally in the yard when they bought the house I had given the former neighbor! :) One lady told me she noticed marigolds going to seed in front of a resturant and asked if she could have some of the seeds...She was told to take all she wanted. She has since gotten snips of plants free from people when she was at yard sales and they had a plant she admired. Some of the hardware supper stores will give you plants free that look not so perfect and they are about to throw out themselfs. Many of these plants only need pruned and watered. Many are perenials and bushes. Brenda the deck is really pretty. A real treasure for your family. Thanks for giving us more to ponder and be grateful for. Jody

Mrs. Staggs said...

Hello Brenda,

Your setting is so beautiful, and I think your deck looks like a wonderful place to enjoy the late spring and summer. Autumn too, with all those lovely trees around.

I still haven't planted my containers this year, as I too am on a bit of a budget, having had more medical expenses, and tution ect. to pay this year. My sister gifted me with plants for my window boxes for my birthday, and friends have given me gift certificates for nurseries, so I will enjoy choosing plants for my containers with those.

I've always been more of a frugal gardener, but I've never thought of it that way, really. I was raised in a family that always shared with each other from their gardens. We've always saved seeds, divided plants and tubers, and my stepmom's mom, our Granny, is a genius at rooting "slips". My sister has a small greenhouse, and she generously shares lettuce and tomatoe plants with us all.

I've enjoyed catching up with your blog today. I know I've told you before, but I think you have a true gift for writing, and I think you have a book within you, if that appeals to you.

All my best,