Sprucing It Up


I live in the city. Being in the city, even having a small backyard is a privilege. It’s been a very long winter, so everyone is pretty geared up to be outside. We want bright, happy outdoor spaces and projects that leave us with skin warmed by the sun.

After seeing, and smelling, all the Spring plants in the air at the local home improvement store, I decided to decorate that small, postage stamp sized back slab as a nice surprise for my housemate while she was away for the weekend. We already had 4 herb plants from the previous season, in little 4 inch pots (sage, rosemary, oregano, and lavender). In addition to this I got a purple basil plant, a tomato plant, and a strawberry plant, and 6 inch terracotta clay pots to decorate for them.

I used the small table already outside as the inspiration for my color palette.


Then I set about priming the pots, because I wanted the color to be vibrant, and not muddied by the original clay color underneath. My suggestion to anyone setting about a similar project would be to find a more efficient way to do this. I had to paint at least 4 layers with the acrylic to even get the white this opaque.


First color I added was a purple rim.

First color I added was a purple rim.

I painted the base a fuchsia pink with orange and red stripes. I used masking tape to separate the colors.




I painted the plates underneath the pots solid red on the top and purple on the bottom. I would have sealed them with clear acrylic spray, but it took so many coats to get this far that it was already almost 5 in the morning, and I was done. Just… done. So far it hasn’t bled much, luckily.

We already have a little collection of garden gnomes outside, so I interspersed the gnomes and plants.


The furniture on the patio is mostly wicker, so I put some raffia bows on some of the plants, after lining them up against the fence.

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Here's the oregano.

Here’s the oregano.

This one is the silver sage.

This one is the silver sage.

The rosemary.

The rosemary.

And the lavender plant.

And the lavender plant.

And the new additions to the family: strawberry, tomato, and basil.


So, I’m pretty happy with the end result. It’s got color, and life, and function. Maybe I’ll even get past my brown thumb and learn how to take care of plants properly.