Beach house stuff is flying along, and we owe you guys a giant post (in the meantime you can see some pics on Instagram and Facebook) but we have some breaking porch news, which is that it no longer looks neglected and abandoned. Plus I got a little “creative” with the bushes so they’ll never die on me again. I don’t have a great “before” photo because it wasn’t something I ever thought to capture for posterity, but think dirty old doormat, dead plants, discolored brick, and spiderwebs (but not of the Halloween-decoration variety).

One thing that tipped us off to the problem was taking our annual First Day of School photos out in front of the door. We were looking at this year’s photos next to the previous year’s photos to see how much the kids grew, but another thing that caught our attention was the tragic progression of our fading front door mat. It’s like that thing was just begging to be put out of its misery, but it happened so slowly we didn’t really notice until we were reminded how it used to look.

So I ordered another extra-wide mat (this is the one we got). If you have sidelights or a double door, I can’t tell you how strongly I recommend a wider doormat. They can be a pain to track down, and aren’t super cheap (ours is the 30 x 48″ one for $79) but we found that any normal sized ones looked kind of dinky and unbalanced on our porch.

But the real stars of this refresh are the two evergreen trees in the black planters. We’ve had THE WORST time keeping plants alive here – so dead plants have been flanking the front door for 90% of the last 4.5 years. Every year we would buy something, it would fry from the insane direct sunlight our porch gets, and then the sad remains of the dearly departed plant would sit in the planter for a few months until we’d lather, rinse, and repeat that process. I tried annuals like creeping jenny and petunias (burned and died). Evergreens like boxwoods and dwarf spruces (burned and died even faster).  I’ve tried setting an alarm on my phone to water things every day. I’ve tried the upside-down wine bottle trick to water things. It was like a curse that refused to be broken… until now.

These evergreens can’t ever die BECAUSE THEY’RE FAKE!! After years of trying to make something (anything!) live in these planters I feel LIBERATED! These faux 36″ evergreens came into my life at the perfect time. I was at my wits end. And even though I worried they’d look lame and plastic-y, I was willing to roll the dice and try them.


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