Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sometimes it is About the Little Things... life and in the garden as well. Even though big tasks like pruning, fertilizing, and mulching all the roses and the unavoidable general autumn garden clean up are hovering over me, I decided to have some fun first and also get some instant gratification by doing some small things that do have a big visual impact.

This bed for example really could need a little something, don't you think? There is a lot of shade in the autumn and winter and it certainly looks gloomy at this time of the year. So I decided to plant a few small annuals to lighten up the space there. That is easier said then done in this area though, since it is packed with palm roots.

My gardener needed one and a half hour to dig six holes of a diameter one foot x one foot and one foot deep, and I assure you he wasn't killing time.

I was so happy when he was done and I finally could plant the six primula obconica 'Libre White' that I had bought recently just because I thought they were so pretty, but hadn't had a clue where to put them. They look so fresh and cheerful with their fresh green leaves.

I think the primulas are just perfect for this areas. Big difference before and after, don't you agree?

The bed to the left side of the front door also screamed bonjour tristesse and I wanted to do something about it. I thought that it needed a pop of color and how is that easier to achieve in autumn than by placing a container. 

I suddenly remembered that I had one more nicely shaped blue container in the garage and to my own surprise I found it immediately. But I hadn't had the right plant to go with it. So off I went to the nursery (not that I ever mind)...

...and found this beautiful cyclamen. Don't ask me about the name of the variety. It wasn't labeled. It really bugs me that not only big box stores don't label the plants properly, but nurseries do that as well nowadays.

Anyway, I popped it into my blue container and it turned out to be the perfect match.

I was even more pleased when I positioned the container in the bed. It has the right size, the right proportions, and it really added some needed interest to this bed. 

When I was at the nursery these two containers caught my attention. I loved the form...

... and they came with little cute feet. So I just couldn't say no to them. 

I had the two perfect plants just waiting in my pot ghetto for the new blue containers. A zonal geranium, sorry the plant wasn't labeled as well, and a bacopa 'Scopia Gulliver White'.

I plopped the newly bought and planted containers right by the walkway to the front door and really liked the result. The blue glaze of the containers is fitting perfectly with the two blue spheres that I have there for quite a while now.

Here is one close-up of the bacopa 'Scopia Gulliver White'. The blooms seem to be decidedly bigger compared to regular bacopas. I hope in time it will trail more over the edge of the container and have a bigger impact.

I promised to show you the containers that I planted a little while ago and positioned close to our front door in a previous post. Here they are! I really like the color that they add to this otherwise plain area. I had some doubts if the geranium would bloom through the autumn and winter here, but so far so good. It has made new flower stalks.

Lastly here is one more blue container with another zonal geranium that I placed on the pillar of our decorative wall. I think it makes this area so much more lively.

For me the little changes that I made are so worth it. It wasn't all that much work, but in my eyes they truly transformed certain areas in my garden.

What are little changes that you made, which led to big improvements in your garden? I am curious to know and maybe learn something new that I can make use of in my own small space.

Wishing all of you who celebrate it a happy Christmas season!

See you in the garden!



  1. Oh my goodness, das ist dein Garten? Und deine Tür? Wie aus einem Märchen, wunderschön. Ich liebe Türen. Es gibt ja Menschen, die fotografierte Türen sammeln. Soweit gehe ich allerdings nicht.

    Es ist schon erstaunlich, wie sehr sich die Bepflanzung von der unsrigen unterscheidet.


  2. Liebe Christina,
    das ist wirklich wunderschön geworden.
    Die blauen Töpfe und Kugeln passen perfekt
    zu den weiß blühenden Pflanzen :-)
    Ich wünsche dir noch einen gute Woche
    und ganz viele Grüße sendet dir Urte

  3. Those blue pots and balls do enhance and add a different dimension to your borders Christina, we like it! And yes, sometimes it's those little things that can add big cheer and amazing how big a difference they can actually make.

  4. Liebe Christina,

    sehr schön sieht dein Garten aus, ich liebe Palmen! Die blauen Töpfe und und Kugeln sind mit der Bepflanzung sehr edel.

    Liebe Grüße Ingrid

  5. Sigrun, thank you so much for your kind words! Yes, it is my front garden and my front door :-). I also have door thingy going ;-)!

    Urte, thanks, I also feel that the white flowering plants go very well with the blue containers. For me they are also a substitute for the missing snow here in winter ;-)

    Mark and Gaz, I am glad you like it! Since the results were so encouraging I intend to do more "little things" in the future.

    Ingrid, thanks, after all those years I still love the palms very much! I wasn't exactly after an elegant look, but your are right it has this quality and I certainly don't mind :-).


  6. Little things can make big differences. You did a lovely job and I just love your blue containers.

    Have a lovely Christmas holiday season there in your lovely home and gardens.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  7. A amizade nos faz ver o mundo com olhos novos.
    Amo apreciar seu lindo jardim!
    Uma doce semana.
    Beijos Marie.

  8. The primula obconica are very fresh looking. And the blue pots add a nice touch of color. They will bring a smile to your face whenever you see them! I really like that type of primula and bought a few plants a couple of years ago because they were so natural looking. I did read somewhere that they can cause an allergic skin reaction for some people, although I never had any problems. I guess just be careful when you handle them!

  9. I love your white flowers and blue pots :) Small changes with big results ! Have a lovely week, Christina !
    Greetings, my friend !

  10. I agree, even small changes can often brighten up a garden and your blue pots are lovely and cheerful. I love the combination of the blue with the white flowers.

  11. New pots and flowers are a wonderful thing. Looks great!

  12. Ces deux poteries bleues avec les pieds sont des petites merveilles que tu as mettre en valeur. Le bacopa à l'intérieur est une bonne idée et le résulat obtenu est magnifique. Pour te donner une idée de mes travaux d'automne, j'ai planté des rosiers et des hydrangéas que tu découvriras en 2014. Je ne peux pas installer de plantes vivaces, il fait à présent trop froid en france. Quant aux plantes annuelles, elles ont terminé leur cycle.
    belle soirée de france Jocelyne

  13. Lorraine, thanks for your kind words! A little encouragement also goes a long way :-)!

    Marie, thanks for your comment.

    Dorothy, I wonder if the primula obconica is an annual or perennial in our climate. Did yours last more than a year? Interesting info about their potential to cause allergic skin reactions. I certainly didn't handle them carefully ;-), but no allergic reaction so far. But I don't react allergic easily, anyway!

    Dani, thanks for your kind comment!

    Wendy, blue and white seems to become my favorite color combination. It is just very hard to achieve it with flowers, since there are so little true blue flowering plants out there. So the blue containers are perfect for introducing this color to the garden.

    Jeannine, thanks, nice to see you commenting again!

    Jocelyne, I am also particularly fond of my new blue containers with the blue cute feet. I am glad you approve my choice of bacopa for one of them. I can't wait to see your newly planted roses and hydrangeas next year in your garden. To me it is amazing how much you get accomplished in your lovely green paradise!


  14. Foarte frumos totul : trandafirii , gradina , casa . Felicitari !

  15. Nothing beats primroses and cyclamens at this time of year, at least here in London. Over here they are just about the only thing that flowers through frost and snow, although we haven’t seen either yet so many of my summer plants are still happily flowering. Loved the blue containers, they really light up the path, and your front door (s) look amazing! American houses are so grand compared to the average British tiny houses, over here everything is on a small scale, unless you are a multi millionaire – which I am definitely not.

    I am about to revamp my own front garden, bought new bedding plants online today and hope to plant them over the week-end. OK, I know it’s December and a bit late for bedding plants but the 20 geraniums I have in the window boxes are still looking great so I have been a bit reluctant to throw them out. They will die as soon as we get frost, but that might not come until February and I want flowers now so….out with the geraniums and in with: pansies, Ajuga reptans and primroses. Little changes makes a big difference. Hope you have a great week.

  16. Your garden looks so beautiful and neat. I like the pop of blue from the containers - it has a very nice resort feel to it

  17. The garden looks great! The blue ceramic pots make a great contrast with the white flowers! It looks like a soft winter there...I guess you can have flowers blooming all year long. This year I planterd Geraniums from seeds. To my surprize they all germinated and although having a slow growth at first, in autumn every one of them bloomed.It was an intersting experiment!
    You said that you live in California so I have a flower sugestion for you...Gazania.It loves heat and doesn't need to be watered so often.I have them in my garden every year!

    No advertise to the company....I just liked the flower pot.
    The garden looks great! Keep it up and have a nice Spring!

  18. Gina, thanks for your nice comment!

    Helene, primroses and cyclamen are also prized and heavily used as winter annuals in California. I like them both a lot. Being an European I also notice that often Americans like to do things on a large scale. Besides the size, many houses are often build with features to impress. I am still on the fence if that should be considered a good thing ;-).
    Your front yard make-over sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to seeing photos of it on your blog!

    Trishie, thanks for your kind comment. Interesting that you associate the blue containers with a resort atmosphere. This would not have occurred to me, but that could have to do with the fact that I haven't seen so many and I have never stayed at one ;-)!

    Adriana, thanks, yes, you are right we do have very mild winters here. Congratulations to growing geraniums successfully from seeds. Actually I am not familiar with Gazanias, thanks for the tip, I will look them up. Any flowering plant that is pretty, can take the heat, and does not need tons of water is very welcome here. I will look them up!


  19. Oh you are so right Christina! That first bed in the shade that you completed is just fantastic! It is amazing what a bit of color and new focal points can do to a bed! SO beautiful! And your blue planters are gorgeous!!!! It makes life sweet when you can tweak things in the garden and you have done it wonderfully!

  20. The blue pots add so much to the garden. They are beautiful. No gardening here. It is warming up, now 24 mid day. Glad hoglike the reindeer. They are cute. Happy Christmas

  21. Wow. I love your post, is very beautiful. Your garden is wonderful. Kisses and hugs. happy holidays.
    This is my blog, see you:

  22. I just love all your blue pots! They are so eye catching, and bring such a great pop of color in this dreary season. I am very impressed with how you "dressed up" your garden, even in winter. I need to be a bit more objective with my garden. I usually just give it a "pass" in winter, but I see now that I have been missing out on a season of beauty. Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. The blue in the ceramics just pops in the garden and I especially love the spheres, and ....the white flowers.

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog and your kind comment.

  24. Nicole, your comments always brighten my day :-)! Thank you so much! I still enjoy very much the primulas that I have planted in that shady corner of my garden, but by now I think it would be really nice to plant something in the middle between them. You are never done in a garden..., but that is also part of the fun!

    Ann, the blue containers were overpriced, but I still bought them, because I hoped they would be the perfect fit. I haven't regret it;-)! And it is likely that they will be with me for a long time. Justify, justify...

    Maria, thanks for visiting my blog and your kind comment!

    Holley, thank you so much for your very nice comment! It took me a few years before I was not willing to accept a boring and dreary front yard in late autumn and winter anymore and at least tried to do something about it. Here in California gardens certainly don't have to be looking that way at this time of the season because the climate is so mild. I often have the ideas what to do, but fall short because time and also finances are not allowing me to realize them. You can only do so much, right? I just came in and hopefully without bragging I have to say I am still so pleased with the little changes I made.

    Gardeningbren, the blue truly stands out and as the plants become more dull and decline even more. Thanks for returning the visit and your comment!


  25. Hi Christina,
    It is so nice to take a garden stroll and see all your lovely blooms! Thanks for sharing the beauty.

  26. Hi Bella, thanks for your nice comment! Living in Southern California you kind of forget that it is special to have blooms in winter.


  27. I have several blue containers too - they seem to enhance so many different flowers and certainly add another dimension to the garden. Blue with the white flowers looks especially attractive in your garden, and gives it added interest.

  28. Rosemary, I couldn't word it that way, but you are right that the blue containers add another dimension to the garden. I am thinking of getting even some more, now :-)!


  29. Yes, Christina, I would say you made some definite improvements, although it actually looked fantastic before. I really like that shade of indigo/french blue, and it works so well with the white blooms. Your walkway and your entrance are so inviting!

  30. Plant Postings, thank you very much for your kind comment! I am also particular fond of the blue tone of my newly acquired containers. I don't know how to name the color properly, but blue doesn't equal blue and I love this specific shade very much and as you said it does go very well with the white flowering plants.


  31. Yes it is lovely and very different to English gardens of course. I have the same blue pots. I think they are a good contrast.

  32. Barbara, thanks, yes, my garden is very different from the English gardens, even though I try very hard to come closer to my ideal of an English garden in Southern California ;-)! Interesting, I thought that the blue containers add color to my winter garden, but you are right they are also providing a strong contrast, which makes it more interesting. Haven't thought about it from that angle. Thanks for making me aware of it!