Yards and Exteriors

Fig trees, Mums and Boxwoods

I thought it would be hard to find plants that I like this time of year, but I’m learning there are all sorts of pretty plants available right now. And so many great prices!

I’ve always appreciated big bouquets of carnations and huge orbs of mums. They are not particularly impressive flowers on their own, but they can make a big statement in large quantities. I bought two of these huge purple mums bushes from Home Depot a couple weeks ago and they are making my not-yet-touched back deck so much prettier. I love seeing the bursts of lilac while sitting in my living room. (the astroturf – not so much!) :)

Target is having a huge sale on all their outdoor items. I bought a ton of stuff like hoses, a sprinkler, gardening gloves, and two of these giant black planters for 75% off. I love their modern shape and matte finish.

I also cleaned out their string lights section. These were only about $8 a box! Such a steal.

Also, if you’ve been trying to secure yourself a fiddle leaf fig tree and don’t want to drop $250 on a mature tree (like the flower shop on 28th St is asking!), why not buy a small seedling from IKEA for only $13?

I bought two (along with a pair of their pretty, large terracotta pots) to also sit on my back deck. They’ll stay out there for another couple weeks until it gets too cold and then I’ll bring them in.

Tomorrow, if I’m feeling well enough, I’ll be planting some some dwarf boxwoods I picked up at Home Depot for $12 each. They’re so pretty and I get such a kick out of keeping them all trimmed up. :) I bought a pair of full size boxwoods for the front stoop as well. I’m thinking of trying to shape them into squares? You have no idea how much joy all these silly things bring me. :)

What are you up to in your yard these days? Is there anything I should be doing now to prep for the winter? Help this first-timer out!

Join the Conversation

35 thoughts on “Fig trees, Mums and Boxwoods

  1. Your Ikea has fiddle leaf fig trees?!?!? I'm on the West Coast and I assure you that's not the case! ….sigh…east coast 1, west coast 0 :-/

  2. I really hope that Ikea can be a sponsor one day for you. You sure know how to infiltrate chic to so much.
    My husband shaped one of our boxwoods into a square and I miss it's round little jolly self.

  3. Planting spring bulbs is a great thing to do in the fall. I have been meaning to do this for a few years, but never gotten around to it. I finally bought daffodils this year. It will so fun to see them blooming after a long winter.

  4. Hi Jenny. Wait until your boxwoods grow and take shape, then you will really love them! I have a boxwood hedge in my yard that I take care of it like a forth child! This summer was so dry I really had to baby it–trimming is so much fun too. Love your idea of square ones. Good luck.

  5. I second the suggestion to plant bulbs! Some years I forget I did it and then they come up and it is the most beautiful and exciting reminder that spring is here!

  6. If you're near a Costco definitely check that out–HUGE mums for $15 in lots of colors and cheap bulbs. We just posted some pics a few days ago of planters with pumpkins and mums–super easy and fallish with lots of good texture.

  7. It must be the time of year because I've been trying to determine what kind of plants to bring home too. Mums are a must and your fig tree is beautiful! Thank for sharing!

  8. Jenny, do you know how long it would take the fiddle leaf to turn into a full-sized tree? My local nursery sells them for about $50 (for a 5 ft high tree) but I am intrigued by the cheaper price you found.

  9. This is inspiring me for my return to Sicily in a few weeks and facing our chilly winter there. I need some good hardy plants for outdoors, and IKEA always has something good, even in rural Sicily!

  10. In addition to planting bulbs in the fall, I heard you can plant hardy vegetables (like carrots and onions) and they will come up extra early next spring.

    That's so cool your IKEA has fiddle leaf figs. I'd been wanting one forever, and I just inherited a full-grown one from my mother-in-law. When she told me she was getting rid of hers, I almost choked with excitement when I asked what she was going to do with it. "You want it?" Um…YES! It just came two days ago, and I still need to find a place for it (it is a BIG plant).

  11. I just posted yesterday on Zinnias in my garden ! They are at their very best this time of year and will continue to be prolific producers until the first frost. They are gorgeous in the garden and as cut flowers in the house. We grow them from seedlings and now LOL they are about 7ft tall. LOVE them! Sadly our hanging baskets are starting to wane and our trumpet vine while still gorgeous is starting to wilt away.
    Am already starting to think about fall and winter pansies. k


  12. I love all of the fun yard details! I get way more into updating things for Fall then I do in the spring…
    Maybe go ahead and plant some hyacinth, tulip, daffodil, or crocus bulbs in the beds? Pack them in close together, then you won't feel so sad about cutting some to bring them inside in the spring! (They need a decent amount of sun, so no shady corners) :) Glad you're feeling better!

  13. Hi jenny! i love gardening too and was so excited when we moved into a house last year. i am in atlanta, but my mom is a gardening queen in Ohio. I know in the northeast you will need to mulch (or use cut up leaves) around some plants. this will condition the soil for spring and help protect from the harsh weather:)

  14. So glad you are on the mend!!! I had bought a large (very!) fiddle leaf fig from IKEA a few years back for $50. which I eventually thought I had killed. I was ready to throw it away, but my better half, the one with the green thumb, is nurturing it back to health. He cut it way back to almost nothing and it now look like a brand new plant!

  15. OMG Ikea has little fiddle's. I have to stop in on my way home to see if my local store has them. I would have never known so thank you! The local nursery's sell them for $200+ and I just can't justify that…..

  16. I bought those same Target lights…be careful they break really easily! Mine shattered as I was hanging them:(

  17. Hi…your fall plantings are a great touch.
    Just so you know what to ask for next year if you want to do something similar…it looks to me like the purple "mums" are actually fall asters. :)

  18. When shaping boxwoods, I understand if you do not provide some slope on a "straight" side, the bush will die off in spots getting too little light. Trim so that all angles/sides get sunlight–the bottom is most vulnerable to die-off. That's what I've read and observed so you might research pruning…Ditto planting spring bulbs!

  19. Love your blog. I just picked up one of those Fiddle leafs at Ikea yesterday. couldn't believe I found it. I had been looking for one for last few months and this was first one I had seen.
    Any tips on how to take care of it and if you should remove lower leaves to get it to look like the other ones you see? Congrats on your new home.

  20. I second the recommendation above to slightly batter the sides of any bush you're trimming into a box. That's one of the biggest trimming/pruning mistakes that homeowners make.

    Also, it takes more time, but when professional gardeners plan to start a hedge, they'll trim the plant low and flat to encourage it to branch out a lot near the base. Then they allow the plant to grow higher in successive years.

    As far as LouisM's question about removing the lower leaves, the plant will lose them on its own as it grows bigger and the lower leaves become shaded. If you want, you can remove them now if you like the look.

    Just remember not to remove any more than 1/3 of the plant's foliage at a time if you don't want to risk stressing it out too much. Some plants can handle being hacked like crazy (like butterfly bush and roses), but if it's woody, try not to cut more than one third.

    If you're thinking about planting bulbs, remember that tulips and hyacinths are often eaten by squirrels. Interplanting tasty bulbs with daffodil or allium bulbs will deter the squirrels because daffodil bulbs are toxic and allium bulbs smell like onion. It'll give you a longer season of interest too. Daffodils come up before most tulips while Alliums come up after the tulips have pasted their peak.

  21. Some gardening advice: keep your new plantings well watered until the ground freezes. Just because fall has come doesn't mean that the plants have stopped growing. And resist the temptation to fertilize now; it will only encourage new growth that could be damaged in a sudden freeze

  22. Hi! It sounded like you were planning on planting boxwoods in planters on your stoop. They are unlikely to survive the winter in NY in a container. I live in Mass. And I know they would freeze here. I buy some each spring and use then in planters until fall. I then add them to my landscape otherwise they will die. Good luck!

Let's Be Friends