Updating front yard planter

Updating front yard planter

How is everyone’s week going? It is the first official week of summer here for us. My kid’s are home all day, everyday, all week, and it is so exhausting fun! I am enjoying having them home, but there is no more nap times for my crew of littles. Getting things done here, at home, laundry, going to the bathroom, it is all becoming difficult to do. But, I did get a major eye sore in our front yard handled.

As Nora is displaying in a great way, we do not like this middle planter. Two thumbs wayyyy down! I do not know what happened, spring came and the grass decided to smother anything and everything in this planter. Our neighbor’s home value’s went down, we got some side eyes from the passing people, we brought the whole street down with this over grown planter. One ugly planter and there goes the neighborhood. Trying to not have a strongly worded note be put in our mailbox, we got to work beautifying it.

I headed to a local nursery. There was so many green houses, bursting with flowers! I decided I need a few acres of land, all of which needs to be landscaped. I wanted more than I had room to put. Or money to buy. The struggle is real.

Nora was in flower heaven too, a girl after my own heart. Her and I get along great. 

First things first, determine what can be saved and dig up the rest. There is two lavender plants (I think that is what they are) that should work in here. Everything else was dead or too mixed in with grass to keep. 
Break for a Mommy selfie! Important step in this flower bed updating journey. 
Dale brought out the big guns (his muscles) and turned up the dirt. Making it all mixed so that we could start digging the holes for the flowers to go. 
Nora took a break to read. This is tough stuff here. 

I spaced out the plants, while still in their container’s in the planter. Trying to keep it symmetric, visually appealing, and even. There is varying heights for these plants. I will explain the how’s and why’s of choosing these plants more in a little bit. It involved paying attention to growth heights of each plant. Also the fact that they will survive the arctic blast that is every year here in Wisconsin during winter. It is slim pickings for long term plants.

Nora and Gavin wanted to “help”…. or just play in the dirt. 

This is what Caleb and Gavin did almost the whole time, ran up and down our driveway. Would any of you be surprised to hear that both boy’s ended up with some kind of scrape and band aide on them? Didn’t think so. It was pretty much a guarantee.

The plants are all sitting in their designated holes with some new special growing soil sprinkled around them and in the hole. Help these babies grow. 
Dale, the go-to heavy lifter around here brought out the mulch. I have never been a huge fan of mulch, I prefer dirt or grass in the planters. But, this stuff helps control the weeds. It is magical and so worth it. 

Spread the mulch out throughout the planter. 

This planter is now done. Improved and no longer the black sheep of our streets front yard. 
Stand back and admire your work. 

Now, I will break down and explain the flowers I put in here…

These are called Dianthus, they will grow to be 18-24” and can handle temperatures to get down to -30 degrees. As of right now, on this warm and beautiful June day I am in denial that it gets that cold here. Unfortunately, it is the cold, hard truth of living all the way up here in Wisconsin.

This is a dwarf daisy plant. It will get up to 16” full grown and will spread out some. With the large center plants there I needed something just as substantial in the middle. This should do the trick. I guess these plants are hardy and sturdy for harsh winds and weather. Again, something we need here.

There is where me having it together falls apart. I do not have the little information thing that came with this plant. It is a no flowering plant that will grow out more than up. My secret is out, I am using my cheat sheet and not my non-existent knowledge of plants to tell you about these plants.

This is a English daisy. It will grow to be 4-6” tall, so not much bigger than it is now. Which is why I placed this where it is. I wanted something low in the font. Because this is a middle planter in the yard, all sides will be seen. So the goal was big in the center and then fan out to more low lying plants. 

I call these the purple ladies, their “given” name is balloon flower. They can get up to 24” tall and about 12” wide. So this is going to fill up this space. Being located where these two are helps with my plan of fanning out from center to side with big to small.

Here is where I deviate from the plan of action I fell in love with these Calla Lily’s, which are only hardy in up to 40 degree weather. Which is a nice fall day here. I will have to pull these and plant new next year, but they are so pretty I just had to break my own rule. I have always said that I will plant flowers that are winter lasting, in our flower beds. I do plant ones that need to be replanted every year, but in little buckets on our porch. I just had to have these! I am a rule breaker, walk on the wild side, Calla Lilly buyer, oh yeah, look at me now!

This is a no flowering plant, which I do not have the cheat sheet of. It will get big-ish and be a good round shape. I tried to mix flowering and none flowering to make it all appealing.

All of these flowers are full sun. When I was taking these pictures, it literally hurt my eyes because it was smack dab in the middle of the day. I also had to go in and turn down some of the brightness of these in photo editing. Seriously, the sun was too sunny. My pictures looked fake. How is that for random?

We have slowly transformed this front yard. We added a ton of curb appeal over the last few years. We are not planning on selling our home anytime soon. But, still wanted to make our house cute and welcoming. This planter is a little on the sparse side, right now. When dealing with gardening, less is more. Things can become messy, crowded and overgrown so fast. This should be a good looking planter by the end of summer. I will post a picture of it then, so you can see the difference of a few months of growing does. If by next summer it still seems a little too bare I can always add things in to fill it out more. 
I shared with you all my home tour here. I am hoping this weekend I get some nice weather and I can take some pictures of my outdoor space. Give a little tour of the flowers, projects, and plans for our front and back yard. I just need to not plan to take pictures mid day, with the sun being all rude and bright then. Geesh, doesn’t it care that I have blog pictures that need taking? I need natural light, not blinding light. The moral of the story for today is, don’t be the one house that has ugly planter’s, keep track of your cheat sheet flower info, and the sun is bright. Class dismissed!

Do you enjoy gardening, going broke for the sake of flowers?



  1. Well done mama. I gotta get my kids to help out more!

  2. Looks great! I know the struggle, whenever I visit a nursery it's so hard to settle on a few plants/flowers, I want to buy them all! I love flowers and planting but it does get expensive!

  3. Looking good! I love lavender. It's neat that you actually have a plan. I just mix it all up and end up with some height and space problems and am always moving things.

    • I usually try to organize the planters. When we bought the house it was a hodge podge of stuff. As we have had to redo a lot of it I try to be more mindful of what is going where.

  4. I love reading everything you write!!
    So many fun things (the sun was too sunny!! Haha love it) and your projects always turn out amazing!

    UGhhh the struggle is real for sure. I get so caught up when we go to the green houses and I want to buy everything! But I have to limit myself because wow those little flowers add up fast!

    I'm the same with Mulch! It's love hate! I don't love it but it works well so my husband goes mulch mad and puts it between everything.

    Your house looks adorable! Great job green thumbs 😉

  5. The planter looks great now! Amazing what colorful plants and mulch can do! Nice job!

  6. Well done!! Love the arrangement. I love a great looking front yard, but I'm really grossed out with bugs.

    • Ha ha, I am not the greatest with bugs either, I do squeal a lot of i find something by me. My kid's are obsessed with them, catch them, and hold them hostage in containers with grass and dirt. They name them and everything.

  7. Looks great! Amazing what a little mulch and flowers can so!

  8. I love Nora in the first picture! I'm the same way when the weeds have taken over my flower beds. I'm not very patient, and hate the way plants & flowers first look when you plant them…like you need so many more. But when they start blooming and spreading, watch out!!

    • I was taking pictures of the flower bed and she posed like this on her own. She was doing dramatic interpretation? I agree about the flowers taking too long to grow. It is hard to not over plant things just because I do not like the sparse beginnings of flowers.

  9. It looks awesome!! We own a lawn and landscape business so I know how much hard work went into your project. You did an amazing job!

    • Now I am all nervous knowing a true professional is looking at my flower bed. You are so kind to praise my work 🙂 It was a lot of work to get all of that grass out. No small task, and lots of sore, achy arms and shoulders during the purging of weeds.

  10. Nice work! I love the mix of plants and flowers you chose.

  11. It looks great! I love the comments about the neighbors, lol. When we put in our sod and went through "phase 1" of our yard makeover we got SO many neighbors stopping by (whom had never spoken to us in the two years we've lived here) and telling us how great it looked… makes you realize how bad it really was before. 😉

  12. Oh wow, it looks beautiful, love your choice of flowers too!
    I've nominated you for a blogging award! – http://bit.ly/SOTWBA 🙂


  13. This looks great! And your family always seems to have so much fun together 🙂

    • Thank you! I had to laugh, because when your comment came through for me to approve I had one child screaming and crying while on time out and I just finished consoling a hurt child who got hit from a flying LEGO from the child on timeout. We balance it out with chaos and fun 😉

  14. Looks great! I love making over the yard. Puts a smile on your face everytime you get home.

  15. It looks great! Fun family activity!I'm seriously 'green' with envy from your green lawn! We are all but dead down here because of the drought ):

  16. We had a yard with little island planters like this once. It was a lot of work to get them to look good. I eventually put in some shrubs on large perennials. Yours looks much better and will look even nicer as the plants grow.

  17. Looks beautiful!!! Love how it turned out!

  18. Looks awesome Emily! You're too funny… The neighbors house value went down! LOL our subdivision is crazy about certain things too! Holy moly!

    • Ha ha, our HOA is pretty good with things like that. No one has ever complained about our ugly planter. I do feel the pressure though, the people who surround our house have like showcase style yards and flowers beds. Me…. I have chalk drawings on my driveway. We are making more of a effort now!

  19. What I really love about this is how much you involved your family! I love getting ideas of getting my kids out of the house and involved. It looks beautiful and thanks for all your explanation on the plants 🙂

  20. I'm slowly working on a flower garden redo at my house. They have a lot of plants, but I'm not in love with the placement or design. I love moving things around and finding the perfect combo.

    • I understand your feelings, we have been going planter by planter for about 3 summers now and updating one at a time. This one was the last one, because of the size i think I was putting it off. I am so happy it is done though.

  21. Great stuff! The new flower bed is looking great. This just reminds of my pretty lame flower bed on my front lawn. Im gonna have to get some work done there!

  22. Oh, I'm so jealous of your huge garden! Beautiful planter and a great way to start the summer.:-)

  23. Such a big improvement!! You're such a rebel with those callas 😉 NIce job!!

  24. So much better. Beautiful home and your family look like so much fun!! I need to do some updating, too. Certainly don't want to receive one of those notes from the neighbors, too!

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