Breaking Point {Spring Sprucing}

I reached my breaking point. The point of no return. The very last time I could stand to look at the sad, dead shrubs sitting on our front porch.

Sure it's early Spring, and it's been a long Winter, but that's just no excuse for dead plants on the front porch. I mean, what kind of domestic goddess would I be if I let that slide one more day?

In case there's anyone out there that thinks my house is perfect all the time and I never make a mistake … for the record, I kill plants. All the time. Just look at these hollies…something about needing more water and/or sunlight. For some reason I had them shoved way back into the recesses of the front porch. Not a hope for light back there... note how the shape of the root base never even altered from the gallon tub they came in.
Never stood a chance.

Ideally, I'd like to replace them but it's a bit early in the season for that, so I took the easy route and went for frost resistant pansies. It's hard to believe we could have another frost, especially with the 80 degree temps we've been enjoying this week. But, our Home Depot only had 6 flats of pansies left, a sure sign that Summer is right around the corner.

Tip: Pansies are a sun loving, cool weather flowers that can bloom all winter in warmer climates. They like to be watered often and placed in well draining soil. Once the weather gets warmer, they can become "leggy" and are usually replaced with Summer annuals.

Also on the "breaking point" list was the massive Egyptian themed planter that used to reside on the front walkway, thanks to the previous owner (you can see it in the first picture). I wasn't having much luck getting anyone else to dispose of it, despite my constant pleas to John, the landscaping crew who aerated the front yard back in the Fall, and the landscaping crew who regraded the back yard a couple of weeks ago. I guess I'm not the only one who thought it was pretty ugly :)

While everything inside me wanted to smash it into smithereens, I put on my big girl pants and did the responsible thing by removing all the old plants, soil and gravel and rolling it out to the curb to be collected as part of our special garbage collection. 

Some of the older violas (aka smaller scale pansies), which had also survived the winter, were transplanted into pots on the side porch. A good example of the "leggy"-ness I referred to above. They aren't perfect, but they do add a nice pop of color until it's time to update the pots with Summer annuals.

Tip: A good rule of thumb for planting is to wait until the last chance of frost has passed for your region, generally this is after Easter. Of course, pots can always be transferred to the garage or an interior space if a chance of frost is reported. 
Not that I ever remember to do that, but I see other, more dedicated gardeners do it all the time. 

I had to include this pic of the girls, who love to "help" with the planting, mostly to show off Eloise's rainbow hat. She has been wearing it daily. For over a week. She's very excited for our upcoming trip to the beach for Spring break. 

Hope you are enjoying a bit of Spring in your area, too.
Making any updates? I'd love to hear all about them in the comments section.

until next time,