Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Polka-Dotty Garden

We moved into our house one year ago and we have done a ton of work inside and out.  We focused on all of the inside projects last summer and have been doing yard projects this summer.  The yard had very little landscaping so it's been really fun to clear out areas and add in our favorite plants.  I do not have a green thumb, but I've tried hard of the years to learn how to take care of plants.  I seem to have better luck with outdoor plants than indoor ones.

I thought I'd share some gardening tips with you today.  We are landscaping on a budget and have learned some things over the years.  We first landscaped our home in Mississippi.  That house had tons of shrubs and we added in tons of flowering plants.  The climate was so tropical (Zone 8) that it was amazing how well things grew there.

We are now living in Zone 6 so it's been fun to see what grows best in the Midwest.

What type of gardening do you do at your house??
Herbs?  Veggies?  Flowers?  Indoor plants?

Figure Out Your Yard:
If you are living in a new city, scope out your neighbor's yards.  See what is growing really well, take note of what you like or snap a picture and then plant your favorites in your yard.  Watch how much sun/shade each part of your yard get so that you'll know what type of plants to buy.  Most plants will tell you how much sun they need on their label.  That is super helpful when you're learning how to take care of plants.

We planted basic shrubs like Winter Gem Boxwoods and Euonymus.  We picked out some flowering shrubs like red Weigela, Rose of Sharon and I'd love to add in some hydrangeas or peonies eventually.

We planted all the flowers pictured above in our yard and they're all doing well.  I've only managed to kill one plant out of everything we've bought this season so I'm thrilled with that.  Here are the flowers in the picture above:

Scabiosa Pink Mist
Balloon Flower Platycodon Pink
Achillea Vintage Violet
Gaillardia Grandiflora
Crepe Myrtle

Most places have all of the flowers, shrubs and some trees on sale right now.  It's a great time to stock up on plants at half off if you have time to keep up with the watering.  It's obviously a hot time of year for many places in the country so go ahead and plant if you can commit to watering and fertilizing regularly.

Gardening Journal:
I started keeping track of every plant we bought this year.  I wanted to learn the names of the plants along with the details of caring for them.  I saved the plant tags from each plant and put them in my gardening journal.  It's so fun to flip through it and see all the things we're adding to our garden.  I think it'll be really helpful to keep track of what grows well (annuals & perennials) so we know what to buy more of in the future.

It also came in handy when we had to return a dead plant.  I had the plant tag, knew the price and keep my plant receipts in the back.

We focused mostly on adding perennials to our yard.  I wanted the most bang for our buck and knew that by adding plants that would come back year after year would be a great investment.  We have picked up plants at our local garden centers, Wal-Mart, Rural King, Lowes and Meijer.  If you're wanting to ask questions and learn about the plants stick to buying from local garden centers.  You can likely get a better deal at big stores, but it's harder to find knowledgeable people to help you there.

Potted Plants:
If you've got a patio or don't have a very big yard, pots are a great planting option!  Just figure out how much sun you're working with and go pick out some flowers.  My deck and backyard are pretty shady so things like Impatiens do wonderful there.  I love to put 3-5 different varieties of plants in my pots and group them together.  Water them regularly and they'd do great!  I also Miracle Grow them once a week.

Including Your Kids:

Mini tools from Target and Big tools from Amazon. 

My 4 year old loves to garden with us.  She's pretty helpful and loves having her own tools.  I scored her this set of garden tools on super sale from Amazon months ago.  They're metal and work really well.  She also has her own gardening gloves from Target Dollar Spot and both kids have their own tiny watering cans from Wal-Mart.

They love to help dig holes for plants, spread mulch, sweep, pull weeds and water with me.

We let everyone in the family have a say in the plants we buy.  I've found that they get more excited to help when they're invested in our garden.  It's been a fun hobby for us to all do together.

time to link up with my favorite Tuesday Talk ladies!
Join us with your best post of the week.


  1. I think that thumb is turning a lovely shade of green. We did a lot of landscaping the first year we moved in then I let things slide until early this spring when we put the house on the market. One of my favorites has always been Hydrangeas.

  2. Whitney!! This is SO fun! I have the BLACKEST thumb in the world...much to my daughters' dismay. They are always begging me to plant flowers and start a garden...but I just can't! I know I will kill anything we try to grow! HA! Olive is just the cutest with her little gardening tools and the moments you two spend in the garden will be memories she treasures forever!

  3. I never thought about keeping a journal. That is such a smart idea! I bought Impatiens and petunias and planted them together in galvanized buckets I've been buying. Then I found out one likes shade and the other sun. But they have grown very well together. I've been keeping up with watering since we have a rain barrel. They are now starting to show signs of how hot it is. I also bout two big flower pots, and they were big and beautiful when I got them. The wind has thrown them around and they are almost dead. I would like to do some landscaping around our porch, but we're always on the lookout for a house with land. Love your little helpers!!

  4. Wow! You planted a beautiful variety of flowers! Keeping a garden journal is the smartest idea ever. I am still kind of trying to figure out the growing seasons in Houston. For example, things that would grow in Seattle during the summer are a winter flower here. But, like you said, I have been paying attention to what people around me are growing, especially businesses, since they often have professionals working on their gardens. Plants are so expensive, I actually planted a lot of flowers from seed this year which I have never done, and they bloomed beautifully. One of those was the gorgeous marigold like you have, and another one was called a Laura bush petunia, which was made for the Texas heat.

  5. Oh my gosh! I am going to hire you next year to get a flower garden started for me!! I love this, Whitney and it's such a fun way to "work" with the little ones outside, too.

  6. Since I just have a balcony, I love to do two pots to add a bit of color! I would love a garden at some point!

  7. I am so impressed! My garden fails every year!


I LOVE hearing from you!! Thanks for taking the time to leave sweet comments; I enjoy reading every one of them. I reply to your comments via email so make sure you aren't a "no-reply" blogger.
Smiles, Whitney