New House Tour | The Front Porch

Marian ParsonsExterior, My House121 Comments

Everyone knows that the best color to use to make a good first impression is the pale beige that has graced Band Aids for generations.

Not really, but that’s what my front door is saying at the moment.

I don’t know what is up with this color, but it’s blah and it’s going to change.

I held up dozens of paint swatches to pick a color that would work with the beige siding.   I originally thought of a blue/gray, but the ones I tried weren’t working with the siding that has warm, pink undertones.  Too blue and it made the siding look mauve, too gray and it looked flat.

I decided to sway towards the blue/green/gray family.  Bringing green to the mix worked much better.

I settled on Farrow & Ball’s Card Room Green…

If ever I feel overwhelmed with picking a color, I switch from the large paint decks to a more limited color palette.  My Farrow & Ball deck offers that, but there are signature color palettes in most paint lines and they make picking colors a little bit easier.

I also find it’s helpful to search the colors you like on Pinterest to see how they read in different spaces.  I searched the color I liked and found this door…

Yummy!  Right?

(I found this picture on many sites, but couldn’t find the original source.)

What was helpful in that search, though, is I was able to see the color in many different rooms in many different ways, so I got a good feel for it despite the fact that I’m viewing pictures on a computer screen.  It’s not going to be the same as seeing it in your space or on your door, but it helps.

I don’t mind spending some good money on paint, but Farrow & Ball is pretty pricey and I would need to order it online, so I had the color matched at my (new) local Benjamin Moore paint store.  Here is the formula for the custom match, in case you’re interested…

I’m sure most of you know, but you can have any color at all matched, even a color from a different paint line.

I am going to prime and take the door off the hinges to paint it, but I couldn’t resist brushing on a little bit to see how it looked…

Yes, so much better!

I know…those drips are killing me, too.  I’ll take care of those.

Anyway, I’m very excited about the rest of the front porch.  I just had a stoop at my last house, so having an actual porch is glorious!

The second day in the house, I picked up a couple of topiaries from Home Depot.  This porch was just begging for them.  I realized that I didn’t have pots that were the right size, though.  I scored some planters that were the perfect size on clearance at Tuesday Morning.  They were $10/each and are nice and heavy.


The front bed does need some cleaning up and I would like to put some plants in that have more structure.  I don’t have a clue about most of what’s in there, so I’m hoping to get some advice from people who are better gardeners than I am, so I don’t rip out something that’s actually very cool, but just doesn’t look its best at the moment.

I started pulling weeds, but I didn’t have my gardening gloves unpacked, yet, and Minnesota has some mean weeds!  So, I need to find my gloves to really attack this bed and clean it up.

I was on a mission today to get as many boxes unpacked as I could.  (I shared my progress on my Instagram Stories, if you want to check it out.)  Aside from my studio boxes, I only have three more boxes left to unpack tomorrow.  I can see the unpacking finish line!!  Woohoo!

More to come…

As an aside, does anyone know what kind of bush this is?


New House Tour | The Front Porch

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121 Comments on “New House Tour | The Front Porch”

    1. I think you are right, or possibly Quince.
      Our neighbors have a Quince and it is a hummingbird hot spot.

  1. Some of that looks like spirea; you can trim and shape it anytime of year – at least that’s what I do to mine (I’m in the Midwest, too.) You may find that the plants bloom at different times, so what may look like a ‘weed’ now was spectacular in the spring. It also looks like there is a mix of bushes and perennials. I would just get rid of all the weeds to see what the layout/design. A gardener could help identify each plant/type/bloom cycle. Then you can better decide what you want to keep or relocate. Many years ago when I bought my house there were perennials that surfaced the first year. I waited and then started designing. Of course, if you dislike everything, you could work with a landscaper and do a total redesign. If I was closer, I’d come and help!!

    1. Yup! Spirea are one of my favorite shrubs, and prune up so nicely! Such a great idea to have a gardener help you id each plant and when it blooms.

    2. Me, too. I love gardening and am pretty good at pulling weeds (I use a screwdriver and wear gloves).

  2. Welcome to MN!

    Your garden has some great plants! The one you asked about is wiegela – you can prune it and shape it to your heart’s desire.

    I’m in lovely Maple Grove – a NW suburb of Minneapolis – and host a weekly podcast – the Still Growing Gardening Podcast. Happy to help you with your garden questions.

      1. I grow lavender and my zone here in northern Wisconsin is a three, pushing four. You should be good to go/grow.

  3. Front porch is looking so amazing and relaxing. It’s a great place one can find to get relax. I like the paint color. Your choice of paint is good. After this post, I will surely try to make changes in our front porch. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. Love the color you picked. I’ve been thinking about changing the color of my doors and shutters, they are currently country red ( don’t know the real name) but the color I was thinking was a “band-aid color” I still think it will work with my siding. Can’t wait to see your door painted.

  5. Wow! I have been stumped as to what in the world color to paint our kitchen cabinets because our granite has that beige/pink undertone….like your bandaid front door Haha! You are spot on…adding the green to the paint fixes the problem, I think. What do I owe you? 🙂

  6. Wiegela. You will love it. Only trim dead branches out. Very full color!!

    Welcome to MN! We’re in central MN, and have family in Rochester!

  7. The bush is a weigelia – it is very hardy and trims well. I think my mother’s shrub is about 60 years old now. We have close to the same door color on our yellow home (white trim) in S. FL It makes me smile and goes with about everything seasonally. Love the new home and you are right about the gas stove.

  8. The bush is a weigelia. Looks like you have spirea bushes, salvia, black eyed susans and daylilies in your front garden. I would give it a year to see how everything blooms to see if you like it. I would clear out the weeds and maybe trim some of the overlap of the plants. I like a little separation between my plants, but others prefer a more blended cottegey look. Have fun!

  9. I know you already bought paint but the F&B paint color is the same intensity as the beige on the house and will blend….maybe try on the door only BM Deep Caviar 2130-20, and a soft white on the side lights, or another color combo might be BM Sonnet AF-55 on the sidelights and BM Franklin Lakes 1643 if you want color, just a thought….

  10. I see some day lilies in that mix, too. If you don’t like the current spot, dig them up and replant elsewhere. They can tolerate full sun, and I’ve had great luck when replanting mine. They will add a nice, bright spot to your garden, or you can plant them together for good impact. If you don’t want them, offer them to neighbors. Maybe they’ll dig them up for you! 😊

  11. Whew, I don’t think I could live with that siding color, I’d have to get that all replaced at some point. Meanwhile, make that front door a color you love! The front has the potential to be nice and stately. Your bench is a DREAM.

    As for the plants, the bush is a weigela, with peonies under it, the purple spikey flowers are liatris, there are daylilies in there and some bulb lilies, hostas, a spirea bush of some sort, black eyed susans. Can’t see enough of that blue flower in there to get a view of it. You’ve got a lot of good stuff in there to play with!

    1. Yes! I told Jeff that I would like to get the house painted. It’s not my favorite, either. It’s low on the priority list, but it is on there. 🙂

  12. Marian,
    Yes….that front door is screaming for some color! The color you chose is very soft and pretty but Kate is right it blends in too much with the siding. You really need a color that “POPS” and will make the siding stand out more. I would try a deep eggplant color. I think it would look great with your siding.

    Also, I know every painter has their own personal preference, but if you have never used Clark & Kensington paint do try it or at least a sample. Ace Hardware sells it in our area. You can have them match the color to any BM or SW color. We used Clark & Kensington in BM Revere Pewter color to paint our living room. My husband said it went on like butter and he felt it covered so much nicer than either BM or SW plus he used less paint. That’s a real compliment for him because he dislikes painting. He even agreed to paint our master bath and had them match C&K paint with SW Tidewater color.

  13. I’d paint the side lights out in all white, like the rest of the trim on your home, and just paint the door a color. Another person above mentioned this as well.

    You have a beautiful mix of plants in that bed. I noticed spirea and daylilies right off. The daylilies are the grassy looking plants. They get glorious yellow flowers and then the whole branch will die back and turn brown. You need to let them die all the way down. You can replant those anywhere in your yard. They’re pretty tolerant of most conditions and light and don’t need a lot of watering. Most of the plants in your bed won’t need much watering, which is great!

  14. That group of plants is definitely too messy for your house’s front walk, but as everyone has said you have a great mix of perennials there to work with. I’d move them to other areas of your yard and start over. I’m in MN too and couldn’t believe you were moving here!!! When you need a getaway, you will need to bring your family up to Duluth. It’s the nation’s furthest inland sea port, and we get ships coming into port from all over the world and the Great Lakes. It’s a fabulous family friendly city with lots to see and do. Love following along as you make this new place home!

  15. It is a Weigela, Red Prince. Very hardy and will be happy with a trim of the dead branches. Happy gardening and welcome to Minnesota.

  16. You have a wonderful lot of plants in the front. They look like they haven’t been divided for a few years; if you split them up you will have plenty of stock for other parts of the yard. Daylilies always look messy to me when they are done blooming, but they are so reliable that I keep them. They are almost impossible to kill as well.

    Fall is the best time to divide and do new plantings in the upper Midwest. If you are lucky to get it done by the end of October it will be great; we can have freezes starting in late October and early November. You mentioned having to rake the maple leaves…you really do not have to. Get a mulching blade on your mower and just mulch all those leaves to bits and leave them on the yard. We have done this for 30 years and it works great (our first year here we raked up over 100 bags of leaves and said “never again.”) An autumn mulching is equal to a fertilizer application.

    I love the door color!

  17. I’m probably going to sound so negative but I honestly don’t mean to. But I had gone through a very similar scenario of color issues and went through the same thought process as you. Fast forward and I hated it. Maybe just my personal preference but I ended up re-painting all the trim and door a nice, fresh, crisp white. It helped neutralize the siding color until we were able and willing to paint the whole house, and gave a great neutral backdrop for plants, little decorative yard items, and went much better with all the holiday decor. The green really seemed to compete with the house color and just didn’t feel as fresh and crisp as I had envisioned. All that said I really do wish you all the best and pray it works better for you than it did for us.

  18. Such a lovely home!
    I love the eggplant suggestion for the front door! Would be such a pop of color and pretty with the greens and colors in the front bed.
    If you are sure you want green, a darker green would be a nice contrast…if it looks good with the green in your plants.?

  19. What do you call the glass panes over your front door? I like them.
    What will you place in them? Watching you!!!

  20. Definitely try a darker shade on the front door, and paint the trim white. Maybe a deeper shade of green similar to your topiary plants? It will make the door stand out more. Just a suggestion…

  21. I have the same siding color. We did have blue shutters and a matching door. A few years ago we painted the door a blue toned red because I read that a red front door brings prosperity! We recently replaced all the shutters with black ones and we are in the process of painting all the exterior doors black. It looks very classy. Since you do not have shutters, you really can go with any color you like. I would like to paint our house too, but painting vinal siding can be tough. I know some who have done so and it started peeling after a few years. May have been poor quality of paint.

  22. Have you seen the GrowIt app? It’s free and you can take a picture of a plant and it will identify it for you.

    I’m excited for you, starting over in a new home! I love seeing your home through your eyes. Can’t wait to see the next post!!

  23. I agree I’d say it’s a Wiegela too, if you want lavender remember it needs excellent drainage and lots of sunshine, from what I’ve seen its quite a cottagey look ? You could try and English country garden look and add some interesting topiary ? I saw a beautiful garden once with box hedging with only lavender inside the border 🙂

    I did a reverse image search and found the same door painted in different colours i think it maybe a clever photoshop job

    It’s happening everywhere!!! Do you ever sleep? You already have made it to Tuesday Morning,
    paint store, Home Depot, got the boxes emptied, new refrigerator, thinking about gardening…….WHEW!!!!!!!

    YOU AMAZE!!!!! GO GIRL!!! Love all your choices. Do try to remember your last home took years to evolve.
    This one can too!!!

    ….Oh, and one more thing from yesterdays post: Those leaves you didn’t want to think about raking…..I know where you can find 2 young men helpers on that!!! Sometimes the answers are right under our nose!!!

  25. Agree door itself needs a poppier color like the darker green in the swatches….sidelight in the lighter green? I like the siding color…resembles my favorite FB paint
    Elephants breath
    Anyway….good tidings in your new home

  26. Such a cute porch! It’s gonna look great. I think those bluish green pumpkin squash will look so nice on this porch with the new color on the door

  27. What do you think about a navy door since you like blue? Navy and tan is a classic! I also like the sidelight trim white. Good luck!

    1. This was my thought… a deep navy blue with white trim and side lights. I’m afraid that once you get that color, as beautiful as it is, on your door it will blend too much.

  28. Another option that grows so well in the midwest is Russian Sage. It has a lavender look, and is much more hearty!

  29. I would just like to say thank-you for sharing your new house. There is nothing I love more than sitting in front of my computer watching someone else make all the decisions and do all the hard work of creating a beautiful home. I know your house will be especially fun to watch and admire from afar.

    So, thanks a million for including us – I am looking forward to to your journey.

  30. They’re wegiela for sure, Marion. Just planted some in my own gardens. Great, fuss free, hardy bush with darling blooms all season long!

  31. I like the greens you are introducing! I am also picking a front door color. Not easy, but what a HUGE difference!

  32. Hi Marian
    I believe that you your bush is weigela.

    Check out this photo link to compare:

    If you send a few more closeups of the front bed, I can identify the plants for you.

    Much health and happiness in your new abode


  33. I was wondering what the outside of your home was like.
    We’ve moved a lot and I think you’ll find that old favorites in PA just don’t look the same with the different light of the Midwest. We live in CO and white can be hard- it has to be on the warm side to not look sterile. White in my brothers So. FL home is perfect and fresh.
    You picked a pleasing color for the door. If you end up thinking it should be darker I know your style well enough to know you’ll repaint!

  34. So many people are intimidated by paint colors. I can see you are not among that group! I ALWAYS carry a large paint deck with me (seriously-I have one in my car, my house and my cottage) and advise people to do the same. Sometimes you can luck out and a store will just give you one. When I moved to my last house the local Benjamin Moore store sent a coupon for one! Or, many might not realize you can buy them. Today, anyone can easily match any company’s paint. Like you, I am a big Benjamin Moore fan. It NEVER pays to buy cheap paint! Also a huge fan of Wooster’s SHORT CUT paint brush-best thing ever for cutting in. I enjoy reading about your family’s new adventure!

  35. I love the new color. It is really going to make the front porch pop….and give it a Miss Mustard Seed welcome. Can’t wait to see it.

  36. How do you get so much done? Everything looks like it’s been there, meaning well thought out.
    On top of the move you have a family and you manage to take pictures and write details about it all.
    I’m guessing you don’t sleep a lot. lol..
    You have a gift of writing, among other talents.
    Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us.

  37. i love your porch! I also adore the paint color you have chosen. I love it so much, I am going to talk my husband into letting me paint our shutters and front door that same color. I think it looks “rich”. Not very thing has to “pop”. The color you have chosen has understated elegance. Just my two cents….

    If my husband and I could do our life over again, I would want to move to Rochester! It looks and sounds glorious!

  38. There is a free app called “plantnet” that allows you to snap a picture of a plant or a flower and the app will help you identify what it is! And your front porch is adorable by the way! Can’t wait to see the front door painted! The color you chose is just beautiful!!!

  39. That tree looks an awful lot like a bay laurel (as in bay leaves you put in soup), though I thought those weren’t zoned for Minnesota winters. At the very least, I think it’s something in the laurel family. Google around and compare the flowers. Also, there are apps (like “Garden Answers” for iOS) that you can snap a photo of the flowers and foliage and it’ll help you identify the plants. Now’s a great time to do that since a lot of stuff is in flower.

    If you do find out it’s a laurel, be careful. I believe some laurels are poisonous to eat. Make sure it’s the right thing if you use it as an herb.

    A good rule of thumb is to give your new gardens a full year or at least a full blooming season before you go yanking stuff out. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell a weed from a desirable plant. Since you’re moving in now, you can probably figure out what most of it is now or at least get some good close-up shots of stuff in bloom to make decisions later.

  40. Someone mentioned black for the would look great with your new pots and light fixtures. Just a thought…

  41. It will be interesting to find out whether there is a variety of lavender that survives Minnesota winters. In Missouri, I had a very hearty lavender plant for years that one year didn’t return.
    There are definitely varieties that are better suited to places that can get sudden (or long) cold snaps.

  42. Someone mentioned black for the door – and I agree that it would look stunning with white on the side lights. The green you selected just doesn’t look right with the siding color and I think also competes with the live greenery/plants. My friends had a house with the beige siding and light brick like I saw in one of the photos. Their black front door just ‘popped’ and made the house a show stopper.
    Now…don’t you just l.o.v.e opinion #42818???!!! 🙂 😉 Of course, all your readers are sooo appreciative of your warm sharing and openness. Fun…

  43. Welcome (although belatedly) to Rochester. Did you meet Bruce? He is great! He helped and helped and helped me with trying to figure out why BJM Advance in two different sheens look different and I can’t forget my paint brush obsession. ☺️ Welcome again.

  44. Love the new door color. And that is a Weigela bush and there are different varieties of this bush.

  45. I love the color you picked for your front door. So funny I just mixed up some odds and ends of paint in my garage and came up with a color very similar. I painted under the chair rail in my guest room that color. I love it.

  46. If you have any spirea bushes, be thankful. Everyone in my small town lost multiple trees this spring, either from our late, very hard freeze, or from 90 mph winds a few weeks ago. The spirea around my front porch came through like a champ, and it was planted the year the house was built, 1926. I have it chain-sawed off once a year, and it thrives. By the way, did you know that spirea contains salicylic acid (same ingredient found in aspirin) and that the Indians used to chew the leaves for pain relief? Or so I’ve read.

    I think the green door will be beautiful. I can also imagine the same color as the siding, but much, much more intense, but then I like warm colors. No blue in my house, and I know you love blue.

  47. Deep charcoal or dark navy would look great on your door, IMO. However, I do realize that you are the paint pro!
    So fun to follow the Mustard Seed adventures!

  48. :My house is that clay color also – or putty or whatever they call it (maybe a little darker than yours). I opted to have the window and door trim all the same color because every other clay colored house on our street has white trim. Then I painted the doors a similar color of green, maybe more like the darker swatch you have there. (I had originally started with forest green when that was the “in” color, but recently lightened up some but kept it in the earth tone family.
    The purple spiked flowers are called Liatris. I group all mine together in a large clump instead of having them spread out so much. Yes, wiegela on the bush – have some – love them. Mine are Wine & Roses variety. They bloom on new growth, so trimming them now might kill your blooms for next year. Mine bloom end of May. Trim after done blooming. They take hard trimming well.

  49. Weigela will attract hummingbirds…lucky you! In your flower beds, I spy liatris, hosta, black-eyed Susans, day lilies, Asiatic lilies, and spirea. The blue flower may be spiderwort (Tradescantia). It is hard to tell without seeing the foliage.

    As for lavender, there are many varieties with varying hardiness. We live in zone 4 and have a lavender farm nearby, but they cover their plants with agricultural blankets for the winter. Please find a local nursery that has been in business in the area for a while. They can give you advice about planting for your zone. My experience with the “big box” stores is that carry some plants that are not appropriate for the area.

  50. It’s a weigela. Probably on it’s second bloom. It looks like it needs to be thinned out a bit. Don’t cut it like a shrub. Just pull out the oldest 1/3 of branches from the center. I only trim the length when it reaches too far over my neighbor’s driveway.

  51. Marian, I sure love most
    Of what you choose to paint, but the color for the front door should pop a little more. Perhaps a greenish black. I think it would make the siding pop more and you wouldn’t feel that it needs painting any time soon.

    You are doing such a beautiful job putting your home together. I know it will be just wonderful when you have put your magic on it!

  52. I agree with others, the shrub in your new garden is a weigela, possibly a Ruby Wine Weigeia. It’s a lot of work to move to a new house, but the possibilties make the adventure worthwhile. As the mistress of milk paint, you have a lovely colour sense if you haven’t heard of Maria Killam, a colour consultant, she is a leader in her field. Check her blog, Color Me Happy. She is not a fan of pink-beige but offers solutions for working with it. I’ve had a lot of happy clients after following her in workshops. Thanks for sharing your new home with your fans.

  53. I like the idea of a black door, too. Along with the light fixture and topiary pots that makes three uses of the accent color – a bit of design wisdom.

    1. Black was my first thought, actually, but I’ve had a black door for 10 years and I decided to try something different with this house! 🙂

      1. Funny you already had a black door . I think the front door should reflect , when possible , the interior of the house . You rarely have black in your home so it’s not something I associate with you .

  54. I bought a topiary fromyou while at Lucketts Spring Market this year. I love it !! It has loved all the rain we have been getting in Chambersburg, I keep it on my deck in the shade. I just hope I can keep it alive when I bring inside this fall. Your new home looks so inviting.
    PA misses you !!

    Suzy Wilkinson

  55. Love the shade of green that you chose…such a great color to greet family and friends. I am sure you will be having lots of fun decorating your porch. Looks great already…I must say that no moss will ever grow under your feet!

  56. I was going to say weigela too. Very pretty. We live in an old farmhouse where the siding is that light tan color but we painted the shutters a very similar color to what you’ve chosen for your door and I love it! Have fun decorating!

  57. Love the green but I would probably go with something more neutral….love changing out my porch decor for seasons/holidays and dont want to be locked in to color on the door…..I also love a neutral backdrop for all my flowers.

  58. What nice plantings you have already! I suggest to pull the weeds out and let it all grow for a cycle of a year. See what pops up each season. Making a rough map of the areas might be helpful – or taking pictures of each area ( with dates) so you’ll know what to expect again – or not. 🙂

  59. You are totally right and I did not mean that reference to be disrespectful to the previous homeowner. It looked to me like this was the original door color, so I guessed it was chosen by the builder. It almost looks like a primer coat.

    This is a gorgeous house and we have said daily that we can’t believe that it’s ours. I love this house. All of the beige is not my taste, but there is a better way to communicate that.

    Honestly, I was just trying to be funny with the Band Aid comment, because that was my first thought when I saw it. I would never want to joke in a way that hurt someone, though.

  60. I like the color you chose for your door even with the current “beige” siding which looks similar to the taupe siding in my little beach cottage.

    The fact that you’re already selecting colors amazes me. It took me more than a year to completely unpack all my boxes and I only have an 842 sq. ft. house!!!! And I still haven’t finished painting my kitchen which I began earlier this year!!! Can I borrow your family to help?

    And to hear that you’re ready to tackle the weeds in your overgrown front garden? You’re amazing! Look forward to seeing your garden bloom come Spring and see what colors show up.

  61. The front bed contains daylilies, liatris(purple spikey), black eyed susan(yellow), hosta(white flowers on left near the back, and platycodon(blue star looking flower near the middle. Can’t tell what those little white flowers up front are. I notice some said spirea, and they are in back of bed next to the porch. All are sun-loving plants except the hosta, which is normally shade-loving.

    The best of luck to you. You have made amazing progress with the unpacking. Kudos to you!

  62. I am glad you found Struves for your Benjamin Moore. They are a great local family business that has been in Rochester for a very long time. My 88 year old mother taught me it’s the only place to buy paint in town.

  63. Thank you for sharing your new home! I love the way you’re making it your own with your special touches!

  64. I think whatever you choose is great!
    After all you have your own paint line, I think you know a lot more about color than your followers/readers do. You are a published author that has a wonderful sense of style, I would trust whatever color you like. I also like that you want a change for your front door, not black as you had on your other home.
    Thanks for sharing your home and ideas while settling in. Every post I have seen is a nice surprise!

  65. Red Prince Weigela, looks like you have liatris, Asiatic Lilies, Hosta, day lilies and spirea in your bed.

  66. Love the color you have chosen! What a great variety of plants in your beds! I was guessing Weigela,and was excited to see I was right. I haven’t used my horticulture degree in years and couldn’t believe the name popped in my head.

  67. The door will be amazing! It’s possible to transplant some of the plantings to your back yard as you redesign this front garden. I do that if the plants aren’t too large in their trunk area. It can help fill spots and less costly. Enjoy

  68. Yes! I painted our front door a very similar color, and it made all the difference! Are you considering painting the siding? I ask because we’re debating doing it next year. 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s on our “home improvement list”, but it’s pretty low on it! 🙂 While it’s not the color I would’ve picked, beiges are very popular out here, so it doesn’t look like a sore thumb or anything.

  69. Whenever you do get ready to paint the exterior its going to be sticker shock for you when you get the first estimates! Your living in a brick house in PA for so many years you were so lucky about not having to paint. I would learn to love it a long while and just re-paint the trim and doors which will make a big difference.

  70. I think PJ’s assessment of you garden plants is spot on. In Wisconsin, the varieties of lavender that do well are hidcote and munstead. Perhaps that is true in Minnesota.

  71. Your plant is a weigela and can be pruned/shaped after flowering and should receive a hard prune every two years. In your front bed the taller purple flowers are liatris which is a keeper and will die back in fall until spring. The yellow are rudbeckia which are also keepers, will die back in fall – just mentioning so when you weed you may want to mark their location. Lavender will grow in your area and “Munstead” is a hearty variety. I speak from experience
    Love the door colour choice and enjoy following the house transformation!

  72. Can I be the only one who wants to talk about the bench? I love it! We just moved, too, to a 200 year old house. You have your act way more together than me! Your pace is inspiring…moved some furniture around after reading yesterday and feel much better! I’m searching for a big bench JUST like that for our back entryway. What is that type called?? I’ve searched spindle bench, armed bench, deacon’s bench…I definitely want an antique…i’ve been keeping an eye out on CL. We have a big antique show coming up in New York soon so I’ve shown this to the husband so he can help me look! Thanks for the inspiration!

  73. The spiky plant with the purple blossoms is liriope, aka lilyturf. It grows well in Zones 6-10, but can thrive in some Zone 5 areas. I have lots of it around my home in Texas, but I think it will fare less well where you are. It will have to be cut back before early spring (March) to look decent during the summer and autumn months. And it spreads if not contained. With your busy life, my suggestion is you’d do better with a different border plant. Good luck!
    P.S. Your house looks great so far. I can tell you’re loving using your creative experience to make it your own.

  74. Hi Marion, This is my first comment but I have been reading your posts for quite some time. I agree you you have an abundance of energy you must require little sleep. Gods blessings big and small to you and Jeff and your boys. My hubby is a Jeff as well and I have two boys also. I just stopped at Lucketts on my way home from visiting my sister last week. I live in western Pa. I enjoy reading your blog your creativity feeds mine and I admire your courage to move forward in all things. God is good.

  75. Hi Marian, love the front porch very nice always wanted a wrap around porch myself…I saw a house in the UK where I lived when I was younger that house was a beaut…it was white with a huge wrap around porch and white siding…I loved that house but then I thought about all that siding and having to maintain it…it was wood! Is that plastic siding you have on the house or wood and can you paint plastic siding…we call it clapboard in the UK..imagine if you will wood and the weather in the UK, damp and mostly rainy…it takes real guts to take on one of those houses! Farrow and Ball really good paint, we used it in our old house because of the age of the house and of course we didn’t need to order it we just went down to the local DIY and purchased it! I cant wait to see the inside of your house!

  76. Absolutely love your new chosen color for the door . Love the square pots… they do go well together with the topiaries.
    When we had built, the decorator had always said “Go neutral as everything goes and then you can always add color as needed”
    I must agree with most, as the plant being a Wiegila.
    I love that you have opened your home and the stories that you provide, Thank you

  77. I absolutely love the green you’ve chosen. I think once the entire door is painted it will stand out beautifully.

  78. Hello Marian, I met you when I came to your home and bought a lovely chair during Christmastime a few years ago and also met your sweet son who I had a delightful chat with about the Baltimore Ravens. He was adorable. Like you my home is mostly blue and has been for about 35 years and I’ve never tired of it. I faced the same challenge about our front door. Originally I had painted it blue but when we papered our foyer with beautiful large peonies in a rosy red and white and blue with birds and it was time to repaint. I did have several choices. Since of course the door would open into the foyer I wanted the color to be complementary. I decided I had a choice with several shades of red, blues, or black. Our shutters are black and I was really leaning toward the reds but then just bit the bullet and painted it black. With brass on it I find that it works beautifully. Now, if I decide in the future that I want to change then maybe I’ll go for the red. Our home is brick but the porch area is white. I have enjoyed the door so much and when I hang a wreath whether yellow daffodils in the Spring or red and greens for Christmas they show up beautifully. I am already finding your new home so wonderful and know you will be painting and decorating with glee. So excited for your adventures in your new home. My husband is a pastor also and I just know that you will find so much joy and many blessings in your new home and church. My best, Dorothy

  79. Dear Marian,

    I was wondering… is there a reason why you are not painting your front door with milk paint? I’m planning to paint my front door and I’m thinking about using milk paint with doubled amount of bonding agent. (It’s a rather shiny surface that looks like plastic.) Do you think that’s a good idea? I thought maybe I could seal it with a stronger top-coat that is weather-resistant. (Though it is not directly exposed to rain, sun etc.) If you could find the time to help me, I would greatly appreciate it! 🙂 Enjoy your new and lovely home!

    Love, Brigitte

    1. If it was a raw wood door, I would use milk paint. Since it’s a metal exterior door with a glossy painted finish, I don’t think milk paint would be the best option. Also, this is a newer home and I think milk paint would look a little off next to the vinyl siding. I love, love, love milk paint, but it’s not the perfect paint for every single project. 🙂

  80. Oh Marion, I am so sorry, but I am just not feeling that green color, especially with the color of the siding. Please look at it again. It looks old and dated. I would also leave the side windows white and only paint the door. I am so enjoying this new home and all you are doing and am ready to enjoy the ride!

  81. There is wisdom is waiting a year to see what is in your flower garden and view it from all the seasons and then decide what to do.
    I LOVE your front porch!!

  82. Adding to the garden discussion- the topiaries you purchased are Eugenia. They are not hardy to your area so if you want them for next year you will need to bring them indoors this fall. Congrats on your new home!

  83. I love the color that you chose for the front door! It goes perfect with the siding on your house. How lovely that you have a pretty garden in the front of your house and the topiary planters look perfect.

  84. I also think the shrub is a weigelia which you should,prune after flowering. Only prune the stems which have flowered in the current year or you will be taking away next year’s flowers. Actually this is the same rule for all summer flowering shrubs. I had 3 huge ones at our last house, loved them.

  85. Yes, I agree I think wiegela as well. There are all types of lavender that grow in different zones, so I would visit your local nurseries and wander around and see what they sell and you’ll get a good idea of what grows well in your new location. I had to do the same thing, for I moved from California where the nurseries are open year round, to Upstate NY where they are open just a couple of months and varieties limited to what would grow with the long winters here.
    Everything you are doing in new home is coming along so perfectly….just as God’s plan for you was perfect 🙂

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