Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may make a commission if you decide to make a purchase through one of my links, at no cost to you.

As I’ve mentioned in recent posts, I’ve been spending this gorgeous weather we’ve had lately outside. And while that would normally be lovely regardless of the activity, gardening is definitely not one of my favorites. I know there are plenty of people who enjoy it, but I wonder: do they all just live in a different part of the country? Mosquitoes around here make gardening pretty effing terrible.

Anyway, onto the update. As a blogger, the whole “after” thing takes a lot more work when it’s an exterior project, mainly due to how many other things there are in the shot that might ruin the whole look. I had all of the exterior siding repaired less than two months ago, so I told myself that I wanted to get the rest of the yard looking more finished so I could have some decent pics of the house for a change (after five years of being embarrassed by it, I think we’re just going to chalk this up to stubbornness). So, next up on the to-do list: the front garden.

mystery mums

My front garden gets planted about once or twice a year, and then is left alone for the rest (mostly because I have too many other projects going on to care). Still, considering that it’s directly in front of the house and all of the new work on the siding I just had done, leaving this alone would leave my “after” pictures looking pretty shabby, even with the new hanging baskets:

I started out by cleaning up the scraggly shrubs. I’d already done a lot of the trimming before this point, but pine straw tends to get really tangled underneath and between the lower branches. I found this little shrub rake that seems to work pretty well at getting at the pine straw without pulling at the branches above.

I then began digging each hole for the new plants. As you can probably guess from the post title, I went with some fall mums. They’re perennials, so there’s always the chance that they might stick around next year, but you never know what this garden’s going to look like (and you longtime readers may remember the mangled one that never came back after it was destroyed going in!).

To help protect the area a little bit more from weeds, I used some watered-down newspaper before spreading around some dark brown mulch.

And there you have it: mums!

It really makes the rest of the front area look so much better. (Ignore the light blue paint on the ceiling that isn’t finished, though… it’s mid-project.)

There’s only one little thing, though… I have no idea what color these are going to be. There were no labels in the store, the clerk didn’t have a clue, and when the buds are this small, they all tend to look the same color (though I think they’re probably light, such as white or yellow… the darker colors tend to have a slight hue in the middle of each bud).

The front area of the house has never looked quite this good. It’s really coming along, and I’m glad that all of this yard work is hopefully paying off for a very colorful fall. What color do you think the mums will be?

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy: I love comments, especially if they make me laugh. Feel free to let your words of wisdom and humor fly (there's no swear jar on this blog), but if you're overly spammy, rude, or just plain boring, you're just going to have to accept that your comment may not see the light of day. P.S. If you leave an affiliate or monetized link when making a comment on this site, such links might get overwritten by a plugin I have installed that uses my own internal tracking. See terms and disclosure page for more info! Thanks in advance. You rock.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Hey Sarah! I think you’re correct…white or yellow. I love the beer (I think) bottle detail in the one photo—from what you’ve said, it’s so you:)

    1. Haha, I don’t see one in any of these photos (I don’t recall having any during this project, but that’s not always the case of course!). Are you referring to the bottle of bug spray on the railing? I had to use it about every five minutes during this project with the amount of mosquitoes I was battling!

  2. I would be happy if it were just mossies we had to contend with but we also during the year have flying cockroaches (my daughter used to call them cockerlitches when she was very young, I much prefer that word) our cat likes to bring them into the house and then I run around jumping on furniture to get away from the bloody things I hate them! Then of course we have the Processionary caterpillars which are very dangerous. Sand flies not very nice…they sting and of course really not good for your dog either…they make them very sick! Big spiders, snakes…you name it we have it here! Then we also have these what can only be described as long stick insect type things which look like a stick of celery…I have pictures of one…I really do need to get my husband to download paintshop pro for me. So I guess my point is that whilst I would love to get in the garden I think I might hire a gardener when the garden looks less like a building site!

  3. i love the idea of mystery mums! any color of mum seems to be quite nice, so i think it’ll be great to see when they open. i like the red-wine colored ones. great job tidying up your gardens!