gardening newbie

This Saturday Mike and I decided to take on our sad, empty garden bed at the front of our house.  We got these tools and a pair of gloves for him and some gloves for me.  And then we jumped right in!

We had a little bit of mulch in our bed already but it’d been sitting there for months.  So we raked most of it to the side and put down six 2 cu ft bags of Miracle Gro flower garden soil.

We really didn’t know what flowers we wanted except for the fact that whatever we got needed to do good in the shade.  We looked around at Home Depot and Walmart but the options were limited for shade plants.  So we went to Westwood Gardens down the street from us and they had a ton of stuff.

At this point I was overwhelmed, how do you choose?  We bothered a couple employees and decided to just go for it, so if it was pretty and would work in the shade it went in our cart.

We ended up getting:

1 old-fashioned bleeding heart – perennial – part shade to full shade

bleeding heart

2 creeping phlox – perennial – partly shade to full shade – attracts butterflies

creeping phlox

3 columbine aquilegia ‘songbird blue jay’ – perennial  – full sun to full shade – attracts hummingbirds


6 double impatiens fiesta ole purple stripe – annual – shade

double impatiens

6 alyssum clear crystal white – annual – sun or part sun (looks like we didn’t realize this one isn’t a shade flower, guess we’ll just cross our fingers that they last)


And did we look at prices at all?  Sort of, but not really.  At this point we were both getting tired and didn’t care.  But the grand total for all of these flowers was $91.31.

Mike with the goods..



Next we planted everything.  Perennials in the back, annuals in the front.  Then we put the mulch back on top and added 3 more bags of new brown mulch.  Lastly, we put in these solar powered lights that we got from Home Depot, not a bad deal and they do work.





It turned out nice and makes the house look much better.  We may add some more flowers and edging stones later.  Now if we can just keep everything alive…


…is something I don’t know much about.  But my hope is to change that this Spring.  Our landscaping is non-existent and I’d like to at least fill up our front flower beds.  Here are the resources I’ll be checking out for inspiration and guidance.


Better Homes & Gardens – No Fuss Garden Plan


Better Homes & Garden – Vegetable Garden Plan


Better Homes & Garden – Garden Plans for Shady Spots – they also have one for full sun


Unknown Source – Bulb Planting Guide


Keeper of the Home – Vegetable Gardening for Beginners


Mother Nature Network – How to Start a Cutting Garden

veggie garden

Mother Nature Network – Get Your Vegetable Garden off to a Good Start


Mother Nature Network – Make Landscaping Butterfly Friendly

My plan is to start out slow and eventually fill up a couple spots in our yard.  I have a feeling it’ll be a lot of trial and error, but hopefully these resources will help!  22 days until Spring!