Monday, May 21, 2012

Patio & Deck Gardening

I took a bit of a blog break, but I'm back to show you what we did today. It's a long weekend for us (Victoria Day), and I really wanted to get this done, so we braved the pouring rain and just did it. There's too much heavy lifting for me to do them by myself and Kris is out of town next weekend so it was now or never!

I've mentioned before that we struggle with a lack of sunlight on both our patio and deck... last year, all the flowers I planted died and rotted. So this year, I decided to go with heartier plants - boxwoods, hostas and lily of the valley. Here was our starting point this morning:

As you can see, I planted bulbs in baskets and then put them inside my pots. They didn't turn out as full as I hoped they would, so I decided to move all the bulbs to the garden just in front of the cedar hedges for next year. My poor hydrangea didn't make it through the winter (above left), so that had to go too. So sad, because it was so beautiful last year!

So we had all of our supplies, but first I needed to dig up the bulbs. They were monstrously tall for some reason! These photos don't do them justice, some of those tulips were close to 3 feet tall. It was nuts! Maybe because they weren't planted that deep?

 Getting there....

Kris is busy scrubbing up the deck again - we already power washed about a month ago but have had seagulls take up residence on our roof and make a disgusting mess. Bird poop, nails, moss, whatever junk they can get their nasty little talons on. Ugh. 

 If you can believe it, we ran out of dirt with only about 3 inches remaining to fill in these last 2 baskets. Argh. So, Kris ran out to Home Depot to grab another bag. We re-used any dirt we had, plus went through a giant 85L bag from Potters. That is a LOT of dirt!

Every pot has a few inches of lava rock (we had it hanging around from the little rock bed that you can see because we switched it out for river rock last year), then packing peanuts, landscaping cloth and then dirt. There are a couple reasons we layer like that - the packing peanuts to help with drainage but keep the baskets light (the baskets are all pretty big and would weigh a ton if they were filled with all dirt or rock). The rock is to stop the packing peanuts from compressing around the drainage holes and blocking them. And the landscaping cloth goes on top to keep the dirt at the top and stopping it from running through the other layers.

These pots each have one hosta (they were buy 1, get 1 half price at Potters today) and one Lily of the Valley. Both are supposed to be very shade-friendly. We picked up these pots from Costco earlier this year, $17.99 each. Considering we saw almost identical rattan pots at Potters today for $130+ each, I think we scored!

Here's the deck with our chairs set back out (we have yet to find a bistro or dining set that we like and will fit out here, so we have made do with these for the last couple years). You can see my bright yellow lantern that I spray painted a few weeks back. I haven't been able to find any outdoor pillows that I like yet - I have searched Etsy, Pier One, Home Sense... no luck. I need a bit of yellow in them and was hoping for some coral, blue or green mixed in but that seems to be a tall order! My old outdoor pillows just look sad - faded and dirty.

The other thing I decided to do was transfer my basil to a bigger pot. It had started to grow roots right out of the drainage hole of the other pot it was in, and was a little sad (I think from the roots being wet all the time). Aren't my herb markers cute? I bought one for each herb from Etsy.

Done! These baskets all have boxwoods in them. I love boxwoods and am hoping to be able to use cuttings inside the house at Christmas, so fingers crossed that they do well. On another note, these baskets were bought at Home Depot last year (I think), and I'm pretty annoyed to see that the paint is flaking off of them. They were not cheap! So it looks like I'll have to give them a bit of spray paint loving.

Done! I don't know about you, but I find that I always underestimate jobs like this. I was thinking it would take us about 1-1.5 hours - not 3 hours like it really did! But I'm glad it's done and hoping that everything survives this year. What did you get up to over the weekend? Do you have your gardening done for the season?


Monday, May 07, 2012

My Spray Paint Obsession...

... is out of control.

There are worse problems to have. But really, I keep walking around the house grabbing anything I can think of to paint. Here are the fruits of my latest endeavours.

You've already seen a few of these things in my most recent posts. I picked up the XO letters from Joann's the last time I was in the States. They are paper mache and so much cheaper than wooden letters (which are all that Michael's carries up here). Notice anything wonky about the O? Haha... they were sold out of O's. Seriously, they had at least 5 of every single other letter of the alphabet. I didn't want to have to have to make another trip down, so instead I bought a Q and cut off the extra bits and patched the holes. Pretty good, right?! Ha. I'll make it stand up straight but you really can't tell from a distance! You've seen some of the picture frames, because they are now up in the entry way. I have a pile set aside for the master bedroom whenever I get around to it. I have to decide what I want to put in them!

The green lantern was super faded and rusty from being left outside all summer, braving the elements.I picked a sunny yellow - it's definitely my favourite transformation, I love the bright yellow! It's so much happier now. There was nothing wrong with the black one... I just didn't feel like looking at it all black and such anymore.

And doesn't that little birdie look so much cuter in goooooold?!

Okay, I'll take a painting break. Think the fumes are getting to me.