If you’ve been wanting some suggestions for low maintenance flowers and plants that will enhance your home’s curb appeal, read on.
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I got a late start planting flowers and decorating our outdoor spaces this year. Not only has this been a very different kind of spring, but my motivation really wasn’t there until recently.
When we moved to our current house a couple of years ago, I had a hard time determining this house’s “personality” and how I wanted the outside to look. It’s a brick ranch, and I was so used to the cottage style of our previous house, that I wasn’t sure how how to give the outside of this house its own personality. (For me, too many options and no clear direction usually result in zero results. Which is why my walls inside are still pretty bare too…)
So, I decided to just go to the garden store and walk around to see what inspired me. I knew I wanted a mandevilla, and maybe some geraniums, for the front yard. We have full sun in the front yard and deck, mostly shade under the front porch, and full sun on a window-box.
I’m sharing with you some of the plants I bought. And, if you are looking for some low maintenance flowers for both sun and shade, I hope these ideas might help.
I ended up with these: (We live in St. Louis, MO, zone 6a)
Dipladenia for the deck (Full sun)
Dipladenia is related to mandevilla. I had hoped to find a pink mandevilla, but the store didn’t have any. (They had some pretty bright yellow ones, though.) I had my heart set on pink or a softer yellow, so I went with the dipladenia instead. It’s a pretty tropical plant, related to the mandevilla, that does well in full sun. It doesn’t climb the way a mandevilla does, and the blooms are a little smaller, but it looks kind of similar.
Dipladenia (with some vincas below)
Vinca and Vinca Vine for the window box and deck (Full sun)
The annual vincas, which is what I chose, take full sun. (There is also a perennial vinca that likes shade, but I’ve only had annual vincas before.)
I’ve always loved window boxes, but we never had one before this house. I chose vinca flowers because I’ve had good luck with them in the past, and they grow well in full sun. Our window box is in full sun, and I chose vinca vine to spill out over the edge (full sun plant also.)
I love the look of window boxes overflowing with color, so I’m hoping it fills out. I didn’t want to plant too much in there and crowd the plants, but I’d like it to be more full. (Update: Even in the few days since I took these pictures, the vinca flowers have spread out, so the box is looking more colorful.)
Vincas and Vinca Vine
Geraniums for the front walk (and more vincas behind them) (Full sun)
I found a gorgeous deep pink geranium. I’ve done pretty well with geraniums in the past, so I hope this one survives well — it’s so pretty! I set it in our well worn Welcome hanger. (Ignore the weeds and clover beneath it – our front lawn needs a lot of work, (which is a topic for another day.)
I learned, the hard way, a few years ago, that it’s really important to remove the stems with the spent flowers, down at the knuckle where the stems meet, consistently, to get new blooms. (My husband always jokes as I pull the old blooms off the plant. “Who put these flowers on my plant?!” It looks so funny to him that I’m taking flowers off. But it creates more flowers.) Geraniums don’t like to be over-watered.
Impatiens for one side of the front porch (Mostly shade)
Regular impatiens like the shade, but New Guinea impatiens can tolerate a little more sun. I just chose regular impatiens for the very shady spot on the front porch. Impatiens are very low maintenance, but they like to be kept moist.
I was originally going to hang the basket, but I put it in between the chairs instead, to enjoy while we visit outside.
Boston fern by the front door (Mostly shade with some indirect light in the morning.)
I’m hoping the fern will do well in this spot. Boston ferns like lots of indirect light, especially in the morning, so, even though our porch has a lot of shade, I’m hoping it will work. I always used to have Boston ferns on the front porch of our previous home and love the look of them. Our previous porch got more light than this one, so we’ll see how it goes. Boston ferns like to be kept moist.
I want a wreath for the front door, still, and a new doormat. The fern and little lamp below the fern have definitely made the entry more welcoming, though.
The lower deck, by the pool, is still a blank slate, so I’m thinking a few pillows, a patio umbrella for shade, and a few plants will do it. I was originally wanting to put an outdoor rug on one of the wood decks, but I’m a little hesitant about the effect the trapped moisture might have on the wood. (If you have a rug on your wood deck, I’d love to hear your experience with that.)
Even a few pillows will make a difference here.
Hopefully, I will have some pictures of the finished looks soon. It feels good to have some color and at least a little personality in the front, and it definitely adds some curb appeal. Some flowers and colors can always brighten my mood.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your own little touches to give your home its own personality.
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