Part of Me Blog

that crazy plant lady

lissa-anglin2 Comments

I've been calling myself that lately- because I am trying. really. hard. 

My mom gave me an "heirloom plant" when we got married 11 years ago- apparently, it was one that she had been given by her mother and KEPT ALIVE for who knows how many years...I didn't get the memo and promptly killed it- along with any other green living thing I acquired for the next 9 years or so. 

I've killed alllll the "easy" plants. Moss, succulents, name it, my black thumb has killed it.

So, when we moved to the house where we now live I knew that one day I'd have to face the huge front flower beds. They span probably 25 feet, and get basically no sun. Sounds fabulous, right?!? The previous owners had put down english ivy that required zero maintenance but was actually choking out some of our trees- so it had to go. 

Last year, with the help of my mom and sister, I planted a ton of stuff. I asked the internets what to plant- did as much research as I could, and then put it all in the ground. Some of it grew, some of it didn't. So, I'm in my second year of plant-babying and so far I am LOVING IT. 

This year, I decided to simplify- just a few sure-fire plant types and a lot of patience. 

Here's a list of what I'm growing in the front of the house:

  • Snake Plants (on either side of my front door)
  • Foxtail Ferns (Knox's pick, which I have grown to love)
  • Asparagus Ferns (always a reliable one for my mom)
  • Hostas (I hated them last year but they've come back faithfully and doubled in size!)
  • Wild Violets (groundcover- it survived a West Texas winter!)
  • Caladiums (at least I'm hoping- these dudes are still sprouting)

Everything except the caladiums actually overwintered really well. I pulled all the ferns into the house for the winter and they seem to be happy to be back outside.

Another addition are these coleus which make me think of old ladies for some reason. I love the pink + green combo which are also in the caladiums I planted. 

I scored about 15 terra cotta pots at a garage sale a few months ago for $7! Some were cracked or chipped, but thus far all have worked out just fine. I also found several larger ceramic planters half off at At Home and those are the larger white and black ones you see in the photo above. 

We have said that this year would be our year to work on our backyard. While there is a LOT going on there- I'll save that for another post and just tell you about what I've worked on so far. 

There is a spot right outside the kitchen where I have my morning coffee every day. For the past three years, I have gazed upon this spot with disdain. It is a portion of the flowerbed (which, by the way, has never contained any actual flowers) that is just straight up mud where the dogs like to lay in the summertime. It's ugly and doesn't get much light. So I decided to do something about it since I stare at that spot several times a day whether I like it or not. I found some pots I'd been hoarding and bought a few fun plants at the store- and I'm so pleased with the result! 


This old chair has been sitting in our backyard forever- and now it has some purpose. I used old pots upside down to give some of the pots some height. 

All of these plants have worked well with the limited sunlight- more coleus (the hot pink leafy one), potato vine, and astilbe- the red and orange ones). 

It has been SO NICE to have something pretty to look at in the morning!

Lastly, I planted a few cacti/succulents for Knox. He was pumped to pick some out this year (I'd let him do it last year and so OF COURSE he expected to do it again). These are the ones I am most nervous about. I tend to overwater them, and they don't get enough sunlight because there is no good spot in our yard that actually gets direct sunlight. So, here's to hoping they make it. :) 

Any tips you have for me on this bunch would be wonderful!

Also- side note- can you see the geodes beside the cactus pot? My parents gave Knox a National Geographic Geode Kit for Christmas and it was so cool! You get 10 geodes that contain crystals inside and it includes safety glasses and educational material about them. Shawn and Knox have enjoyed breaking them open every now and then and now this is Knox's "collection". Could be a fun idea for summer projects if you have curious science-loving kiddos- or just ones who like to break stuff, haha!

I'd love to hear what you guys are planting or any tips you have for me as I try not to kill things!