Category: Yard & Garden

Yard, landscape, hardscape, xeriscape, garden, and lawn

Patios and Tropicals

Patios and Tropicals…..

……….I love the feel!

I love our patio!  It’s almost a little getaway for me.  Last year my husband bought me a wonderful set of patio furniture for Mother’s day and there’s nothing I like more than sitting out on a cool or warm evening visiting with family and friends. That’s what we did last night and it was wonderful!

patio and tropical plantsOne of the things I look forward to is decorating our patio with plants.  Especially those tropical potted palms.  Put a couple of those out there and…wow!….I can picture myself on a beach.  (I have a great imagination!)  These potted palms are so inexpensive and are often sold in Costco and Sam’s.  I have only paid about $15.00 for them.  They add such a fun and almost whimsical look to our outdoor space.  Now, I don’t live in a tropical climate, in fact I live in a semi-desert climate with harsh winters, so I know when I buy these little beauties they will not last.  But, I don’t care.  I figure it’s no different buying those as an annual than a flat of petunias.  And we enjoy them so much.


Don’t be afraid to try other tropicals, too.  They are such a fun way to really add some dreamy ambiance to your summertime retreat.  Here are some gorgeous suggestions…….

Flowering MaplePatio & tropicals flowering maple





JasminePatio & tropicals Jasmine





Angel’s TrumpetPatio & tropicals Angel's Trumpet


3 of the BEST Springtime Perennials


………….a perennial gift from Heaven

These are three of my all-time favorite spring flowering perennials.  I always feel like they are a free gift from heaven every spring!

  • Basket-of-gold (Aurinia saxatili) is one of those plants that loves to grow in the least likely of place — cracks between paving stones, the edge of gravel paths and patios, rocky outcroppings, between the stacked stones of a retaining wall, and more.  It’s a real showstopper. That does well in the hot dry sun.  Not so much in more humid climates.  It will reseed prolifically in little cracks, filling an area each spring with dazzling neon yellows.  However, it is easy to maintain and doesn’t take over the world, which I appreciate. After it finishes blooming just trim off the flowering stems and the grayish-green foliage is a beautiful mat throughout the remainder of the year.  It is also wonderful for erosion control on a slope or in a rock garden.


  • Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata) Is a wonderful, creeping ground cover that displays a thick blanket of blooms in vibrant shades of pink, lavender, red, white or bluish-purple every spring. Creeping phlox is a sturdy, and a little bit prickly plant that is low maintenance and does well at camouflaging an unsightly slope or other difficult areas in the landscape as it rambles between rocks and cascades over walls. It can also be planted along a walkway or bordering a flowerbed. You should plant it in the spring although it won’t have the mass of flowers until the following spring.  But believe me!  It is worth the wait.


  • Soapwort  What an ugly name for a beautiful flowering plant/ground cover.  I love it! Perennial, Saponaria or Rock Soapwort is an easy to grow perennial that forms a blanket of spreading color.  It produces a profusion of five petaled, lavendar flowers in varying shades.  I planted one little plant 3 summers ago and it now cascades down and tumbles over our rock wall and onto some stone steps.  It is beautiful.  And after it finishes blooming in the spring it is a mass of beautiful dark green leaves.  This lovely little plant is all by maintenance free.  It lives beautifully on the water that splashes onto if from the sprinklers. Although I haven’t tried it in a hanging basket or pot, I bet it would be fabulous!!

Perennials………I love them!  More to come on some other favorites.

3 of the BEST Springtime Perennials

10 Simple Ideas to Add Color to Your Patio

Color, Color, Color…..

…..Look what can be done with color on a patio!

So I’m really into patios this year.  I guess it’s just the excitement of a new-life-because-of-new-weather mindset.  I’m just really ready for warm days and cool nights.  At least that’s my dream this year; last year was so darn hot we barely went outdoors, day or night!

I’ve been looking to add some more color to our patio.  We have green, mustard, orange so far, but I’m ready to perk it up a bit with some blues and purples.  I have found the easiest way and one of the cheapest ways is to look for pillows to add the spark.  Now we all know pillows can be expensive but you really don’t want to expose an expensive pillow to the elements. Remember you can do the pillow case cover with wonderful bright fabric over an old or thread bare pillow you’ve tossed aside.

Another way to add that much wanted ooomph of color is to find an old nightstand or two (thrift shops, garage sales) and paint them those bright colors you are wanting to enliven your space.

The fun thing about this type of area is that you can make almost anything work.  You don’t have to stick to a defined style.  Just have fun with it.  A few ideas to throw out there:

  • Flowers (of course)
  • Baskets
  • Vases
  • Throws
  • Pillows
  • Painted furniture
  • Ceramic Pots
  • Knick-knacks
  • Paint a wall
  • Painted clay pots

How to Paint Vintage Furniture


………to paint or not to paint (that is up to you!)


Would you have ever thought that someone would dare suggest painting a vintage piece of furniture??!!  I remember sanding, stripping, scraping, stripping again, buffing, and more buffing pieces of furniture to get all the paint OFF to restore the originality, and now it’s okay and even chic to paint some of these old classics.  But wow, what a way to incorporate memorable color to a dining room, a girl’s bedroom, or a corner in the kitchen.  What’s more it seems that the sloppier you are the chic-er it is.  The jury’s still out on that for me.  But I have noticed on some of these great re-done pieces that the “restorer” hasn’t even taken off or taped around hinges or hardware. I guess I need to embrace it and be grateful! J

Just yesterday my hubby picked up an old school desk from a thrift store which we will paint a cool color and not feel a bit guilty.  Are we going to put it in an office? Nope.  Are we going to put it in a kid’s room? Nope.  We’re going to put it in a little out of the way hallway that needs some brightening up.  This little place has no natural light so I’m thinking a shiny silver or a lemony yellow.  But you know what’s great?  If I paint it silver and don’t like it then paint it yellow, all it takes is a piece of sandpaper and 3 minutes and I can have a fabulous distressed piece of yellow with silver slivers.

Don’t you love trying new stuff?