Thankfully we had a brief respite from the record-breaking heat and humidity over the weekend. I took the opportunity to try to spend more time outside and we worked on a new little “flower” bed that I thought I would share with you.
Last year, in this spot, I planted some tiny little Dusty Millers. These plants normally die out in the winter in our area. They always have when I planted them before. But this time, the combination of the freakishly warm winter we had and the fact that I planted them in a somewhat protected area against the house, caused them to survive. And by this growing season they were HUGE.
So huge, in fact, that they took over my stepping stone path, which I wasn’t too happy about. But they had pretty yellow flowers (I’d never seen them bloom before) and the butterflies adored them.
So…. I reluctantly left them, even though they’d overgrown their location. I just couldn’t bring myself to take them out while the butterflies were enjoying them so much. Eventually they finished blooming, the butterflies were no longer feeding on them, and they were mostly brown and ugly. And still taking over my walking steps. Not to mention the big bare spot that was created when Sam decided to sit on some of them, which then became overtaken with weeds. So it was time for that mess to go!
It had been bothering me for weeks. But it was too hot to get out and do anything about it, until this week.
I thought I’d show you the before/after. The photos below are clickable so that you can see them larger if you like.
First…. dreadful the mess:
See, I told you it was dreadful.
I decided to only keep a portion of one of the Dusty Millers, that was still white and healthy. The rest had to go.
I chose to put in hens & chicks (sempervivum). I really like them. They stay year-round and require little in the way of care. My only concern about this spot is if they will get enough sunshine. I believe they will, but I’m not 100% sure. So I decided to only place three medium-sized ones there and see how it goes. Which left us with some gaps. If they do well, they will make plenty of “chicks” to fill in the gaps.
I’m not a big fan of lawn ornaments and such. There are some things that I like, but most I don’t. But I have a couple of things around here. Two of which were a frog and a turtle statue that were laying up against the back of my house, that I’d brought with me when I moved in here, but I’d never really done anything with. Emma thought they’d make a nice addition to our little spot, so I figured why not.
Then we added some of the kid’s rock collection to decorate things a bit.
This may not be our “finished” product, as we may decide to change things in the future. I still have conflicting feelings about the frog and turtle statues. But we’re pretty happy with it, and it’s far better than it was before. Also, it cost me nothing. Everything we used, we already had.
Now the spot makes me smile and our stepping stones are clear again. So I’m happy with that.