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?
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!