New Plants For The Front Porch (Plus, A Story About The Kindness Of A Stranger)


In true Kristi fashion, I’ve put the cart before the horse with my front porch projects. With rainy weather rolling in, I haven’t been able to get more painting done, and I haven’t been able to sand and seal the cedar porch boards, and I haven’t been able to finish the faux stone porch skirting. But I didn’t let that stop me from adding some pretty touches to the front porch.

When I did the front porch makeover originally in 2018, I bought these large pretty pots to use at the base of the steps.

Those were from Home Depot, and they’re made of a concrete-type of material. But they’re not concrete. They’re a lighter weight than concrete, and obviously not as durable. Over the years, the material had gotten worn and fragile.

So I replaced those with these beautiful and amazingly priced pots from Walmart. The have a concrete look to them, but they’re made of plastic. And they’re only $17.48 each!! That’s an amazing price for a planter that size!

My planters don’t look nearly as pretty as the ones in 2018 did, but that’s because I couldn’t find any larger plants to put in them. Everything at Home Depot was so small right now, but I’m sure they’ll all grow and fill out the planter quickly.

I used sunshine ligustrum, petunias, potato vine, and wandering jew. I love these colors together!

On the front porch, I have my Nearly Natural faux 3-foot mini pine trees. They required a little work to make them look full, but I think they’re some of the prettiest fake plants I’ve ever seen. I’m sure you could find more realistic ones, but not for this price. Right now, these are $47.49 each, which is an amazing price for these. I can’t find the planters online, but I’m pretty sure I got those from Home Depot. They were around the $50 range, if I remember correctly.

As you can see, my front door still needs to be painted. I got it prepped and ready for paint, and as soon as the rain moves out, I’ll get that and the other painting projects finished.

So what does any of this have to do with the kindness of strangers? Well, I was at Home Depot shopping for the plants that I wanted to put in my new Walmart planters. I don’t know much about plants at all, but I did know that I definitely wanted potato vine and wandering jew. Those are two of my favorites because they grow fast, they’re hard to kill, and I absolutely love those two colors together.

I walked all around the Home Depot garden center and couldn’t find either one of those, but I did find the sunshine ligustrum, which is a similar color to potato vine, so I had the green covered. (Obviously, I later found the tiny potato vine plants, and decided to use both.) But I was still wanting the gorgeous purple of the wandering jew. I found another plant that was a similar color, but it was a completely different shape. Wandering jew grows low and spills over the sides of a planter. This other plant, which was the same color, just grows up, like a miniature version of my fake pine trees.

So I asked a Home Depot employee if he could help me find wandering jew. He told me that they don’t carry it right now, but he walked me outside to show me some other options. None of them would work. When he walked away, a woman was standing there, and she very shyly and quietly asked, “Are you looking for wandering jew?” I said yes, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any. She said, “I have some, and you can have it if you want it.”

What? I was so stunned! She explained that she had just downsized from a house and was currently living in her R.V. and didn’t have room for all of her beloved plants, so she offered her wandering jew to me. So she gave me her phone number, and the next morning I texted her, and we arranged a meeting place and time so that I could pick it up from her.

We met, had a lovely conversation for about 15 minutes, and I went away with her wandering jew in hand. I was so blessed by that. On top of that, she said that I could call her any time I needed help with my planting and gardening. Now that she’s downsized, she doesn’t have the opportunity to get her hands in the dirt as much as she would like, so she said she’d love to come and help me plant things once I’m ready to start on my plant beds. It was all so nice and lovely, and it was just a chance meeting with a generous person who overheard me at the Home Depot garden center and decided to put herself out there and offer a stranger a gift.

We hear so much negativity these days, and if we spend too much time online, we can be convinced that the world is a dark and terrible place filled with nothing but horrible people. But out there in the real world, there are so many stories of kindness and goodness, and there are so many opportunities for us to be those sources of kindness if we’ll just keep our eyes open for those opportunities.

So be blessed today, my friends. And let’s all look for ways to be a blessing in other people’s lives. Let’s be the kindness that we want to see in the world. We can all make a difference!

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