Deck accessories

Spicy Cucumber Salsa


I bought a lemon tree! I’m so excited about it and check on it every single day.

So far I only have 2 lemons but I think I counted 14 tiny ones starting! I’m doing my best to keep it alive and have to admit I’ll be pretty bummed if I kill it.

Last year I started a garden, and I really loved it, but for a few different reasons we decided to pull it out and ditch the garden altogether. This year I opted for potted herbs and various other plants for my green thumb needs and it has satisfied just the same!

I found beautiful hydrangeas at the farmers market a few weeks ago (which is also where I bought my precious lemon tree). I shot them on my deck for this photo, but they are thriving with zero direct sunlight in my screened in porch. It only took about 4 hours of morning sun for them to start looking sad and hot, and I’m happy to say they are back to themselves now inside my porch.

Does everyone apply human feelings to plants, or is that just me?

I forgot I planted perennials in this white and grey pot and was so pleased to see these flowers coming back strong this year. I don’t know what they are called, but they are pretty!

In the metal box, that my husband drilled a few holes into the bottom of for drainage, I have basil, rosemary and some flowers. In a planter off to the side, I have cilantro, thyme and parsley. Those herbs definitely enjoy a bit more shade than these do.

So here’s my happy little corner. In the shallow cement pot I planted a few dahlias from seed with the boys but they are sloooooooooow to come up. I don’t think they are doing great, but I’ll wait and see if they flower!

The lanterns are from IKEA and give off the softest light when the sun goes down.

I love checking on this little corner on my deck. And David loves to help me water it!

I hope to have a few vegetables in a garden in the next few years, and I think that would be a really fun thing to work on with the boys.

Are you a gardener? Do you have any herbs growing? What are your favorite things to grow?


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Natalie Bellairs says · 06.01.17

Beautiful plants and deck! So pretty!

Christina says · 06.01.17

They are wonderful! I wish we have a house so I could do gardening too. I can’t wait to see your lemon tree to bear more fruits.

Megan says · 06.01.17

We planted radishes from seed and we also have a cherry tomato plant. It’s been so fun to see how excited my 3 year old gets about watering them and taking care of them!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog says · 06.01.17

I wish we could grow plants more easily where I live! I’d love to have a garden!

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Sheri Pride says · 06.01.17

Rosemary gets huge! Also, mint is easy and fun to grow.

Erica says · 06.01.17

I read the title of this post as “Desk Accessories”, then read on to learn about your plants, and I kept thinking, “When is she going to talk about her office? Does the lemon tree go in there?” Haha, oh man. I need some coffee to function correctly this morning! I love herbs in little pots. Have a great day!

Arijana C. says · 06.01.17

Erica, me too! LOL Desk accessories.

Sara says · 06.01.17

Me too! Ha!

carmen says · 06.01.17

Me, three!

Britney says · 06.01.17

I did the same thing! haha 🙂

Danon says · 06.03.17

Same!!! I was thinking well this had better be a big desk to hold a lemon tree. Maybe we all need a desk accessory post!

Michelle says · 06.01.17

I have a lemon tree, too and so far so good. We’ve gotten about 4 lemons since we got it as a gift in November. They are VERY slow to grow and sometimes the little ones will just fall off and not make it. Makes me appreciate the abundant pile in the grocery store!
Dahlias are super slow, especially from seed, so don’t loose faith! The potted perennial looks like a lily of some sort based on the leaves. I have a black thumb too, but we’ve been trying so so hard and I think it’s finally starting to pay off in our backyard! Fingers crossed!

Arijana C. says · 06.01.17

I enjoy inside and outside plants and devote much of my time taking care of them. I do not have a garden but I have considered one. Just not sure if i have the time to tend to it.
I also apply human feelings to all my plants 🙂

Stephanie says · 06.01.17

I’m really not a gardener, but one thing I GREATLY look forward to having a house for is so that we can plant herbs and small veggies. We love having tons of fresh herbs and they get so expensive, so I want a nice big space where I can plant a lot of them!

Alyssa says · 06.01.17

Aw I love it! We tore out out veggie garden this year too. The weeding was taking over my life! I’m thinking of just doing tomatoes in pots.

Katie says · 06.01.17

Lantanas are my absolute favorite flower to grow! They change from pink to yellow as they bloom and are just too fun! I also do container herb gardening. So much easier to maintain and I like that it’s accessible.

Janet says · 06.01.17

Over the years we have downsized our vegetable garden to a few tomato plants and a cucumber plant and can still share the abundance with family and neighbors.

Here in Kansas (zone 6), our temps can range from the teens in the winter to triple digits in the summer so I am very conscientious about picking perennials that will thrive in our landscaping. I plant flowers in pots on my patio to enjoy for the summer that can take the heat and humidity.

Sarah B says · 06.01.17

My mother-in-law is a gardener and she got me the cutest “garden starter kit” from some local farmers she knows. It came with all the seeds/seedlings I needed for a variety of veggies (beans, snap peas, beets, carrots, lettuce, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes) and a map and directions on how to plant them in a 10×10′ space. I don’t naturally have much of a green thumb but I’m really excited to see what grows!

Kandie says · 06.01.17

Beautiful! I’m trying to pot flowers and some kind of herbs or small fruits and veggies as our yard is still in the process of being re-done, but we have a patio. I’m struggling with my black thumb on how to combine certain plants with herbs etc because I also need color back there. I’m a visual person LOL so thank you for sharing your deck with us 🙂 My co-worker gave me chocolate mint which is thriving on its own in a pot, but IDK what to do with it LOL. I’m so jealous you have a lemon tree! I love me some citrus!

jen says · 06.01.17

I’ve never thought to plant perennials in a pot!! What a great idea. And I want a lemon tree now. Such a cute little corner

stephanie says · 06.01.17

I love gardening! As far as herbs go, I am growing rosemary, thyme, oregano and rosemary. I am also growing grape tomatoes, jalapenos, green peppers, red peppers and green beans. When it comes to flowers, I have a few different peony bushes in my yard and added some ‘Mini Penny” hydrangeas to our yard. They are so pretty! They turn a blue/violet color.

Tori says · 06.01.17

My parents have a lemon tree and it does so well – you’ll love it.
Those hydrangeas are a gorgeous colour! Mine started off bright pink but are going a bluey-purple shade now that I’ve planted them in the ground!

April says · 06.01.17

I love to garden, especially fruits, veggies and herbs. The last several years I’ve had to make do in pots, since we rented. But now that we own our home, we’re looking forward to putting in a real vegetable garden. The home we moved into already had beautiful landscaping that includes many different perennials, so I get to enjoy the fruits of the previous owners labor. I’ve never had trouble with cucumbers or tomatoes, but i’ve had no success with zucchini – which is supposed to be an easy plant to grow. Looking at your picture of the basil, some of the taller plants looks close to flowering, I learned to pluck off the top layer, as once they flower the plant has essentially gone bad and the taste changes. Looking forward to seeing how the lemon tree comes along!

Krystal // The Krystal Diaries says · 06.01.17

I love your little garden corner. This year I bought hydrangeas around Easter time and they are still alive! I keep them inside since I noticed direct sun kinda kills them. I used to have some basil plants but gave them to a friend to take care of while I was on vacation and never got them back! lol

Kay Nguyen says · 06.01.17

This is adorable, I wish I have a balcony or a desk to decorate…

Jennifer M. says · 06.01.17

I love to garden! We have several raised beds in our backyard; it makes weeding easier. We’ve planted a little bit of everything…lettuce, tomatoes, cabbages and several different herbs. This year we also planted flowers from seed. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they all come up. Usually I like to grab the babies from the nursery instead of starting from scratch so we’ll see…?!
Best of luck with all your veggies and herbs!!

Jenna says · 06.01.17

I had a meyer lemon tree last year and several lemons ripened! Sadly, our climate isn’t good for citrus so it died over the winter despite it being indoors 🙁 you should be fine though!!

Kristine says · 06.01.17

Oh my gosh, I read the title as “desk accessories” and was like….what is a lemon tree doing on your desk?! haha!

I have thyme growing in my garden and it’s doing SO well! It’s been over a year and has lived through snow and still going strong. I wish I lived somewhere warm so I could have fruit trees.

elizabeth says · 06.01.17

Love the lanterns! They are so cute! Do they give off much light?

Natalie says · 06.01.17

If you want to garden you should absolutely follow Lara Casey and her blog. She’s all in for gardening this year and has wonderful life advice that goes along with gardening (and with little kids).

KissTheChef says · 06.01.17

I love container gardening. Just a couple of notes from someone who has done it for YEARS…. Put something under the pots that sit directly on your wooden deck. If you don’t, the deck/wood will likely discolor and possibly rot/damage the due to the humidity we have here in the south. Yes, the pots will drain well without it, but the wood on the deck will hold the moisture. Even if you only put the pots on spaced out bricks or concrete blocks, it will help. I use plastic or clay trays under mine. When I started out, I didn’t do this and the wood mildewed over the summer due to water and humidity and a lack of air flow. Hope those tips help….

Kellie says · 06.01.17

I have herb she on my porch and they are growing like weeds!! Literally sprouting like wildfire! However my cilantro is the only one I’m having trouble with; I ended up watering this portion less, and tying my cilantro to a rod to hopefully give it some strength as it grows. It just seemed really weak. Any tips on this?

My oregano, basil, parsley, and thyme are all doing really well and I trimmed them today to actually give myself some herbs and well my pot some room because there wasn’t any where for the herbs to go anymore! I also rotated my pot because I think the herbs we’re also starting to sprout directly toward where they we’re getting the most sun!

Jamie Lynn says · 06.01.17

How do you keep cilantro alive? I’ve killed four or five attempts. Help!!!

Kate says · 06.02.17

It definitely needs shade!

Dawn says · 06.02.17

Such a cute corner! We have a lot of potted plants, vegetables and flowers mixed together, to be purposeful and pretty, alongside a few tomato plants in the ground and flowers in beds.

Your potted perennials look like Easter lilies, which will come back year after year after they die off at the soil level later in the season. So lovely!

Abby says · 06.02.17

I live in the triangle as well and had a lemon tree for 2 years. I brought mine inside over the winter and unfortunately, it was infested with spider mites! Yikes! I didn’t notice it until it was too late. Imagine my surprise when I noticed hundreds of them crawling all over the leaves one day. Ack! I think we ended up getting 3-4 lemons in total before it died. My son had a blast making lemonade (even though we still had to go to the store to pick up 8 more to have enough – ha!), I’m sure your sons will have fun too!

Christy says · 06.02.17

Where are those cute lanterns with the solar panels on them from?!

Fran says · 06.02.17

I was reading this in the hope to find some cute little things I could pick up to brighten up my desk which is much needed as I work for a charity supporting victims of crime and currently relying on a leftover Christmas reindeer stuck to window… and got part way through and was like “I never question Kate’s judgement but surely a lemon tree on the desk is a stretch too far, my boss won’t let me through the door!” Kept reading and thought “hmm maybe a small herb pot is fine, or lavender perhaps but where’s the cute stationary?”

Took til the final picture for the penny to drop! Clearly it’s been a long week! xx

Abby says · 06.02.17

I have a good garden going this year. A box for herbs, which are really thriving and growing like crazy, a box with tomatos, a wheel barrow of squash, and a box of peppers and jalapeños.

Jenn says · 06.03.17

I planted my hydrangeas in what I considered “partial shade” and they looked so droopy! I call them my “girls” (as in, come on girls – perk up!) and also told my fiancé that I guess they get too hot and wilted in the sun aka sunburnt like me. 🙂

Melissa says · 06.03.17

Those look like Day Lilies to me in the gray and white pot! Very pretty!

Jacinda says · 06.03.17

The pink balls of flowers are Hydrangeas. They will grow into a gorgeous shrub if you plant outdoors!

Alex says · 06.04.17

Dahlia tubers are going to grow way faster than seeds and are pretty fail safe. Seeds are way more sensitive and often need to be started indoors under particular conditions. They are demanding and dramatic. But I hope they do bloom because dahlias are the most beautiful!

Elien Bos says · 06.08.17

Hello Kate,

My name is Elien Bos. I have been follow your blog since 4 years now.
I love the hair tutorials, I love the make up tutorials. It gives me a lot ideas, it makes me happy.
I live in the Netherlands and I am 41 years old. I a, married to Erwin and we have a 4 years old daughter named Roos.
Your blog is very inspirating to me. Fantastic…….

Elien Bos.