A Different Kind of Before and After

This post brought to you by Miracle-Gro. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love spring. I love the sunshine and warmth, rain showers and wildflowers, and rivers that are warm enough to tube. I love that my kids have started waking up every morning, running to the window and proclaiming “Mom! It’s a beautiful day outside!” I love going to the nursery all energized for planting and having it be crowded as stink because everyone else is just as excited as I am. Granted, winters here in Texas aren’t exactly harsh, but this year was a little colder and crazier than normal. It actually froze…a lot.  And you know how my heat and drought loving plants responded? They decided that life wasn’t worth living if it was going to be cold. I can’t say that I blame them, but since they decided to cry uncle my house looks a bit depressing this spring.

before and after

Oops, my kids are showing. So embarrassing.

I have a love/hate relationship with gardening and landscaping. I love it because I like to make things beautiful. When we first bought our house it was neglected, and it showed. There was no life or greenery around it, not even a single blade of grass. We completely changed the way our house looks just by adding landscaping. Making things beautiful isn’t my favorite thing about planting though… my favorite thing is how excited my boys are when a seed starts to sprout. It’s like Christmas morning to them when that seed produces its first vegetable….then it’s like Christmas morning for me when they actually eat that veggie.

learning about plants

Yard work definitely has its downsides though. Whenever I finish a project I like to stand back and admire it for a second, soaking it in and thinking to myself “enjoy it now because this is the best it is ever going to look.” (Sometimes I look in the mirror and think the same thing).  It’s just a fact of life, things fall apart with time. Nowhere is that more true than with landscaping, it wins the award for quickest self-destruction. Is it too much to ask for things to stay pretty forever with zero effort on my part?

 It must be, because my lush front porch has faded away, and its place is a depressing plant cemetery.

front porch plants

hanging basket corpses

plant death

All those plants had made it through previous winters without a problem, but this one was just too much.

My side yard is celebrating its first birthday this spring…unfortunately time has not been good to her.

side yard 13-14

Then there’s the backyard, which didn’t fare much better. The garden needs a little TLC and a little seed action.


Those green onions are still going strong though…all lazy gardeners should plant green onions.

The back beds are growing plenty though…plenty of weeds. If weed farming was a profession I would set for life.

back bed

Suffice it to say that we have our work cut out for us this spring. I’m ready…though not nearly as ready as my boys. You’d think I offered to take them to Disney World or something with how pumped they are about getting some seeds in the ground. I’m also excited to be teaming up with Miracle-Gro again this year to make my afters look like my befores…and to produce lots of veggies that my kids might actually eat (or drink in smoothies if I get desperate and creative).

Want to be inspired to get planting, or to share a story of your own? Visit Gro Something Greater, a Miracle-Gro community chock full of  planting tips and advice, product recommendations, and even a soil and mulch calculator. Basically everything you need to avoid murdering all your plants this year.

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  1. We planted grass last fall in certain places and now that the snow has melted the spots all look bare again. I’m trying to forget about all of the hard work from last year…uhhhh!

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  2. I feel your pain! I’m getting ready to plant flowers I grew from seed this winter, I think I was excited as your kids!
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  3. It looks like you photo edited these pics by changing the settings from alive to dead. Or it must be a new app. Well done.

  4. You gotta love crazy ol’ Texas! If you plant a moon flower plant you CAN NOT KILL IT! Trust me. I have TRIED! The roots grow LONG and STRONG! The flowers bloom in the early morning and are huge white lilies. They are beautiful! We had taken some seed pods from some plants at Schlitterbahn. We let them sit on top of our fridge for a year or so (since I forgot about them up there) and when I found them I threw them in our front plant bed just to see what happened. I didn’t actually think they would grow since they were so old. Well GROW they did indeed. And grow and grow and grow. We got concerned that they would take over our Mountain laurels so I hacked the moon flower plant down and I dug up as much of the root as I could. The root was taller than me…I am 5′ 6 1/2′. (Yes that half inch counts for sure!) Well……apparently those seeds just keep very well. They started sprouting up. Lots of them. I kept pulling them up before deciding to just let it grow again. This time I was going to keep it trimmed back. I did a pretty good job of it but then I cut it down because “winter” was coming around again. It froze, then “died”. I thought yay it’s finally gone. NOT! Another sprout popped up last fall. I pulled it right out and put it in another big pot on the porch so I could enjoy the plant and the flowers from there. It froze. Then died. Then sprouted again….Now it’s growing. Well….just recently I pulled 12 more sprouts out of my front plant bed next to my Mtn Laurels. So (sorry this is so long), if you want a big beautiful plant that WILL NOT DIE, you should get some of those seeds. :)

  5. Jan Elizabeth says:

    For some reason I missed this one. It’s so depressing to see all of that after all that hard work last year… It’s a good thing the kids are so excited because you can use that energy to motivate you! Good luck finding some hardier specimens. :)

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