Tuesday, June 14, 2016

On the Deck: Plants Are a Must

As I introduced last week, after years of planning and construction (in 2 phases!), we are really excited to have a fully functional deck.  I don't have all of my "deck projects" finished, but it is at least at the point where I can sit out there and finally relax.  I thought I would spent a few blog posts going through the projects I have finished, so this is the first installment of my mini-series: "on the deck".  I know, engineers really are the most creative people out there.  If you need someone to concisely state the obvious, I'm totally your girl.

This post is dedicated to the plant life that calls my new deck home, starting with this cute little corner:

To help you get your bearings, the corner is located here, by the orange arrow:

This spot is too small to hold much furniture (picture the traffic flow from the top deck to the backyard), so I decided on a grouping of potted plants instead.  To raise the pots off the deck floor, I went on the hunt for plant stands.  After some searching at Home Depot without much luck, I found three matching plant stands at Home Goods in 3 different sizes (I think they were something like $10, $15, and $20).  The only problem was, they were in a oil-rubbed white color, which looked like this on my deck:


You might be thinking to yourself, "umm, Amy, nice job on the photography, I can't even see those."  But that's the point.  I think they were going for an aged finish, but on my deck, they just looked dirty and sort of invisible.  A can of spray paint fixed the issue, and tied them in with the rest of the deck decor in a dark teal color (specifically, Rustoleum's Dark Turquoise):

I think this looks much better!  Getting three stands in varying heights adds some visual interest, but making them all the same, solid color makes them unified and not too distracting from the main feature: the plants themselves.  You could use the same idea with stands that didn't match - a can of spray paint can work wonders!

If you look the other direction on the deck, you'll see that the plant collection doesn't stop in this corner...

On the left, I have a large pot welcoming you as you make your way up the stairs from the yard.  The plant choices turned out to be a little wacky in this pot, but oh well:

Next are two hanging baskets that were a birthday gift from my parents, one of which became a home to a mama mourning dove.  She just showed up one day with her eggs, and squawked at me until the babies flew the next.  

Next is a pot of yummy herbs:

Then a pretty blue glazed pot with all sorts of things in it:

The fuchsia might be my favorite, but the variegated petunia is a close second. 

There are a couple scattered small pots in there too (really, is it possible to have too many plants?).  I plant to take some detailed notes/photos of what is in each pot, so I may share those in the future.  

You may also notice that I have a color theme going, and all of these pots are varying shades of blue, with a few white/black thrown in.  I think it helps to keep some balance (i.e. all in the same color family), especially because I wanted to mix up the plants I chose for each pot.

To sum up this post, consider gathering pots together for added visual effect, and also consider varying the height to make each pot's flowers stand out on their own.  Don't be afraid to make something work better for you, like spray painting plant stands.  Just be sure that you really want it before you lose your ability to return it. :)  When you are trying to decide what to plant where, keep in mind your light conditions (part shade for the most part on my deck), and your willingness to water pots.  All of my pots are fairly deep for their size, and I use MiracleGro Moisture Control (I think it just has extra perlite in the mix?) in these to help retain moisture.  I'll still end up watering them most nights once it gets to the hottest days of the summer.

I think that's enough plant life for one post!  Hope you are enjoying your backyard during these long days!  I know I am!