This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of the easiest ways to spruce up any outdoor space is with beautiful potted plants. I’m excited to share today some tips for creating and sustaining beautiful planters!
My grandmother used to always say that the only way to survive a Texas summer was in a wet bathing suit.
And (all images of grandmothers in bathing suits aside – ha!) if you’ve ever been to central Texas in the summer, you know the truth of that statement…
So you can imagine our incredible pleasure at finding a home with a beautiful backyard and pool when we moved to the Texas hill country almost two years ago. And you can imagine how many hours we spend sitting out by said pool. 😉 Our first summer here, we survived with nothing but the lawn chairs that the previous owners left. Then last summer, we transformed the backyard space with a dining area and lots of seating.
As beautiful as the space is (even without any furniture at all), there is undoubtedly a LOT of tan concrete. We managed to break it up with furniture and rugs, but those aren’t really an option on the steps. Which brings us to today’s project… Some pretty planters.
Tip: Potted plants are always a wonderful option, both indoor and out. Flowers, ferns, succulents… anything to bring life to a space. To break up the sea of tan concrete in our backyard, pretty yet inexpensive ceramic pots were just the key.
I already had a handful of these, but I wanted a row to run down each side of the steps, so I bought just enough at a local garden store to do that. Tip: Opting for a variety of shapes and sizes but keeping the symmetry of lining each side of the steps (or walkway, or porch, or any space) gives a balanced yet organic feel.
Now came the most important part, though… Finding plants and keeping them alive. 😉
As I mentioned when I shared my favorite gardening tools a couple of weeks ago (and friends, seriously, they’re all reasonably priced and available on Amazon – you can’t go wrong!), I’m no gardening expert. And with three (soon to be four!) little humans to keep alive, I need all the help I can get to keep the plants thriving, too.
Thankfully, these plants get super intense sun for about half the day, which in central Texas tends to be enough for many typical “sun-loving” plants. So I let my kids help me pick out a mixture of florals and succulents at my favorite local nursery (of which, by the way, they are still claiming ownership)…
And got to work with a bag of Expand ‘n Gro. This soil really has me excited. Since it basically arrives dehydrated, the bag is light enough to ship and easier to lug around. Amazon can ship it straight to your door (win for this busy mama!). You just fill your pot 1/3 of the way, add water, stir and watch the soil expand, and then plant as usual.
The water retention of the soil is awesome. It holds up to 50% more water than basic potting soil, and I’m hoping this will be my saving grace. Often in our hot and dry climate, soil dries out mere minutes after watering, but this soil is staying moist day to day. Finding a soil that provides enough moisture for your sun-loving plants is essential to their survival!
As you can see, I chose a variety of colors, but I stuck to the pinks and purples that complement the in-ground plantings we already have. Though you know I’m a neutral girl when it comes to most decorating… choosing some bold flowers – especially if you’re trying to distract from a lot of concrete or brick or whatever your outdoor space may be sporting – can make all the difference.
Keeping a similar color palette of flowers but choosing a variety of heights and sizes and leaf color also helps create a balanced yet organic look.
And I’m loving the overall addition to the space.
What do you think? Can I keep them alive this summer? I assume we’ll be spending lots of time at home with the new baby… Hopefully all those hours by the pool will keep these lovely little plants fresh in my mind and alive! 😉
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