There is just something about having a cozy outdoor space to hang out in during the summer. Somewhere you can go when you have a few minutes to relax and enjoy a glass of iced tea and a few pages of a book. And in the Fevens household, a place where you can let the kittens go out and enjoy a little fresh air without worrying about them getting away.
That’s why I adore our little back deck. It’s closed in so it’s safe for the kittens, it’s on the opposite side of the house from the road so it’s private and when the trees are in bloom pretty darn lovely. Usually we try to add some planters to the back patio in the summer, but because of the way the sun hits our house, it gets unbelievably hot out there, and we have a hard time keeping plants alive. Unless they are certified for planting directly on the surface of the sun, they usually start looking pretty sad after just a week or two.
Not only that, but after a long winter our deck was looking pretty sad and in need of some general TLC.
Much of the deck was replaced a few years ago, and we never got around to repainting so not only did it need to be cleaned up from winter, it also needed a fresh coat of paint. It’s something we’ve been meaning to do for well over a year, but just never got around to actually doing. So when President’s Choice contacted me about helping us with a deck makeover, I was excited to say, “YES!” This was just the push we needed to get our outdoor space cleaned up and ready for a summer of enjoyment.
Here in the Maritimes, Forest Glen Greenhouses is the grower Atlantic Superstore garden centres. Located in Brookfield, Nova Scotia that means the items you are picking up from the Superstore are locally grown right here in Nova Scotia!
Judy Thompson (from Forest Glen Greenhouses) was kind enough pick out some plants for us based on the photos I had sent of our deck and how much sun I told her that spot gets. Because she was in Halifax the day I was taking a yoga training at the Canada Games Centre, she gave the plants to Margaret (our lovely local President’s Choice PR rep) who then met me in the Canada Games Centre parking lot after my course ended to give them to me. My car was packed to the brim with plants!
Miraculously, I made it all the way home (over an hour drive) without any of the window boxes getting knocked over or spilling in my car. Phew!
But now that I had the plants, it was time to get to work on that deck! First up we cleared out the old plant pots and debris, then I spent a very sweaty afternoon last week scrubbing the siding where that green moss/algae/whatever was starting to develop. A few Magic Erasers, buckets of water and some white vinegar took care of that grossness.
Next up was painting. Fortunately, we still had the paint from when we originally painted it green so I dug that out, scraped the old paint and then went to work painting the lattice (everyone’s least favourite thing to paint) and sides. We left the floor of the deck natural, but might still paint or stain it later.
Honestly, I was shocked at how much better the deck looked just with a coat of paint. What you can’t see in the pictures is that on the outside of the long side of the deck the lattice was still white (because again – nobody likes painting lattice), and I painted it all green. It looks so much nicer now.
Also, can we talk about the difference in the tree in the pictures on the top? The photo on the left was taken on May 8th, and the photos on the bottom were taken on June 3rd. Wow.
Anyway, you’ve got a sneak peek at the after pictures but before I show you all the beauty of our patio, I want to talk a bit about the plants Judy chose for us.
We got 4 window boxes and a planter that were made for full sun, and contain:
- Calliope Geranium medium rose
- Petunia purple halo
- Calibrachoa – white and purple (these are the ones that look like mini petunias)
- Verbena twister purple
They really are beautiful.
We also got an herb planter which contains pineapple sage, wild magic basil, red ball basil, lemon thyme and lemon balm. I think it’s so fun that they aren’t your run-of-the-mill herbs but ones we can still use and enjoy.
With the window boxes, I also got a bag of gigantic zip ties to use in order to affix the window boxes to the top of the railings. It was a bit tricky to get them threaded through the bottom of the window boxes (thankfully the holes were already there), but only took 5-10 minutes total to do. It is a two person job attaching them to the top of the railings. One person to hold the window box, the other to pull the zip ties snug. Ask me how I know? Yeah, I nearly dumped one of the window boxes out while trying to do it myself like a dummy.
Really though it wasn’t hard to install them, and they sit pretty securely once in place.
Besides putting everything where we wanted them, the only other thing we had left to do was fertilize everything. I used President’s Choice Magic Grow hanging basket and planter once-a-season plant food. It was easy to apply and it’s nice to know I only have to do it once!
I’ve never used plant food/fertilizer for the plants on my deck before, and quite possibly that is part of my problem – oops! So hopefully I’ll be able to keep these beauties looking good all season long!
In addition to the new window boxes and planters, we picked up some fun new chair covers (also from Atlantic Superstore – they were on sale for $25 a few weeks back). Once we had everything finished there was only one thing left to do.
Get approval from a couple of kittens!
[Tweet “Creating your own outdoor oasis with @preschoice #mypcgarden”]
I think they like it!
Another bonus of putting the window boxes on the top of the railings is it made it more difficult for a certain grey cat to jump over them. Because yeah, after being out there countless times she decided last Friday to try to jump over the gate which has no window box on it.
I managed to grab her by her skinny little bum but boy did she get my heart racing! We didn’t want to put one on that gate since you know, we open and close it, but now she’s got it in her head she can get over it so we have to keep a close eye on her. What a sneaky girl.
Look at her sitting on that chair looking DIRECTLY at the gate. My nerves.
We are just so pleased with how our mini makeover has turned out. It’s so nice to have a nice little outside oasis waiting for us anytime we want to relax in the sun, and all the plants from Atlantic Superstore really help to make it that much more beautiful.
For more information on the new and PC exclusive flowers you can head to myPCgarden.ca, you can also find resources, projects, and depending on where you live you can even order online!
Giveaway – ENDED
Thankfully we are still pretty early into the season so there is lots of time for you to have your own patio or deck makeover. To help you get started I’ve got a $100 President’s Choice gift card to give away to one of my Canadian readers!
[Tweet “I hope I win the @preschoice #mypcgarden #giveaway for a $100GC!”]
To enter, leave a comment below and left me know what you’d use the $100 Gift Card towards if you win!
Giveaway is open to all residents of Canada over 18, excluding Quebec.
Giveaway end at 12:01am on Friday, June 16, 2017. Winner to be chosen by random.org.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Atlantic Superstores, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.