Now that the weather is warmer, I have been very excited about adding some flowers to the front of the house. Though my taste tends to run more toward old fashioned plants and flowers with a muted palette (while, blues, and purples), I felt like the rectory really needed some color to brighten up its drab beige and terracotta facade. Fortunately, the previous owner of the house left all of his wrought iron window boxes and hanging baskets as well as a number of very large planters, which saved us quite a bit of money. We decided to tackle the window boxes and hanging baskets first.
I bought new liners for all of the boxes and baskets (I am hoping that they will last for two or three years!) and lots of these colorful Calibrachoa plants. They like full sun and being watered daily, but are quite hardy which is great for a lackadaisical gardener like moi.
Unfortunately, it is hard to see how much they seem to brighten up the front of the house in these pictures! My hope is to fill the large terracotta planters with more of the Calibrachoa in the next week or so. In addition, I would like to get a tall plant for either side of the front door. I saw a few at the nursery that might work well. There are also some that we can bring indoors over the winter and return outside next spring.
We have a meeting with a landscaper to discuss plans for the landscaping in front of the house tomorrow morning. Believe it or not, it used to be much nicer (if you care for the desert look!) before all the work began (adding parking and the underground electric work for the half-completed light posts you see in some of the pictures). I am hoping that they go for a little more contrast this time. Due to financial constraints, much of the work will have to wait until a later date, but we will be planting two trees in front of the house quite soon (they are needed for us to gain occupancy for the church!). I am rooting for Crape Myrtle!
Other projects that we are hoping to undertake in the distant future are: a new front door for the house (to match the gorgeous new church doors), new wooden shutters stained to match the door, power washing the house, painting the stucco where needed, painting that board on the porch ceiling that the swing is hung from, finishing the light posts and painting the light posts black to match the rest of the hardware on the house, and either painting the swing black or staining it to match the rest of the house.