Plants on the Patio

I never knew it until living in our rental house in Kansas, but it’s actually really easy to grow plants, if you do so outdoors. Turns out, nature knows what to do to make the magic happen.

Take this jade plant, for example…


About six months ago, it was literally a stem broken off of our neighbor’s larger jade plant. We stuck it in some water and waited… and waited… until it sprouted a root. Then we put it in this pot I stole from my mom’s backyard, with some soil we stole from a planter bed in the complex common area. The rest is history. It’s literally four times larger than it started.

Then there is the succulent garden I planted right before our mac’s hard drive crashed in… February, I believe? Here’s how it started out:

succulent garden

And now, this:


The baby-plant vibrant green is gone (sad face) but the plant is going bananas. I took one of the succulents out since it was getting so crowded. The hen and chick plant now lives in its own vessel, a pretty pitcher I picked up at West Elm on clearance for about $5.


I’m going to see if it survives OK on the coffee table, but the apartment is a bit dark so if it starts looking sickly, the move will be made back to the patio.

I also bought a couple more plants at Lowe’s a few months when my mom came down for the day. My favorite plant at our Kansas house was a Wandering Jew, but I left it behind since I was skeptical it would make the move OK. Now, I have Jew, Part Two! I love that it came in a hanging basket.


Finally, the most beautiful plant in the world, a Croton. The name itself generates visions of prehistoric rainforests and I love picturing this very plant growing tall and shielding a nest of baby dinosaurs, or something. Crazy imagination? Maybe, but check it out:


My patio is shaping up to be a very fun and plant-ful space indeed. Now if only I’d come across the perfect outdoor chairs to replace our beach chairs (which threaten to fold up when one sits in them)…


My Little Garden!

The world has gone crazy for succulent gardens and I’m now on the train! I’m so excited to share my little garden today!

succulent garden

First a little shout-out to the market where I got these little cuties for $1 each–the newly opened El Cajon Farmer’s Market! My friend has worked tirelessly to get the market up and running and yesterday was its grand opening! It was a little far for Doug and I to drive, considering we have great farmer’s markets closer to where we live, but we went to check it out to support our friend. We arrived with only $6 but it went a long way! Bought the three succulent cuties you’re about to see, a big bunch of carrots, and some red chard that made a really, really delicious salad after we got home. For those in the area, the market will be open every Thursday afternoon/evening.

Now to the garden!

How I made my succulent gardenSupplies needed:

  • Planting vessel (passed down from a family member)
  • Larger rocks/pebbles (leftover from wedding centerpieces)
  • Potting soil (“borrowed” from a planting bed downstairs)
  • Succulents ($1 each at the farmer’s market)
  • Water
  • [Total cost: $3!]

Planting it was easy peasy and I got to make a little mess in the kitchen.

  1. First I put the larger rocks or pebbles into the bottom. My layer was between 1 and 2 inches thick–this allows some space for water drainage–especially important when the pot doesn’t have a hole in the bottom, like mine.
  2. Then I took the plants out of their plastic planters (tip: squeezing the sides a few times makes it easier to pull them out). I broke up/loosened the root ball a bit and placed them into the vessel.
  3. I then took the potting soil and filled it into the gaps.
  4. I watered lightly but didn’t want to pour too much in since the pot has no drainage hole in the bottom. I’ll be checking out other blogs for tips on keeping these suckers (haha) alive as long as I can!

succulent garden

succulent garden

succulent garden

succulent garden

Ta-da! I’m so excited about my new family member!

Pssst… don’t forget to follow My Friend Staci on Bloglovin’ or Facebook!

Stick a Fork in it

It’s done. The front yard, that is. It’s done for the year.

Last time we talked, I had discovered the beautification properties of mulch.

One plant that we had bought last fall died over the winter, and a replacement plant we’d put in its place is also on its way to the big garden in the sky. The replacement plant was meant to be in part sun, not full sun, but when we bought it it didn’t have one of those tags stuck in the soil so it was a mystery plant. Anyway we’ve successfully killed it, I think.

So. our flowerbed was looking like this–don’t mind the pale shirtless guy who dreamed of getting a tan only to notice that our workspace was totally shady:

The right side is doing GREAT! The left side (under the window) had a sad empty section.

Thanks to a sale at a plant shop in walking distance from us, we picked up two butterfly bushes (one of my mom’s favorites) and brought them home. A quick trip to Wal-Mart got us two good sized terra cotta planters, which are not a perfect match to the tile roof, but they are orange clay so they will do for now. The repotting process took about ten minutes (minus the Wal-Mart run) and the plants will have some good space to grow. Once they outgrow the pots they’ll go in the ground.

Now the front of the house is (finally!) balanced out, as far as fullness of plants, and color (more or less). And with that, I’m done messing with the front yard.

Except I just might get a potted plant for the walk-up.

PS: We got this done weeks ago but didn’t want to advertise what the front of our house looks like since we were heading out on vacation–house on the internet + gone for two weeks = wouldn’t have been a very smart move.

I will start next week full speed with a recap from our trip!