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Flower Power

I feel a bit like Tommy.

I’ve been informed that somebody is out there.

In other words, I was notified through email that someone has subscribed to my blog!!! Awesome, and welcome! This post is for you. You know who you are, even if I don’t 🙂

For the past few whiles (as my little brother used to say) I’ve been working on our rental house’s significant “curb appeal problem”. The CAP — as it will henceforth be known — is bad, y’all…

Can I get a “YUCK!”??

But don’t despair, your fearless leader is far from daunted. This CAP just needs some TLC. That’s all that is.

We’ll be starting with flowers!!!

I snagged these lovelies after noticing that all the local houses sporting perennials looked so nice in the rainy, rainy Pennsylvania springtime. Whereas houses that chose annuals looked like dead zones until the rain let up enough to plant anything.

FACT: Rainiest April on record in PA. May is now poised to make April look like a 98-pound wussy. 


And after 2 years of living with a sad assemblage of color bowls inhabiting our front flower bed — and making us look like Beverly Hillbillies: The Next Generation — I’m determined to be one of the pretty houses. So, I bought 3 varieties of asiatic lily & some royal candles. I chose bright, playful colors. Because I like them.

Our wedding colors were indigo, fuscia and tangerine. Our moms were apoplectic until they saw it all come together. And people still go out of their way to remark upon how beautiful our big day was. So there. Neener-neener-neener.

My point? There were plenty of more subdued perennial choices.

Perennials = Plants with a life cycle of at least 2 growing seasons. If planted & maintained correctly, many perennials last several more years.

Annuals = Plants with a single-season life cycle. Fresh annuals must be planted every spring and will die in the fall.

I’ll admit it. The perennial-fest was not cheap. But I simply couldn’t resist. Being from Arizona, I have never had the opportunity to work with such lush greenery. Delicate beauties like these would get b*tch-slapped by the Sonoran sun and would therefore be a waste of both money and water. Not that people don’t do it… Don’t get me started.

Anyhoo — Since the average, medium-sized perennial is around $20, it ran me more than $125 for the lot. Which nearly took my breath away. I’ve never paid more than a few bucks for a plant! Then I did some quick mental math.

$20 per plant/divided by 4 years of bloom per plant/equals $5 per plant. OK. I can live with that.

Of course, if you’re not sure you’ll be in your rental property for the next several years, or if you don’t live in one of the rainiest places in America, it doesn’t make sense to invest in perennials. Yes, they’re pretty. But hang onto your wallet, because I’mma drop some knowledge:

RENTAL HOUSE RULE #1: DO NOT SPEND YOUR MONEY ON THE NEXT TENANT. 

In our situation, the perennials make sense. We like this property. We hope to be here for the next seeeevvvveerrralll years. They’re an investment with a high rate of return. FOR US. If you’re not so sure you’re going to stick around past the end of your lease, don’t waste your money. Get some pretty annuals. They’re way cheaper, take less maintenance and are a snap to plant. If, in the near future you decide to stay put for a few years, you can always plant perennials next spring.

Now… since I want to do this right, I’m going to break the CAP project into several posts. The next post will feature photos of a muddy flower bed and my feet, so to keep you tuning in, I’m going to end this one with a little gratuitous flower porn. You’re welcome 😉

Asiatic Lily — Tiny Sensation variety

Royal Candles — Veronica variety

Impatiens, whiteAsiatic Lily — Tiny Skyline variety

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2 thoughts on “Flower Power

  1. maryann on said:

    Keep the articles coming – I really enjoy your writing and look forward to seeing the curb appeal next month during my trip to the Burg.

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