15 Favorite Things I Added to the Garden Last Year


There’s a popular quote that says “Gardeners dream bigger dreams than emperors”.

Sometimes those dreams become reality and work out even better than expected. Sometimes they don’t pan out.

I’m going to review my favorite additions to the garden last year

For starters, I finally added outdoor curtains to the front porch.

These babies stayed up all winter – they’re tough, they soften the look, and they add interest.


Second, I scoured Craigslist for vintage fountains and unique concrete pieces to anchor the garden.

I brought home this sweet little dude…


And, this massive two piece planter for the front of the house. They still make my heart sing. La la laaaaaa!


I got lucky when we placed it because it is perfectly framed by the front door. I love looking out at it all year long. In the winter, I fill it with spruce tips.


3. I added the fire pit and walking paths.

I knew the kids would love the firepit – and they do.

I wasn’t sure if I would really enjoy the gravel paths, but they are one of my favorite elements in the garden.


4. I monogrammed the mantle on the front door.

I ordered the letters from wallwords and transferred them onto the mantle in about 10 minutes.

The toughest part was measuring the space and ordering an initial to fill the space of the crest on the mantle.


5. It’s nothing fancy, but I love my little chalkboard welcome sign.IMG_4246Resized


6. I turned the front porch into more of an outdoor room with rugs, seat cushions, furniture, and accent pieces.


7. I skirted this little iron bookshelf with a piece of burlap.IMG_4242Resized

I found the clips to attach the burlap (no sewing!!) on Amazon and they look identical to some I found at Restoration Hardware – so bonus!IMG_4243Resized


8. I finally added a hose holder by the spigot. Only took me 15 years…



9. I ditched the fairy garden and put in a fountain (from Craigslist).IMG_4239Resized


10. I planted more Solomon’s Seal. It starts to come up in the spring kind of like a hosta – and it’s one of the plants visitors ask about the most.IMG_4238Resized


11. I picked a great spot for Queen of the Prairie and it’s so happy.

It’s in a boggy low spot and it’s right by the Ligularia.IMG_4236Resized


12. I straightened up all the leaning trees on the property.

Ornamental trees have a tendency to lean. To keep the garden looking tended, the trees need to be standing up straight. Right girls?IMG_4234Resized


13. I bought this fish art even though my water feature was broke.

When it’s up and running again in June, I’ll be glad he’s in the river.IMG_4231Resized


14. I went on nature walks near the house and brought some treasures home. 

15. I added “Smith and Hawken” to my favorite search list on Craiglist. IMG_4232Resized

It’s been a great source of teak and copper items for the garden.


Still growing...

Jennifer Ebeling
Jennifer Ebeling is a proud Minnesotan and U of MN alumni. Gooooooo Gophers! Each week, Jennifer produces and hosts Still Growing - a gardening podcast dedicated to helping you and your garden grow. The show is an in-depth interview format. Guests featured on the show share a passion for gardening and include authors, bloggers, professional gardeners, etc. Listeners and guests of the show can join the Still Growing community on Facebook. It's a place to ask questions, share garden stories, interact with great guests featured on the show, and continue to grow and learn. Jennifer and her husband Philip have four children, a big golden lab named Sonny, and live in lovely Maple Grove, Minnesota. P.S. When she's not teaching her four kids a new card game - or teaching them how to drive a car - Jennifer loves inspiring individuals and groups to maximize and personalize their home & garden.
Jennifer Ebeling
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  1. Amy Putkonen on April 21, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I love your changes. Very pretty. My focus this year is on my front garden, which has been sadly neglected until now. 🙂 Making a great start this month, with removing the huge cement steps that go to nowhere from the front of my house!

    • Jennifer Ebeling on April 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Hey Amy – it’s soooooo great to bring new energy into old spaces. Getting rid of the steps to nowhere will be a fantastic way to revive the front of your house! 🙂

  2. CHRIS OSMERA on April 21, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Wow Jennifer, at the rate you’re going there will be nothing left for you to do in your yard next summer! You want to spend next summer in my yard? 🙂

    • Jennifer Ebeling on April 30, 2016 at 8:30 pm

      Hey Chris – that took me all last summer to get done! (Plus I had help from student gardeners!) 🙂 Every year there’s a new list of to-dos…

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