Exterior & Garden

Creating an Insta-worthy Backdrop Outside

This is the third post of three sponsored by RISE’s AND not OR home and garden program. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


This was a fun one! With kind of a funny behind-the-scenes bit of info, but more on that in a second. First, how cute is this little setup?

Creating an Insta-Worthy Backdrop Outdoors | Nicole Balch, Making it Lovely

I’ve been working on various updates outside. More shrubs, a couple of planters over here, a pair of chairs over there — that kind of thing, all with the help of AND not OR. These new goodies will be moved to their intended destinations, but first I gathered them up to create an Insta-worthy seating area.

Between Two Ferns

You’ve seen these planters already. Do you recognize the setting? I was going to stage my seating in front of the back fence but the ground was muddy so I moved everything to our parking pad on the other side. Just beautifying the alley temporarily, like that’s a totally normal thing! (I hope my antics brightened your day, neighbors.)

Initial Setup

Initially, I had planned on a pair of arborvitae to anchor the grouping, surrounded by a mix of flowering perennials and annuals in containers. It wasn’t as full as I’d like though, so a couple of Weigela joined the mix, along with more planters borrowed from out front and pillows for the chairs.

Initial Setup With Sketched Changes

I used to think of potted annuals as a waste of time and money. Is that terrible to admit? ‘Why would I want to plant something that’s going to die,’ I thought, ‘when I could choose perennials that are come back every year?’ Well, perennials don’t always bloom a lot the first year or grow much. Annuals like petunias and geraniums are like The Little Engine That Could of the garden; they’re ready to go and keep on going all season long. I now happily include them each year.

Some popular plants (geraniums included) are prone to problems. Starting with a good quality potting mix is helpful, especially when container gardening. If you find yourself with plants that aren’t doing well though and you’re giving them the sun and water they need, you may have garden pests. The AND Approach can help you find, solve, and prevent future problems.

Planting Annual Flowers (Zinnias)
Arborvitae and Wine & Roses Weigela in Planters | Making it Lovely

This look can be easily recreated with any substitutions you like (either items you prefer or already have). Two large planters, four tall urns, four smaller urns, and a colorful pot contain all of the greenery. I think these chairs are pretty much the cutest around, but any pair of chairs, a bench, or an outdoor sofa/loveseat would be work. The decor consists of a pair of pillows, an outdoor rug, garden stool (as table), string lights, and a few lanterns.

A Mix of Annuals and Perennials in Planters and Containers | Making it Lovely

Planting everything in containers made it easy for me to move things around for photos (ahem, Instagram, this was kind of made for you). They do require more plant food and water though, in addition to pest control.

You can find more quick and easy projects like this from AND not OR, and I hope this photo-ready seating area can give you some ideas! It works if you have a blank backdrop you’re looking to fill, whether you’ll be container gardening or planting directly in the ground!

Creating an Insta-Worthy Backdrop Outdoors | Making it Lovely
Create a Cute Backdrop with Seating and Plants in Containers | Making it Lovely
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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Victoria
    May 24, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I like it. In some shots those chairs look gold, which I would totally be on board with by the way.
    I’m getting really annoyed with greenfly on the roses and I can’t seem to keep mint healthy, but the roses themselves are doing well after serious cutting back earlier in the year.

  • Reply
    judy
    May 24, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    that is so pretty-can the chairs be left out in bad weather? I love your outfits but I especially like your long haired glasses big ear rings picture on the front page that suits you to a T

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