My mom is the most incredible gardener. If you all were to see my parent’s backyard, you’d see roses and grapevines and fresh herbs. You’d see plants being carefully nurtured in greenhouses my parents created together and pots of hydrangeas blooming next to a sidewalk perfectly lined and mulched sprouting elephant ears. Apparently gardening is NOT a hereditary trait.
In my heart, I am a gardener. In my mind I nurture plants and flowers then cut them with special sheers and have fresh flowers that I have grown all over my house. In my dreams, gardening is really easy and fun and I look forward to sticking my ungloved hands into the completely bug-less dirt.
The truth is, I am not a good gardener (YET). Plants require foresight and planning and energy and you have to dig dirt and see red spiders and worms and ants and SNAKES. For the past year-ish we allowed ourselves to let the garden slip since it was literally impossible for us to work full time, and remodel a house, and keep a garden alive. But after attending the Home Depot Garden Party, and very honestly sharing my struggles with my new friend Carmen from the Southern Living Plant Collection, I felt a glimmer of hope. Carmen was so sweet and encouraging and promised that we really COULD have a garden that was beautiful. Even though there was nothing but weeds and dead dreams in front of our house—see? 😉
Carmen and her team were kind enough to give me the kick-start we needed by gifting us with four of the most beautiful plants I’ve ever seen. Even though I was sick with the Great Sinus-Allergy Plague of 2014, I managed to peel myself off the couch and watch Scott open the boxes. The way they were packaged was so cool—the plants sprang out and were so green and beautiful—as cheesy as it is, they really cheered me up. 🙂
After looking at some photos of our yard, Carmen had determined the plants that would do best in our mostly-shaded front area were the Big Daddy Hydrangeas and Jubilation Gardenias. After waiting a few days to let our immune systems fix us up a bit, we headed to Home Depot to get everything we needed to make our yard dreams a reality. We really didn’t even know what we needed, but luckily the garden associates were super friendly and helpful and told us exactly what would work in the North Texas shade. Since most houses in the area have little to no shade, our selection was limited but we made the best of it! We ended up picking a couple more hydrangeas, some hostas, lilyturf, soil and mulch.
We went home and laid out the pots until we found an order we liked. Then it was time for the really hard work—clearing the beds by raking out leaves, pulling weeds and ripping up random roots. This took us HOURS. We made many earthworm friends among the way…we even saw a SNAKE. It wasn’t very big but it was still super creepy and escaped into the dirt much faster than we could catch him!
After we raked and bagged the leaves (both of us continually sneezing into the bags), it was finally time to plant! The instructions on the Southern Living plants were super easy to follow and the actual planting of everything was fairly quick. After we had the plants all nice and snug in their new homes we called it a night.
The next afternoon we came back and mulched everything. Ya’ll. I LOVE how the mulch added that finished look. Of course we watered it all afterwards.
We are both so proud of our garden! The gardenias smell incredible and I can’t wait to see the Big Daddy hydrangeas bloom! Both will get wider and taller, so we are both anticipating our garden to fill out soon. 🙂 Doesn’t it all look lovely? If I can plant this—anyone can. 🙂
Last night we sat proudly on our porch, sipping on drinks and daydreaming and planning. We don’t feel like we have to hide from our neighbors anymore, or explain why our yard looks so crazy. 🙂 Of course our gardening has spawned the “domino decorating effect”. Now that our garden looks so beautiful, we are planning some pretty major overhauls for the front of our house…as always I can’t wait to share what we are doing! 🙂
Disclosure: I was gifted with the plants from Southern Living Plant Collection. This post contains my experience and opinions, both of which are completely my own. I truly love their plants so please check out all they have to offer!