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Open Letter to a Front Porch {Guest Post}: It All Started with Paint

Whenever someone knocks on my front door, I’m always surprised, and kind of proud of that person. Because it means that they walked down our front sidewalk and were NOT kidnapped, strangled and eaten by the carnivorous weed jungle that used to be our front flowerbed.

I’m like, “Yay! Another survivor! Welcome to our home!”

Because yall? I can grow some weeds. Some apocalyptic, prehistoric, dinosaur weeds. That probably aren’t even a real species of anything. They just live and thrive here, in my yard.

Hmm… no pictures to go along with this post, are there… ?

I believe us weed-growers should unite, share our stories and encourage each other, so while I’m at the Haven Conference today, I’m happy to be bring you this post from my very funny, very talented friend Linda of It All Started with Paint. We’re sticking together in this. Who’s with us?

There’s been some rumblings from my front porch and yard.  I think they may have caught wind of this post … a post that has been creeping up in the ranks of most popular on my sidebar.

And if they ever see the comment I left on this post of Kelly’s?  I’m pretty sure they’d stage an all out plant revolution …

So I’m in crisis management mode.  And Kelly has so kindly agreed to run my open letter to my porch on her fabulous blog.  You know, to show my plants that I really mean business this year …

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Dear Front Porch,

I understand some slanderous rumors have been circulating on the web.  Slanderous rumors that have you concerned about the health and longevity of the plants sitting in those pretty black and white planters I made for your steps
And I’ve heard that your concerns have now extended beyond just your steps but to the health and longevity of the plants on our entire postage-stamp-sized front yard …
hosta planted
I know, I know.  I come out strong each June.  Excited.  Invigorated.  Covered in DEET …

… because those mosquitoes heard about my childhood nickname, Linda Louise Mosquito Bug Killer, and have had it out for me every since …

I know. I know. Year after year I swear up and down and backwards and forwards that this is the year when things will turn around …

But you have to trust me. I’ve got My Sponsor on board. The sprinkler is hooked up. And turned on …
sprinkler in flowerbed, garden
… and please dismiss those ugly stories of how we killed the impatiens with a lethal dose of Miracle Grow.  Not once.  But twice.  We were young and naïve and did not yet realize that too much of a good think could equal death.  On the plus side?  Death came quickly. Not once.  But twice.

I mean look, porch.  Look around.  The hydrangeas came back to life this year and they’ve blossomed to boot …
white hydrangea bloom planted
… and don’t get fresh with me and tell me they’re near impossible to kill in Chicago …

But what about the Hostas? They came back to life too …
hosta with red impatiens
… and yes. I hear you porch. I’ll give you this one. Hostas really are just one step away from weeds here in the Midwest.  And we both know I have a special talent for growing super sonic weeds …

… in fact, Kelly and I are going into business together growing super sonic apocalypse defying weed; we just need to establish that there really is a market for super sonic apocalypse defying weeds …

And yes, I did dig up some ornamental grasses planted last year.  Hey, they had to go. They were a bunch of whiners. Complaining all the time that it was too cold and too shady …

But I found a replacement grass.  A variety that I’ve successfully grown right down here by your bottom step …
ornamental grass
… and don’t threaten me with the story of how it only looks good because the neighbor’s landscaper couldn’t take it anymore and cut it back last year’s dead spires …

But you have to trust me porch.  You have to have some faith in me porch. I just feel it in my bones.  This is the year that it will all turn around …

And if not.  If you can’t trust me?  Then I think you might just need a reminder that the only reason you’re still standing … my contractor wants to tear you down and start anew … is because I took it into my own hands to give you a facelift last fall …


Okay, but really? Who wants to pay big money for our supersonic weeds? I really think this new business we’re starting will take off. And maybe I can afford a landscaper.

PS – Don’t forget to check out some of Linda’s crazy-cool projects, like this painted front porch rug (BRILLIANT!) and this jaw-dropping teen boy’s room. That lady’s got talent.

Let's connect


  1. Well, I would offer up my super-amazin skills as a gardner to you both, but only if you’ll come re-do my living room for me.
    (Wouldn’t it jut be easier and more convenient to paint the yard?)
    Miss you, Linda!

  2. So glad I popped over from It All Started With Paint. I am so glad I did. Now was the childhood nickname embellished for today’s post? You ALWAYS make me laugh and it seems, I’ve been missing out on laughs that could have been had from Kelly too…darn 🙂

  3. “Love it!” No, I really do. I WISH I could grow hostas. I live in Phoenix and you can’t even buy them here. They say it’s too hot. But I’m already in the weed business all by myself, thankyouverymuch.

  4. My gardening skills hibernate during our long rainy season and then pop up like mad for our short little Summer. In fact, we have sun today, and my deck is calling my. Lots of containers to plant =) Not as cute as your painted pots!! But, I try 😉

  5. Killin’ me some plants on my porch this summer and growin’ some awesome weeds out in the yard! We need a secret handshake or something. And I must confess, I know the skimmers’ handshake too. Thanks, Linda & Kelly!

  6. LOVE this post! Plant killers and weed growers unite! I had no idea that hostas were a step up from weeds…that explains why mine survive when all their buddies die.

  7. If you can get your super-sonic weeds to also sprout a flower or two I’d just buy those and cover my whole back hill! Why, or why can’t weeds be the pretty ones? Here, there are all spiky and allergy-making, sneeze-ifying nightmares.


  8. I have a black thumb…not brown… black. I’m trying SO FREAKIN’ HARD this year. I’ll see your apocalyptic weeds and raise you some rampant clover…

  9. Too funny! I’m think’n the porch doesn’t stand a chance – it’ll just have to trust you!!!

  10. OMG, you should make it a franchise operation and let me cover Northern Virginia because I’m covering my little neck of the woods with some seriously unsightly weeds. I’ll specialize in killer vines that choke to choke out any desirable plants. (And thanks for the intro to Linda’s blog.)

  11. Can I join the supersonic weed growing club? Apocalyptic was in there and that fits, I just don’t remember the word order. Anyway, it fits my yard to the tee. I don’t even have a porch, I have a wheelchair ramp. The poor people across the street must have told some kind of story because despite my weedbed that was once a flower bed, there’s a sale pending on their house with the beautiful yard. I may have found a place I belong………..

  12. I live in the Chicago ‘burbs where the weeds are thriving and the lawn is the color of autumn wheat. My perfectly good six year old birch tree just decided to die this week. No kidding, now I’ve got to worry that all of the other trees in my yard will see him and die in sympathy. I’m blaming the weather and I think that you should too. (I thought about blaming the neighbors, but I’m pretty sure that it won’t work since THEIR lawn is perfect.) If enough of us stick together, maybe we can convince people that weeds are “repurposed landscaping”. I’m going upstairs now (away from my lawn) to practice saying that until I can do it without laughing…or crying. xo

  13. Too funny! My backyard and deck could use an open letter!! It’s a hopeless situation back there and if you need a nursery for your supersonic weeds….I have just the spot.

  14. I’ll donate some of my weeds too!

  15. Your new weed growing venture sounds fabulous – I can see it spreading like a weed!

    Glad to see you are past your plant killing days (as well as those big Jersey hair days)!

  16. Haha, too funny. I think I should go into business with you, too. It’s a dire situation in my lawn. Luckily (not really), the extreme heat of August in Texas + the water restrictions + the lack of rain should just about kill off anything living out there. It definitely WON’T be a jungle!! 🙂

  17. I was planting some flowers (that I killed within a week- yes, I am talented) and I asked my husband if I should trim back some of the plants that I noticed were getting pretty big towards the front of our driveway. His response “honey, those are weeds.” They’re easily 12 feet tall… And I think they’re pretty. hah! Take that HOA!

  18. Mars @Life on Mars says:

    Ok do who decided that weeds were weeds in the first place? Some guy decided that the things that want to grow in my yard are weeds and that the things that don’t want to grow are “plants.” I don’t like that person and I think we should revolt.

  19. In Minnesota we carry Deet in holsters. Like a permit to carry thing.


  20. Lisa @ before meets after says:

    Kelly it was so great to meet you at Haven! I too do a great job at growing weeds!

  21. I tried growing a cactus once because you don’t have to water them much and it promptly fell apart, chunks of it falling off- the sad little thing. But you would be amazed at how good I am at growing weeds. I am a Rock Star. I think I could give your dinosaur weeds a run for the money lol!

  22. Uggg….my lawn is not looking so good right now with weeds and all! But I gotta give it Linda’s lawn. It looks wonderful!


  1. […] L to R: Me, Skye from Neathering our Fest, Maury from Life on Mars Can you believe they braved my front flowerbed weed jungle and stayed at my house having never met me? ME NEITHER. But they were so fun that even Weston fell […]

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