Garden

The 4 Point 8 Hour Challenge

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

You’ve all heard of the Better Homes & Gardens 48 Hour Challenge, right?  It’s where five top bloggers were chosen to makeover their porch in 48 hours with a $500 gift card from Home Depot, at the chance of winning a $5,000 bonus. Today was Mr. CG’s birthday, so while the tots stayed a bit late at school, for his birthday I spent 4.8 hours redoing the outdoor balcony he shares with his male business partners.  Yes, you heard me, four point eight hours!  I was entrusted with the job and given the same budget of $500 from the office, and all of my purchases came from Home Depot as well.

Here’s the CHALLENGE:  $500 budget from the office.  300 square feet of barren balcony, except for a few pieces of neutral furniture.  Four point eight hours (before the kids need picked up from school).

First things first, two rugs to define the seating areas.  At Home Depot, I purchased two 5×7 outdoor rugs for $59 each.  Then I also purchased one can of spray paint for $4.  With a bit of painter’s tape, I gave the neutral outdoor rugs a dark red band around the edge.  I also purchased some red and tan patterned pillows for $13 each to accent the loveseat and the chairs.

Next, I purchased some  deep red fiberglass planters for $39 each, and some plants to fill them.  I chose bamboo plants ($20 each) and a dwarf palm ($15).  I topped them off with ‘borrowed’ river rocks from the gigantic supply in the rock garden on the first floor.   River rocks on top of soil help make great mulch.

Then I created a mini garden in a $12 pot with $1 succulents, some aloe vera, and a red blooming cactus.  I also added the rock fountain from the office’s interior, and my own rock sculpture (that’s just river stones stacked on top of one another).

The business partners were very pleased with the transformation.

 

 

 

The deep red adds the necessary burst of color.  The river rocks and bamboo add “zen” as well as the succulents garden.  The rugs, planters and pillows unite the whole space, and it was all done for less than $500 and in less than five hours.  Rugs and paint = $123; Plants = $90; Planters and Soil = $130; Adirondack chairs and 6 pillows = $104; Bird Feeders and Nectar = $13.  Total without tax = $460

 

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Spray Paint: My Best Friend, Your Best Friend

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

For those of you who read my musings, you all know I have a deep and profound crush on spray paint.  I fondly refer to it as my BFF. 

I also have an addiction to the garden department at my local Lowes.  It’s about 5,000 square feet of botanical beauty.  Restraining myself, I picked up only two miniature rose trees to add some greenery to my garden kitchen window.  Then I was on my way to look at planters when it dawned on me: perhaps I don’t need a new cachepot if a little spray paint can satisfy.  Holding my breath and crossing my fingers, I dipped my toe into the shallow end of a line of spray paint I have never used before:  paint designed for plastic.  And it worked.

I turned a standard terra cotta colored plastic pot into a ceramic look planter, all with a little spray paint.  And now you can too. 

Before and After: 

tree before and after

My friends, I cannot begin to tell you how delighted I was with this product. 

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