New Plants For The Front Porch (Plus, A Story About The Kindness Of A Stranger)

In true Kristi fashion, I’ve put the cart before the horse with my front porch projects. With rainy weather rolling in, I haven’t been able to get more painting done, and I haven’t been able to sand and seal the cedar porch boards, and I haven’t been able to finish the faux stone porch skirting. But I didn’t let that stop me from adding some pretty touches to the front porch.

When I did the front porch makeover originally in 2018, I bought these large pretty pots to use at the base of the steps.

Front porch, dark stained cedar boards, white risers, white columns, gray house, and pink front door

Those were from Home Depot, and they’re made of a concrete-type of material. But they’re not concrete. They’re a lighter weight than concrete, and obviously not as durable. Over the years, the material had gotten worn and fragile.

So I replaced those with these beautiful and amazingly priced pots from Walmart. The have a concrete look to them, but they’re made of plastic. And they’re only $17.48 each!! That’s an amazing price for a planter that size!

Front wood porch with colorful flowers and pink front door

My planters don’t look nearly as pretty as the ones in 2018 did, but that’s because I couldn’t find any larger plants to put in them. Everything at Home Depot was so small right now, but I’m sure they’ll all grow and fill out the planter quickly.

I used sunshine ligustrum, petunias, potato vine, and wandering jew. I love these colors together!

spring planters for curb appeal with sunshine ligustrum, wandering jew, potato vine, and pink petunias

On the front porch, I have my Nearly Natural faux 3-foot mini pine trees. They required a little work to make them look full, but I think they’re some of the prettiest fake plants I’ve ever seen. I’m sure you could find more realistic ones, but not for this price. Right now, these are $47.49 each, which is an amazing price for these. I can’t find the planters online, but I’m pretty sure I got those from Home Depot. They were around the $50 range, if I remember correctly.

small faux pine trees in planters used outside by front door

As you can see, my front door still needs to be painted. I got it prepped and ready for paint, and as soon as the rain moves out, I’ll get that and the other painting projects finished.

So what does any of this have to do with the kindness of strangers? Well, I was at Home Depot shopping for the plants that I wanted to put in my new Walmart planters. I don’t know much about plants at all, but I did know that I definitely wanted potato vine and wandering jew. Those are two of my favorites because they grow fast, they’re hard to kill, and I absolutely love those two colors together.

I walked all around the Home Depot garden center and couldn’t find either one of those, but I did find the sunshine ligustrum, which is a similar color to potato vine, so I had the green covered. (Obviously, I later found the tiny potato vine plants, and decided to use both.) But I was still wanting the gorgeous purple of the wandering jew. I found another plant that was a similar color, but it was a completely different shape. Wandering jew grows low and spills over the sides of a planter. This other plant, which was the same color, just grows up, like a miniature version of my fake pine trees.

So I asked a Home Depot employee if he could help me find wandering jew. He told me that they don’t carry it right now, but he walked me outside to show me some other options. None of them would work. When he walked away, a woman was standing there, and she very shyly and quietly asked, “Are you looking for wandering jew?” I said yes, but unfortunately, they didn’t have any. She said, “I have some, and you can have it if you want it.”

What? I was so stunned! She explained that she had just downsized from a house and was currently living in her R.V. and didn’t have room for all of her beloved plants, so she offered her wandering jew to me. So she gave me her phone number, and the next morning I texted her, and we arranged a meeting place and time so that I could pick it up from her.

We met, had a lovely conversation for about 15 minutes, and I went away with her wandering jew in hand. I was so blessed by that. On top of that, she said that I could call her any time I needed help with my planting and gardening. Now that she’s downsized, she doesn’t have the opportunity to get her hands in the dirt as much as she would like, so she said she’d love to come and help me plant things once I’m ready to start on my plant beds. It was all so nice and lovely, and it was just a chance meeting with a generous person who overheard me at the Home Depot garden center and decided to put herself out there and offer a stranger a gift.

We hear so much negativity these days, and if we spend too much time online, we can be convinced that the world is a dark and terrible place filled with nothing but horrible people. But out there in the real world, there are so many stories of kindness and goodness, and there are so many opportunities for us to be those sources of kindness if we’ll just keep our eyes open for those opportunities.

So be blessed today, my friends. And let’s all look for ways to be a blessing in other people’s lives. Let’s be the kindness that we want to see in the world. We can all make a difference!



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  1. Oh, Kristi I do hope you reach out to this lovely person soon. You would be doing her a world of good to let your yard be her ‘adopted yard’ since she can no longer do what she loves. How beneficial for both of you.

    1. Absolutely agree 100% in hopes this happens for both the kind lady who offered and you, Kristi! You never know how things like this can make a difference in someone’s life. Love it.

    2. I LOVE this story as well..!!! (Thanks for sharing this well needed good news story Kristi.) I believe she should keep in touch with her as well.. hope she does..!!

  2. Aww, I LOVE this story and how wonderful your porch is looking! I love to garden and frequently giveaway loads of plants to friends and anyone who says, hey I like that… Blessing others one plant at a time! Thanks for sharing everything you do, it blesses all of us!

  3. Well, I needed a good cry today… and you gave one to me. Thank you. Blessings on your Easter dear lady.

  4. It’s so sad that this world thrives on telling the dark and ugly side of this world we live in. There is kindness left in this world, actually a lot of it, it just never gets put out there. Thank you for putting your story out there so we could smile today. And yes, we should all practice kindness.

  5. I love this story…and I also love my wandering jew. It was a gift from a relative and is so easy to root and share with others that I try to do that as often as possible. Just cut a little sprig and drop it in water and let it root. I’ve also noticed it comes back every year, even though it appears to die after frost. Glad you made a new friend!

  6. I’m sure the woman who gave you her wandering Jew felt blessed by the exchange, too. The older and more solitary people grow, the less chance they have to bring happiness to others. How wonderful that both of you benefited from your meeting at Home Depot.

  7. Thank you for sharing this lovely story. It put a smile on my face and brought tears to my eyes. Happy Hump Day Everyone!

  8. Loved the story, and so glad she had what you wanted, and you gave her a great feeling too letting her bless you with some plants. And the pots are looking good, even if they are in the beginning stages. Those plants will take off in no time. The whole front is looking better already, and I know you still have some more to go…now the weather needs to cooperate. Thanks for sharing a lovely story.

  9. Great thoughts on sharing kindness ❤.
    Have you tried the tall plants where the flowers are now and the flowers by the door?

  10. Your planter’s look great! And yes, they will grow quickly and fill out! One thing- the purple plant is setcreasia, not wandering jew. Wandering jew has purple and green on it’s leaves, where the setcreasia will stay solid purple with pretty tiny flowers at the joints. Both are lovely! Enjoy-

  11. Love this, thanks for sharing. I agree, there is so much negativity going around that the kindness of a stranger reminds us there are some very kind people out there. Love the planters and plants. 💕

  12. Your kind stranger reminded me of a similar experience I had at a K Mart in the early ’80’s. I was shopping for plants too, with my toddler in tow. An elderly man started chatting with me about various plants, and mentioned Hens and Chicks, which I had been shopping for. He said he had hundreds, all kinds, that he and his wife had been growing for years. He invited me to his home and wrote down his address. I was a bit scared to go to a strangers home, but knew the area well, and knew most of the residents were elderly and had lived there forever. I went right over, and was invited inside to meet his wife, who couldn’t be any sweeter. She said he is always inviting strangers to the house for plants, and she is amazed that almost everyone takes him up on it. We had a glass of tea and some cookies, and went out to choose the plants. I was so glad I accepted his nice offer, and his wife said to stop any time for a visit. I never did, but I thought of them often over the years. Plant people are usually very giving I think!

  13. Love your choices of potato vine and wandering jew. I have my flowerbed full of it. That was very kind of the lady to offer to help and to give you some jew. There is plenty kindness in the world, just not of online.

    Your porch is looking good!

  14. Your story made my day (and made me cry). I love hearing about the kindness of others. Thank you for sharing.
    And I love your pots! Will be duplicating them when it warms up here in Kansas!

  15. Dear Kristi, thank you for that story, it brought moisture to my eyes. My mum passed away some weeks ago and I am clearing out her flat. Some people urge me to just throw the stuff I don’t want away as it means a lot of a burden in terms of organisation and time and effort to find new homes for it. But I have decided that I want to give away as much as possible to people who are happy to go on using it – just like that nice woman did with her plants. Those are even living beings, but furniture and knickknacks are filled with the energy or love and care of the owner in a way, too (as we all know when we are watching you work your magic). So yes to kindness and thoughtfulness and to helping make this planet a beautiful and light place a little more every day. Happy Easter to all of you!

    1. Hi Karen!
      I’m glad you aren’t just throwing things away. Many of us love finding quality used items – I know I do! My kids do, too! I have tons of friends who love to consignment and thrift shop. It’s modern day treasure hunting. I always wonder who had an item previously and how it blessed their life. Especially used books; they’re better than brand new.
      Plus, the landfills are full enough!

  16. Amen! Love this, we do need so much more kindness! It’s SO easy to be kind.

    This reminded me of an encounter I had in Nordstrom years ago….found a tee shirt on the clearance rack, took it up to the counter, the salesperson rang it up and had a strange look on her face, she said “it’s a penny.” I reached for my wallet and there wasn’t anything in it, no dollar bills and zero change. A sweet lady had overhear our transaction and said “honey, I’ll buy that shirt for you!”

  17. I don’t know if you let your beloved kitty outside or not. But, if you do, Wandering Jew is toxic to cats. It will make them very sick and can even kill them. My dad’s cat kept nibbling on his Wandering Jew plant and it nearly killed him. So, we got rid of any and all hints of it. Just FYI.