The Mailmum

You know this little online diary of ours is all about keeping you posted on the little stuff along with the big (and the bad and the ugly along with the good). So file this under small but good. Remember our little petunia-fied mailbox? Well, it went from this in June

…to this in August

…to this in October:

Womp- womppppp.

The petunias were annuals so they weren’t gonna last forever. And between rain washing out a lot of the mulch and the flowers thinning to a scraggly looking vine mess… yeah, it was ugly. But wait, we’ll get to the “good” in a minute.

Fortunately I was able to pull them out with virtually no effort. Note: Some of these pics were taken before we removed/transplanted a bunch of bushes here – you’ll see why we waited to post about this a few photos down)

We had actually just received a Home Depot coupon in the mail for “Buy 2 Mums, Get 1 Free” (we signed up for some free garden club a few years back so we get random coupons every once in a while). Sadly we didn’t get that coupon before purchasing our porch mums a few weeks back, but oh well – we decided to put it to good use in another place. The mailbox o’ tumbleweeds. So $14 later we had three sunny yellow mums out front. And yes, Sir Squirrel is chilling out right in the middle of them (more on him here).

Even though the mums are perennials, we’re so happy with how the petunias filled in the space over the summer that we’ll probably plop some of those back in come springtime (and just transplant these guys so we can enjoy them somewhere else). But we’re loving the autumn look for now.

What weren’t we loving? The washing out problem that we’d been battling after every big rain. See the weed blocking fabric that’s completely exposed next to the drainage grate on the right? In the words of my wife: reeeeal claaaassy.

The drain worked well most of the time, but heavy rains overload it and, well, you get the idea. So I borrowed some stones leftover from the patio project (they used to line those rows of liriope that we removed here) to build a little stacked stone wall beside the mum-bed. Things are looking up, right?

We have since had two big rains (we waited to post about it to be sure it wasn’t an epic fail) and we’re happy to report that it kept the water from whisking away the dirt with it. So… victory!

It doesn’t look half bad if you ask me. Although of course those mums could use some filling in, sort of like our petunias back when we planted those. Heck, now that we have the little stacked stone wall, maybe we’ll add more plants to really fill it up come spring. And hopefully we’ll straighten and paint the wooden mailbox post then too.

Did anyone else do any quick outdoor updates for fall? Were they mum related? Or stone related? Or ceramic squirrel related?

Oh and Sherry promised more pics of the feather wreath that some of you noticed from afar on the door in this post, so here we go. It’s just an old black feather wreath from JoAnn (picked up after last Halloween on super clearance- maybe it was $8?). Sherry lazily placed it over the door knocker (didn’t even bother hanging it) and called it a day. That’s my girl.

Sherry also meant to toss the three remaining black spiders that we had (from this post) into the yellow mums for more black-on-yellow action before snapping these pics but completely forgot. But she was sure to do that before those cute little trick or treaters came a-knocking yesterday evening. The ones who noticed seemed to love spiders as much as Clara (more on that here). So yeah. Good times going on at the mailbox and the front door. Although we could definitely use a new doormat (or at least a new stenciled paint job over our current one). How about you?

Psst- You can check out how we painted our front door yellow here and ORBed the handle & doorknocker here.


    • says

      Yes! We got a bunch! But none of the parents said anything! Haha. Probably were distracted by the barking dog and the cute monkey baby in the background!


    • says

      I love those flowers too! I’ve been dragging my feet on buying them this year! I think this weekend if any are left I’ll scoop em up but I’m with Future Mama! I feel your pain – all pots no plants just pots of dirt.

      Hey on the bright side maybe we can start a new “Minimalist” Plant Movement! haha

  1. jess says

    I love little updates. A lot of people feel like they have to focus so much on the bigger ones, but the little ones are just as rewarding sometimes :-)

    • says

      Yeah, we just figure since we started this whole blog 4+ years ago we’ve talked about everything – from the big juicy stuff to the small everyday stuff. Our only rule is that if we feel like sharing something – no matter how big or small or how much of a failure it was – we do. And you know we’re chronic over-sharers! Haha. So we pretty much share everything.


  2. Rosie says

    Haven’t had a chance to really look at it yet (I should probably do some work at work today, right?), but I saw that you guys are in Emily Henderson’s Holiday Guide – Yay! Can’t wait to read it! Will we get any extra details on that over here?

    • says

      Aw thanks Rosie! It was just a tiny stint (they asked us our five favorite kid toys so we sent over a list with links). Wish there were more behind the scenes stuff but it was really simple so that’s the whole story. Haha.


  3. Amanda says

    Did you know that you can have your mums and your petunia’s too? :) I have had our mum’s in the exact same spot for the last 3 years. I let them ‘die off’ over the winter – in the fall, I don’t do a thing to them – like literally just leave them alone. In the spring, I come back and pull all of the dead/dry parts of the bush off so it looks like I pretty much have nothing.

    At that time, I fill in the flower bed with petunia’s and what ever other annual I am feeling the love for at the time. As the summer progresses, my mum’s start coming back and look like bushes. The kind of grow up in the middle of everything else that has filled in. It adds a little more greenery to the flower bed. Then, at the end of the summer, I just pull out the annuals and wait for my bushes of mums to bloom.

    I don’t know if that is how everyone else does it – but 3 years ago, we bought these small plants (I think they were like $.47 each on sale) and planted them. They were pretty small that first year – like the size of your petunia’s to begin with. Last year, they came back so huge, it looked like my entire flower bed was giant hedges. This year, they came back pretty big (minus the ones that my husband accidentally tossed away) but they got strangled a bit by the extra annuals he planted to make up for his boo-boo so they weren’t as lush as last year but they were still pretty. They have been the best $.47 each investment ever!

    • Carrie says

      I am about to plant some mums too and my nana said to cut them back until July and then to just let them go and they will be pretty green bushes until they bloom. Love nana’s and their gardening knowledge! I have a green thumb (I have no idea how either!) but have always just done annuals because I have commitment problems and wanted to wait until the fence was built before I did any real landscaping. Just planted my spring bulbs too!

    • Amanda B. says

      I do the same thing! I actually planted spring and summer bulbs (perennials) around my mums, so I get three seasons of awesome for the cost of no yearly effort. Daffodils in the spring, Gladiolus in the summer, and Mums in the fall. Four seasons if you count the dried forms of the mums that stay through the winter. It’s best to not pull off the dead parts until you notice greenery growing in from the bottom in the spring.

      Hope you guys have good luck with them! They look so cute under the mailbox, and the yellow ties right into your front door color. Mine are four years strong. They don’t call them “Hardy Mums” for nothing!

  4. says

    Love the mums! They’re so fall like and happy. Glad you got lucky trick or treat’ers. It’s my first year in a real house in a real neighborhood so I did the grown up thing and got candy and luckily we got some kids! Oh and a few grown ups too. Anyone else? Yes middle aged women with no children not dressed up came by – I reluctantly gave them candy. Wasn’t sure if they were homeless or just sugar hungry (or greedy).

  5. Natalie Muurisepp says

    Love the yellow mum. We have one hanging by our door, it has done ok but the one that we gave our neighbor to thank them for always being our mail checkers. WOW that thing is HUGE :)

    On the bug front, we are home to a Praying Mantis! (sp) But the snow we just got up here in Boston may have caused him to say his or her last prayer. hehee

  6. Cindy S. says

    I love the small posts, too. :)

    Nice anti-erosion solution with the stacked stones. They look great, along with the gorgeous new mums. Just so you know, mums divide really well, so you can “spread the wealth” with other areas of your yard without having to actually remove these, if you don’t want to.

  7. says

    So, this will sound a bit creepy, I’m sure. But, I had a dream about you guys last night. You were at the improv theater where I perform, and I saw you and told you that I read your blog and asked if you were going to stay for the show. You said that you were, and then I found out that I wasn’t even in the show that night. Weird, I know. That being said, if you are ever in downtown Orlando, be sure to come out and catch a show at SAK Comedy Lab. I may or may not be performing ;-).

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