I think this photo tells the story much better than words:
However, I will try words as well: It rained today, and earlier in the week, at times heavily. As each rain drop landed within the flower box next to my front porch, it splashed a little. When the rain drops were larger and falling more furiously, those splashes caused the topsoil to become a splatter of mud.
Now, as the sun is coming back out and drying things off, all of the things that should be looking pretty instead look muddy. The dragon-fly on the "Welcome" rock, the stem of the solar light, even the lower leaves of the plants, all have a splotchy gray-brown film upon them.
Later, I will need to go back out and rinse things off with a more gentle flow of water. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? Any sort of ground cover, for example, or other tricks?
EDIT: In response to a comment, here is another photo (from a year ago) showing a wider perspective. Total size is roughly 21" by 36". The red rectangle shows about the area you see in the photo above.