2 In Life

Our DIY Raised Flower Bed + Yard Projects

I have an obsession, and I don’t care who knows it. I LOVE PLANTS! I’m officially a plant lady now that I have more plants than I can count and find pure joy in wandering the aisles of a flower nursery or garden center. Am I an old lady or am I an old lady? It’s fine, it’s FINE! Plants are my new love language, both indoor and outdoor.

This love affair has been slow growing. No pun intended, or maybe, HA. Two years ago we planted our first Crepe Myrtles in the backyard, one for each baby. Then the following summer, so last summer, I dove in headfirst and planted 4 Knockout Rose shrubs. 1 died very quickly, so I replaced it and the replacement did wonderfully, and they have all since taken off. Last summer, we also planted a larger Crepe Myrtle (my big purple one!) for Mother’s Day. In addition to 4 new shrubs and a tree, we also planted several potted flowers. Honestly, though, most died by the end of the summer from the heat and not enough TLC. Our succulents, aka my GIANT Aloe Vera plant, survived though, and eventually started both Adam and I’s obsession with indoor plants when it came time to move it inside for cooler weather!

Over the fall and winter, we tried our hand at indoor plants and absolutely love them. We’ve got snake plants, pothos plants, 2 more aloe plants, another green plant that I can’t remember the name for, and a fiddle leaf fig. Thankfully, indoor plants we’ve learned are incredibly easy to care for once you know a few basic tenants. (More on indoor plants in a future post!)

Now that we’ve moved into spring and we’re practically on our way into summer, we’re excitedly jumping back into all things outdoor flowers and shrubs! We have four projects I want to share and will hopefully update you again on later this summer!

The first, is a DIY raised flower bed. This has been a dream for a while, and I finally had some free time (and free $$ TBH!) to make it happen. I wanted a place where the kids could really start learning about gardening, and allow them to help tend to our flowers. They both love digging and watering, so I knew this would be a fun little space for them. (And me!) So one evening, I took Adeline with me (pre-COVID lockdown!) to Home Depot to pick up our supplies and after Adam mowed and pulled weeds for us, we got it all set up! It required very few supplies and was fairly inexpensive all-in-all. Here’s how we made it –

Supplies:

  • 4 stackable stones
  • 4 4′ 2×8’s
  • 2 bags of organic manure
  • 3 bags of organic soil
  • 2 cardboard boxes
  • flowers of choice

I let Adeline help me pick out the flowers, so she had fun making her selections. We opted for a mixture of seeds, already-bloomed flowers, bulbs, and perennials/annuals. Before we planted, we laid down our cardboard boxes, then hosed them down to help them decompose easier. On top of the cardboard, we added the manure and the soil, shoveled it all together, then watered it again. When we planted, we tried to keep things in rows as best we could – the blooms are in the front half and the bulbs and seeds are in the back half. Adeline loved helping me sprinkle in the seeds, and Barrett loved throwing dirt everywhere, I mean, covering them back up. We planted: petunias, pansies, dusty miller, zinnias, gladiolas, and I recently purchased some gerbera daisies and snapdragons if I can make space for them! Otherwise, they might live in a pot.

So far, our little flower garden has been a success! If we can successfully keep a flower garden, I’d like to plant some vegetables next year! It’s been about a month or so since we built it, and we’re starting to see some growth from the bulbs and seeds, which is exciting. I added some seeds for peppermint, cilantro, and basil, but I’ve never had much luck with herbs so we’ll see! I put a few in a pot as well. I’m excited to watch our little garden grow throughout the summer, and will update you as we go!

Ok so second project! We built a flowerbed for our Knockout Roses and pink Crepe Myrtles! I’m SO glad we finally did this because it totally transformed that little end of the yard. It looks amazing, and so far the only pain is pulling weeds because we couldn’t put down a weed blocker first. (So ignore the weeds in the photos below – we’re already behind after lots of rain!) I really need to add a few more bags of mulch eventually, and the last few stones once it’s safe to go back in stores, but I’m loving the result! The brown mulch pops against the hot pink rose bushes and it just feels so much better and like a designated space. Barrett still likes to run through it and “hide” but I would imagine once he accidentally pokes himself on a rose bush thorn, that might end! Ha!

Now, third project! This is a small project, but I just had to document it incase it inspires anyone else! When we planted my big purple Crepe Myrtle last summer, I always felt like it needed some sort of designation or flowerbed to itself. I’d toyed with the idea of making a BIG corner-shaped flower bed around and behind it, but recently opted for just a simple stone circle and some fresh mulch. I LOVE how it spruced up the area and made my sweet little tree look a little dressed up! It was super affordable for a huge update!

Lastly, our fourth project! We’re gearing up to have our front yard’s landscaping redone/updated! The main flowerbed that sits up against our house and sidewalk is a huge mess of an eyesore. It’s filled with the most basic shrubs and plants that came with the house when we bought it, and honestly have probably been there since the house was even built back in 2012! It’s just annoying to look at, more than anything, and I’ve been dying to have a professional help us overhaul it. Our HOA requires a certain amount of ‘evergreen’ shrubs, but other than that, we can get creative. Well, not too creative. But, we just want something nice that’s going to last a long time, add a tiny pop of color, and be very low maintenance. We’re hiring this out, and I could not be more excited!

A few plants on my wish list include:

  • A large white Crepe Myrtle
  • A rose bush
  • Purple Salvia
  • Some form of stone
  • Low maintenance evergreen shrubs
  • Fresh mulch

Our landscaper I’m hoping will be able to just take my ideas and run with it and create something that actually goes together. We need things that can withstand Texas heat, lots of sun, and be very difficult for us to kill!

Once it’s complete, I’ll be back with an update!

I’ll leave you with some randomly snapped photos of our little backyard oasis. Every day we spend back there watching the kids play feels like a dream, and I just it so much. I’m looking forward to long summer nights in our new patio furniture under our twinkle lights while we all get our last-minute wiggles out before the sun goes out. It’s not perfect, but the memories have been endless.

What are your favorite landscaping hacks? Favorite outdoor or indoor plants? Questions for me about ours?

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Lisa
    June 25, 2020 at 2:21 am

    I’m a plant lady too! But I love roses and have been buying and planting them a lot this year. I love your raised flower bed- looks so nice and neat in your yard!

  • Reply
    Janie Yap
    July 4, 2020 at 4:41 am

    Hi Sarah, thanks for the article. I enjoy reading your garden projects – makes me want my own outdoor garden space as well.
    Janie Yap recently posted…How to Drill a Hole in a Clay PotMy Profile

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