Monday, April 24, 2017

Adding some color outside (when I'm not so thrifty!)

Hey all! How was your weekend? We took a last minute trip to IKEA (probably what will be our last trip out to that one -- our local store will be done this fall!), had some fun with friends and our son had a basketball game (with a win!). I really wanted to get the tile started in the bathroom but it was just so beautiful yesterday so we ended up working outside all afternoon and evening. 

This is by far my least thrifty time of the year. The temps go up and I can't wait to get started adding flowers to the flower beds and pots. I still haven't found a way to save on buying annuals. I do have a few tricks I use that I'll go over here but overall adding flowers every spring is always an investment! 

Thankfully they stay through October so I get my money out of them! :) I don't add a TON of annual flowers -- I try to plant flowering perennials like hydrangeas and roses to add color to our landscaping. That way you're spending the money once and the color comes back year after year. 

But I'm a total sucker for the petunia. I add them all over the place in the spring: 
Hanging flower baskets on pergola

I added up that I planted about 85 petunias yesterday! Wow. You do save if you buy them in bulk, so the flats of any plant will save you some money. 

As you can see I planted the hanging baskets around our pergola. Baskets with flowers flowing out of them were my dream when we had this space in mind years ago. :) I love petunias -- they fill in so beautifully and end up spilling out of them. There are "wave" petunias that do this even more than the regular versions. But both fill in a pot or the flower beds nicely. 

I've used red and purple four our flowers for years now. I always go back to this combo, with some white thrown in at times. It is so bright and looks great with our house and deck: 
Pergola with hanging baskets and lights

We have a tiny little porch out front but I always try to make the best of it each season! We had our front steps extended years ago and having the wider steps is the BEST! Now I can put my plants on there and not worry about them getting in the way: 
Overflowing petunia flower pots

I picked a new welcome mat a few weeks ago to replace our worn out one and it's one of those little things that makes the entry so welcoming. :) 

I splurged on the planters here -- although I think to get them this full I actually would have spent more on numerous smaller plants. I like these to be big and full so I just used a hanging basket and plopped them inside the basket. I didn't even replant them...easy peasy. :) If you don't want a lot of color, ferns are a great option that really fill in the pots nicely and they aren't that expensive. 

On our other baskets around the pergola I didn't need them to be quite as full (because it will fill in later) so I find it cheaper to plant them myself instead of using hanging displays that are already planted. I will keep soil from season to season too -- when the annuals are done for the year I'll keep the "good" soil that's left and then use it the next year. It saves a lot on soil and as long as I fertilize they always do wonderfully. 

We had the beds mulched last week (not a job we do because we just need SO much of it) and it makes everything look and feel (but not smell 😆) so fresh! I added some color to the front beds with some more of the purple and red petunias:
Tricks to save on flowers every spring

I added groups of them in a few spots along the front and they will fill in over the next couple of weeks nicely. I love the green, red and purple against the dark mulch. Yesterday I planted nearly 100 petunias, five hanging planters and six pots! The nice thing is I'm pretty much done for the next five months or so.

You can see how I added that little detail on the garage a few years ago here. I still love it!!:
how to decorate a small porch

My husband mowed, edged and got to the weeds while I planted. My finishing touch was to put the flag back up. Want to instantly make your home exterior feel more homey? 

Add a flag!: 
small porch decorating

Now I want to change out the DIY spring wreath with some red and purple flowers instead of the white and yellow. Thankfully it's super easy to change them out -- be sure to check out that post to see how to do it! 

I love this time of year! Fall is my absolute favorite season but spring is catching up! The weather has been so wonderful and everything feels so fresh and new. :)

Do you plant a lot of annuals every year? What are your favorites? I love petunias because I feel like you get more bang for your buck. They grow and fill in so well and end up much bigger than when you planted them. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Free art: ten pretty spring printables

Well hello! I don't know about you, but I'm ready for the weekend! This has been a busy week and I'm ready to nap sit on the sofa for hours. Bliss. (Although I may throw some tiling in there...we'll see.)

The weather around here has been beautiful, the plants and flowers are growing like crazy and this time of year just makes me incredibly happy. I've been adding some spring touches around the house that I'll share with you soon, but for now I'm back with another group of beautiful printables you can use in your home. (I'll link to past round ups at the bottom of the post!)

I share these a lot for the different seasons because they are FREE and SO EASY to add to your home. You need a printer (or a place to email it to be printed), paper and a frame. That's it. If you do it at home it's nearly free. I use card stock from the craft store that you can get for half off -- I can print off a few for less than a dollar!

Here's a list of ten free spring printables I've found recently. Love them all! You will need to click on the link below each photo to get to the full resolution of each image.

I had to start with a favorite. The rain boots! How perfect! This one is going up in our home:

These are just art, plain and simple. Beautiful:

Love the bright flowers and chalkboard look combo of this one:

The pink and gray in this printable is what caught my eye. So pretty:

This one is available with the hydrangea in a variety of colors!

This is another favorite! She has SO many beautiful options that you can customize with whatever letter you want. What a great, inexpensive gift idea:

I'm always a sucker for a wreath in any printable. And feathers!:

Another watercolor option that is just lovely:

The blue is a pretty option as well:

This one is perfect for the season and works well past Easter. I love it:

I'm always in awe of the talented bloggers out there and what they create every year. How nice that they share their talents!

You'll probably see a couple of these in our home -- I like that some of them can be used throughout the spring and summer and fit in just fine.

You can see last year's round up here and here's a tutorial on making your own printables.

Have a wonderful weekend -- I'll see you next week!