It started at Costco where I bought a flat of six geraniums. I like the ones they have there, because they get the nice red ones, real red, not the weird orange-y red you usually find.
At Home Depot, I hit a great sale on hardy mums. The garden center had a shelves of them reduced to 75 cents each, about four dollars off the regular price. I bought a dozen in a variety of pink, yellow, and orange. I mean, come on -- less than a buck a bloom? That's cheap color. And with a name like "hardy mum", maybe I won't be able to kill it right off. The label also said they were "deer resistant", but as we don't often see ungulates in the yard, I'm not too concerned about that.
The snapdragons are volunteers from last year. I didn't know they came back, but apparently they do. The little mums are at an awkward stage. Their first blooms were already a little tatty when I bought them --why they were cheap-- so they look kind of straggly now. The snapdragons loom over them and the geraniums that looked red at Costco are more of that orange-y color I don't like. Some years the garden looks better than others, and I guess this might be an off year. Oh well.
Here's the back porch, with the gardenia, mums, lavender, and in the middle there, strawberries. That's a new thing for me. Fresh strawberries taste so much better than the store ones! I hope to find them a more permanent place once I've cleared out more of the weeds in the flowerbeds.
I got a baby fuschia for another dollar because they're just so cute when they're little! It has two tiny blooms on it. I like fuschias, but they're so expensive when you buy a big hanging basket. This little one will grow enough and provide some pretty color alongside the pale pink mums.
When we first moved here, I hated the hostas in the back garden. Now I love them. They look amazing with absolutely no help from me, which is a big plus, and they make the plants next to them look good, too. The lilac bush is starting to get out of control, covered in yummy-smelling purple. I got a new pink rhododendron shrub because the color was just so pretty. I'll probably have to move it out of that pot by next year, but for now it looks nice -- and it's portable. There's another Costco geranium, looking all orange-y.
I would love to have hummingbird feeders out in the yard, but with our two cats out there, I'd feel terribly guilty coaxing them in to what might be their last meal!
Not pictured but also potted: two tomato plants and some Thai basil. Yummy!
And finally, look! I made something! I took a few yards of stuff I got at thrift (I think I paid about seven dollars) and made bunting edge from scraps of linen and some bias tape. Two curtain rods and some hooks later, and I've got as cunning a sunshade as you could ask for. I picked up the two wicker chairs for $15 at a yard sale today, moved my potted rhody nearby, and look out Sunset Magazine, right? Well, it's not fancy, but it's bright and appealing, and this evening it was very pleasant to sit out there with an iced tea and... stare at the barbeque grill and the deck that needs painting. I gotta do something about that view. I guess I could turn the chairs around and stare into the shrubbery. Hmm. Well, I'll come up with something. I always do!