Decorating Dilemmas Party!

It’s time once again for a party at Serenity Now for Amanda.  Amanda is hosting her eighth Decorating Dilemma party.  I’m happy to join in the fun.  Each time I’ve participated I’ve received great suggestions and I’ve had fun getting to know other bloggers and offering what I hope is helpful feedback.

Last month when Amanda hosted her party it was her birthday, this month it’s mine!  I’m turning 41 on May 26.  I don’t have any special birthday plans this year.  By the time I spend the majority of my day with 100+ 13 year olds, I’m not sure how much celebrating I’ll have left in me.  I am hoping to go for a run and then spend the evening with Mr. SP.  We’re going to grill steaks and then have cake.  I heart birthday cake!

Now for my dilemma.  I have plenty of indoor dilemmas but what I need help with right now is an outside dilemma.  The front of my house needs attention and I’m stumped on what to do.

I shared a few weeks back that I got two pick-up truck loads of Liriope from my friend, Suzanne.  It’s in a big pile, waiting to be planted.  It must be tough stuff because it still looks great without a bit of attention.  There’s more than what you see here.

Liriope Supply:

I am thinking of planting Liriope along the walkway like I’ve sketched here.  What do you think?   What would you plant in the small bed in the center of the sidewalk?  I’m thinking of putting annuals here for now.               
On the left side of the house, I’d like to extend the existing bed forward so that it mirrors the edge of the sidewalk.  If I do this, do you think I should edge the new border in Liriope? 
This is another shot of the extension of bed that I’d like to do in this area.  I don’t know what I’d plant here, for the time being, I’d probably just mulch it.
I really could use some suggestions in this area.  Should I move my existing shrubs forward now that there’s more room in this area?  If I leave them in place, should I plant some smaller shrubs in front of these?  Flowers might work here, but I’d rather have something that has year round interest in this area.  If I plant Liriope along the walkway, there won’t be a lot of extra room for planting here.
I would like to plant flowers in this area but I’m not sure what to plant.  The Boxwoods that I transplanted here need some pruning and I’m confident that they’ll look much better than they do now in a year or so.  I drew in Liriope to get your imagination going.  What would you plant here?
I will appreciate any suggestion that anyone has to offer. 
Thanks to Amanda for hosting!
Click on Amanda’s button below to return to the party!
Decorating Dilemmas


  1. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    Paula, I think you have such good instincts about your gardening and landscaping!

    Having your sketch with the liriope helped a lot, and I think it would look really nice in all the areas you have it “penciled” in. 🙂 Having it in that front bed might solve your planting problems since you might not have room for much else.

    I’d do something with a little pop of color in that side bed, but that’s just me.

    I hope you have a VERY Happy Birthday!! Thanks for linking up. 🙂

  2. I think you have got some great ideas so far. My advice is to add some soft color to the yard. Who knows…it could add value to the house!
    -Mama E

  3. Your house is so cute! I like the idea of lining the beds with liriope. I the bed closest to the house with the boxwoods some of the decorative grasses would be really pretty and they are low maintenance or what about some flowering bushes like weigela? I can’t wait to see what you do!

  4. 李智淑 says:

    IS VERY GOOD…………………………

  5. Love the idea of unifying all your planting areas with the same plant edging (liriope). I’d add some shrub roses in white (or a color if you have a favorite) in front of your existing shrubs, and then some border perennials (flowering) in front or back of them (depending on height). In the little planter in the middle of the sidewalk, I’d use a focal point – like an urn, or birdbath, or sculpture, with plants in varying heights around it. The mistake we commonly make is to have very short plants and no height variation = think scale next to the house and next to focal points. Good luck, and make sure to post photos when you are done!

  6. You didn’t mention what type of light these beds get, which is a major factor in deciding what goes in there. In the small area in the middle of all the paving, I’d put a small ornamental tree. Japanese maple, crepe myrtle, dogwood? And then I’d just fill in around it with some of the liriope. Liriope is nice for edging, but once you start, at what point do you stop? Personally, I like to use it as filler (as noted above) or in groupings. In the area in front of the two windows, I’m not sure what those shrubs are, but if they get much wider, they will be too big. Possibly you could pull every other one forward, to give them more space. Then use perennials in the remaining area, or your liriope. And yes, I would definitely extend the bed on the left.

  7. Maggie Reno says:

    Wow, I love your ideas so far with the liriope. I would add a few varieties of flowers that flower at different time of year so that you have color all summer. I think I’d lighten up the shrubs on the corners of the house, making the two near your entry more of a focal. I think I’d actually put grass in the center bed, it seems like an area that might get walked on often by kids. Don’t forget about yard accents. A bird bath, or stepping stones would be fun in that side bed by the boxwoods.

  8. Kelli @ RTSM says:

    First, your house is adorable! I love the railing on the porch and the lattice between the two windows. I think lining the walkwalk with the Liriope is a great idea. Maybe between the Liriope and your existing shrubs add a colorful shrub…we have lorepetalums planted in our flower beds and they add a nice pop of purple without being too showy. Also I think Lantana would be great in the center of the sidewalk. It is a low growing flowering plant, that way it won’t block the view of the stuff in the bed along the house! I hope this helped a little. Good luck!

  9. Christy says:

    I love your house! The work that you guys have done with the driveway,sidewalk and patio added even more curb appeal. The idea you had of edging your sidewalk with liriope will look amazing. I love using liriope in edging because of the nice neat clump that the plants form in time. I would definitely extend the bed to the left of the house and follow the same curve. I would accentuate this area with some Knockout roses, to brighten up the green of the boxwoods. I would add these in between and a few feet out from the boxwoods. I would then add some daylillies as a border in front of the roses. The foliage of the daylillies would mimic that of the liriope grass but would provide some more interest with the flowers. The area out from your screened porch, I would love to see a laceleaf Japanese Maple or some other type of small ornamental tree. The burgundy of a Japanese Maple could add a pop of color to this area. The small bed that you mentioned putting annuals in would look great.You could think about doing seasonal things like tulips and crocus and hyacinths in the spring, flowering annuals in the summer and ornamental kale and cabbage and pansies in the Fall, or you could just use a low growing ornamental grass like beautiful blue fescue grass or make it a small daylillie garden. Can’t wait to see pictures of what you decide on! Have a Happy Birthday!!

  10. Ashley @ Bride on a Budget says:

    I like the ideas you have so far. For the bed in the middle of the walkway, I would definitely plant some nicely colored annuals. It will give just the perfect oomph to the space.

  11. RJ @ A Life Designed says:

    Happy birthday!

    I’ve never heard of liriope before, and lucky you for receiving a big pile free! I love free plants! *lol*

    I think it would look great along your walkways, and extending the garden in front of the rest of the house is a great idea!

    The shrubs you suggested moving look pretty big… I’d definitely research how well the transplant if you decide to move them. It would be a shame if you lost one that well established!

    But you could definitely put in some great perennials in between the liriope and the shrubs that would work hard all season long. Things like periwinkle stay green almost year round and are a great {but invasive} ground cover.

    Good luck and happy planting!

  12. FrouFrouBritches says:

    Happy Birthday Paula! I am absolutely no help. I kill plants so I am zero help in this department. Although, I loooove your driveway and sidewalks. They turned out so pretty!!!

    Sorry I’m no help.

  13. Jen @ says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!

    I have to say that I have a black thumb – and am no help with planting anything.

    I love your house though. It is so cute. I love the brick and your black shutters and that path in front. Adorable!


  14. Manuela@TPOH says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I love the shape of the beds you’ve drawn and the walkway with the liriope would be nice. The only thing is that some types of liriope don’t really stay put and the next thing you know you have to start pulling it out of your bed. I can’t tell what kind that is from the picture but that’s what happened to me with some that my neighbor gave me.


  15. Kendall says:

    Happy Birthday! Your house is SO cute!

    I like the plants you have sketched in a lot. I wouldn’t move the shrubs forward in the beds, since they are tall, but I would plant something short and with color in front of them. I’ve had really good luck with blooming succulents (they are hearty and even me with my black thumb can’t kill them!) For the “floating bed” on the right, I would plant a flowering tree here. I love the Angel’s Trumpet. The blooms are beautiful and fragrant, and again it’s a hard plant to kill. Good luck!

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Decorating Dilemmas Party

Amanda at Serenity Now for Amanda is hosting another party. This time it’s a decorating dilemma party. This is a great way to get suggestions from others for how to solve a dilemma in your home.

Decorating Dilemmas Feb 10 2010

My dilemma is mail organization. Our mail comes through the door and lands on the rug you see here. When I come home from school, I sort it into my pile (mostly magazines) and Mr. SP’s pile (mostly bills – hee-hee). The piles aren’t too bad, but an organizational system would make it prettier.


I used to have an antique radio on top of this trunk and it filled some of the space between the trunk and the hunt scene picture. I believe that I need something on the trunk with a little height.


This trunk is in my formal living room, so whatever I use for organization needs to be attractive. I like antiques and if the organizational system involved something old, that would be the best of all worlds.

The trunk is to the left behind the sofa.




Now, back to the party!


  1. Hey Paula, check this out….

    I can send a pic if you need me to.


  2. Well, an antique mail sorting cubby unit would be too cool, but to find one might be hard! Something else that would have little cubbies would work. I’ll keep thinking. Your home is lovely!


  3. Amanda @ Serenity Now says:

    I bet with some scouting you can find some sort of really neat old cubby or neat metal box to hang there over the trunk. Hang whatever you find with the opening on the top so that the mail doesn’t show as much. I love the room, and the trunk too!!! 🙂 Thanks for linking up. I think I’ll try covering up the mirrored back first and then see how I like it. 🙂

  4. What about an old mailbox? I mean the flat kind that is on the wall of the porch rather than the kind on the post. I found one that was painted blue and kinda old and chippy at a garage sale for four dollars. What about something like this
    or this

  5. Those are all great suggestions above. You could even use a smaller antique trunk on top of your…leaving the open. As long as it didn’t come too close to the hunt scene, the mail could hide within. Looks like you’ll be fleaing to find this solution.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. I think baskets can often solve many problems! I got a basket not too long ago at Michaels that is flat like a tray and used it for sorting mail. It would lie nicely on top of the trunk.
    Good luck!

  8. FrouFrouBritches says:

    A couple of weeks ago at Hobby Lobby I saw a really cute antique looking mail sorter metal thingee. It was REALLY cute. I think it could sit or hang.

    ALSO, recently in an antique shop I saw an old post office mail sorter. It was really cool, or an old milk crate hung up – the kind with the larger slots. I used an antique tool box for awhile (the open kind that’s built up on the sides with a divider in the middle with a handle like Pa on Little House on the Prairie carried – makes sense?) Baskets are always great too.

    Love your living room!

  9. FrouFrouBritches says:

    Also, kind of primitive, but I have seen really, really cute antique nesting boxes for hens. I know it sounds gross, but could be cute. I can’t find a good picture to link. Again, something I saw in antique shop and didn’t know what it was until Hubby told me.

  10. Laura Ingalls Gunn says:

    Yes, fill the space above the trunk.

    If you are handy you could create your own antique mail sorting system. Google for images and go from there.

  11. Go East Memphis Mama says:

    I’d love to fix your problem…except I have the same one! It’s my kitchen table though…ugh. I hate mail!

  12. Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage says:

    Nice suggestions! What about an old suitcase — would fit with the trunk. Set the suitcase on top and fashion some sort of dividers in it. Sort mail and close top. 🙂

  13. Your house is beautiful! And I LOVE that trunk! I like all the suggestions so far, especially the one for a smaller trunk/chest that could sit on top of the big one!

  14. Your trunk is just beautiful.

    It might be nice to put something tall (a trio of old finials?) on top of the trunk, and then just use something utilitarian to hold the mail, such as an antique box or basket.

    I do think you’re right that you need something to go in the space above the trunk, so if you can’t find standing accessories with some height, you could mount something on the wall there, such as a piece of architectural salvage.

    Good luck!

  15. Trays are always a good solution, they come in various sizes. For height, I’m envisioning an old, maybe even slightly rusty pitcher with some sort of sticks in it, stacked on books if add’l height is needed.

  16. Paula, I love your trunk. You do have a dilemma. The trunk is so nice that I know you don’t want it covered with the mail. You have some nice suggestions. Have you considered moving your mail to another spot?

  17. Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend says:

    I use baskets….and am constantly checking the basket…Love your blog.

  18. Oooh, I love FrouFrouBritches idea of an antique toolbox. You know one that is solid wood with a well worn gleam. You might have to pay a little extra for one, but you could use it for a million things, forever.

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