Stevie Tries Gardening | Part One aka S.O.S.

You might think that because I grew up on a farm, I automatically have a green thumb. But alas, I've never been able to keep an indoor plant alive for more than a couple of weeks. Regardless,  I've been dreaming of a beautiful, blooming garden since we bought our house last year. Last Friday was my birthday, and after (an amazing!!) breakfast at the Red Brick Bakery & Tea Room with my sister, Frankie, we headed over to ACE Hardware to get some basic supplies. I was almost immediately overwhelmed by the selection. I never realized there were so many different types of shovels! But after a quick call to my Gram I found all the supplies I needed to get started. We drove home and I got to work. 

Front Garden Before - Stevie Storck Design Co.

The new flowerbed is about 3' wide by 16' long. And yes, our porch is still in some dire need of paint. We're getting there, I promise! When I started, it was all grass and weeds straight up to the porch. It took some time to dig out all the grass and then pull the leftover weeds. Luckily Anthony got home when I was a little more than halfway done and he helped me finish it up pretty quickly. We sprinkled on some Preen and added mulch and that was it for the day.

On Monday, I went plant shopping with my mom who's been a huge help to me so far. Since it's still pretty early in the season, Lowe's didn't have much out yet but I picked up two of these cypress bushes and five white candy tufts to use as a border. 

Before I plant anything, I wanted to think through what my plan for the front garden will be. I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew and I also don't have hundreds and hundreds of dollars to spend, so for now we are just focusing on the bed between the two sidewalks. In the future, I plan on digging out two more beds on each corner to help balance the front of the house. I also think I want to re-edge the middle flower bed to be more curvy to help tie the three beds together. I want to stick with a color scheme for perennials of white, green, dark pinky-red and dark purple. Then I'll have flexibility with adding more colors with annuals every spring.

This is where I could use some help and feedback! It turns out that a lot of my favorite flowers and plants are shade-loving. This front garden is pretty much full sun, so I'm struggling a little with finding plants I like to fill in from here. Here's what I'm thinking: 

Front Garden Plan - Stevie Storck Design Co.

The only things that are set in stone are the two cypress bushes and the candy tufts I already bought. I'm pretty happy with the idea of anchoring each corner with a white hydrangea bush, and I know I would love to have some peonies to make bouquets with. I really love the dark pinky red color of azaleas but I've gotten some mixed feedback about how well they do in the sun. The long scribbles are supposed to represent perennial flowers. So far I'm thinking some dahlias and poppies but I'm not sure what else. The little triangles denote space for annuals and I'm pretty sure I drew way too many in there. The weird bushes with the black lines sticking out are  these cute flamingo planters my mom is giving me. For our wedding, she spray painted them to look like storks! I think I want to plant sweet potato vine in the baskets, but I'm not sure what else to mix in. There's just so much to know about gardening! What blooms when, when to plant what, how close together, what soil and sunlight conditions... I could use some help!

Are you an experienced gardener? What suggestions or tips do you have to share for the newbies like me?

I would be so grateful if you would share your thoughts in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook/Instagram!