Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Natural landscaping on a budget

Last week I showed some of the porches that we were working on, and it took *all* week to get everything pressure-washed, re-stained and railings painted. We also put out mulch around the house and I cleaned up all the beds. 

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This is the first time I think I have actually had new mulch down and most of the azaleas blooming at the same time.

I asked for opinions on my facebook page on dark mulch vs. cypress mulch, and I ended up going with my first choice, which was cypress. 

We have so much area to cover that it *should* be cheaper to get it by the truck load, but with the bags of cypress being $1.98, it was pretty much even, and we only used 50 bags. Honestly, mulch is my one indulgence for the year, and I'm not kidding:-)

We have done everything here ourselves and used a lot of native plants from the woods including rhododendron, mountain laurel and wood ferns. My mother has given me azaleas, hostas, day lilies, liriope, and this year a rose bush and two hydrangeas, as well as the ferns for the porch.

I bought the white azaleas five years ago at $1.98 each, and they are really beautiful this year. They are a great low-cost plant that requires no maintenance. 

The purple rhododendrons bloom first here, then the native laurel and white rhododendrons will bloom later. 

You can see my new rail fence across the creek that my dad split rails for. Our rooster loves it too and is frequently sitting on top. 

Although we have all the furniture back up on the porches, they have not been "accessorized" yet because I need to recover some of the cushions. I wanted to get rid of the faded red cushions and bring the vintage style I have on the inside out on the porch. I really want to paint these french doors green, but I didn't want to spend $21 on green paint, so they might get black, which I think would look great too. 

However, after all the work we did last week, I'd really rather be here:-)

Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comments. I try to return them, but never get around to all of them, but please know how much I appreciate them. Please come by my facebook page because we really do enjoy more interaction there. 

Today, I cannot post anything without mentioning the victims of storms in Oklahoma as it is heavy on my heart. We can all pray for healing but we can also help out by donating to organizations that are there on the ground helping. Here are three that I recommend:


I'll be joining:


  1. Your yard is beautiful! We just put 60 bags of red mulch in our backyard which has a more tropical theme. I like your choice of the cypress mulch, it looks quite lovely in this setting!

  2. Anita, you undoubtedly have the most amazingly beautiful yard I've ever seen. I love a natural setting and yours is wonderful. I adore every bit of it and I would truly love to have a split rail fence like that one day. I just know I would sit on your porch and read and commune with Gods' creation every single day.

  3. Your yard and porch are stunning! I can see that the upkeep and work must be huge. We have a big porch too and it takes a lot of time. The orientals on the porch are such a great and unexpected touch! Big decor appeal!
    Now I need a nap... you made me tired just thinking about everything you have done!

  4. I always enjoy visiting your yard and your home, Anita. Your garden plantings look so natural and fit right in with the scenery of the woodland. The new mulch looks great and highlights the plants. Blessings to you. Pamela

  5. What a beautiful view! Your flowers are just gorgeous

  6. I am going to give blood (along with 3 friends) on Thurs. Your yard and porches look BEAUTIFUL!!! We are doing the same thing but at 2 houses!!! The old house is all mulched and blooming and looks beautiful right now, just need a BUYER!!!! I love your swing too. Your house and setting remind me SO much of our old house.....so many memories. Your rugs on the porch are so pretty , and I think black on the doors would be gorgeous!!!! XO, Pinky

  7. What a wonderful natural looking garden ... beautiful native plants. I can only imagine the work you put in to get the mulch where it needed to be.
    I want to just relax in your swing and enjoy :-)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs, Gee

  8. Your yard is gorgeous! I love using plants that are natural to the landscape. While I live in town we have a lot of things that are natural in the Pacific Northwest - rhododendrons, azaleas, mountain laurel and more. I have a teeny, tiny porch that is just big enough for a couple of people to stand on while waiting for the door to open. Oh, how I wish I had a beautiful, big porch like yours. I had dreams of adding one but my sweetheart told me that would have to wait until some day when we could redo the roof structure! Think maybe that's not going to happen! In the meantime I'll just enjoy yours and others I see here.

  9. The landscaping is so pretty and peaceful.....great job!

  10. Your yard is gorgeous. I gave up on mulch and use pine straw since we have pines any way. But your mulch is lovely.

  11. Your yard is shaping up beautifully, Anita. Love it.

  12. Your landscaping is gorgeous, Anita! You must love sitting on your wonderful porch!
    Mary Alice

  13. Your home is beautiful inside and out.

  14. Beautiful! I would be sitting in that swing with a book and a cup of coffee right about now! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  15. Anita your home and property are just so gorgeous! :-)

  16. I always enjoy seeing your gorgeous garden. You'd find me on one of those grand porches gazing out to the garden, if I were to stop by to visit. '-)

  17. I love it Anita!
    What a beautiful job you have done.
    Your property and landscaping is gorgeous.
    And I love that you can do it on a budget too.
    Happy week ahead,

  18. I understand how much work all you did is. Your yard and home looks beautiful. Thank you for sharing . I really enjoyed it . Now, pull up a chair on your pretty porch and enjoy your beauty.

  19. Everything looks gorgeous Anita - love the 2 carpets on the front porch - can't wait to see the furniture on it!

  20. Your landscape looks beautiful! We were up in Blowing Rock for a week(last week) and the rhododendron were all blooming. Dark and light pink and the purple ones too. So gorgeous!

  21. Anita, I love your yard in the spring. So much so I made it a screen saver. The spring tour this year was awesome.