State of the garden.
The blog that Spritz wrote about her experiences in the garden with the flowers this past summer have left me thinking about mine.
What flowers do I want to plant next? How did my plants do?
Well, I would have to say that overwhelmingly my plants did very well this year so far – there are some plants I keep year round (the geraniums, the roses) and others I change periodically (the petunias, the impatiens, the tomatoes, the white wax begonias). Not sure where the vincas will fit in. It could be that it will get too cold for them, eventually, but at the moment they are still blooming nicely.
I feel this summer was particulalry hot and it affected the geraniums quite a bit – the leaves turned yellow and spotted and either fell off or I eventually just pruned them off. But the lovely thing about geraniums is that they bounce back.
One of my gerbera daisies just didn’t make it, it flowered once and then never again, and eventually died in the middle of the summer as I could not keep up with its water needs. The other gerbera did just fine, in fact it’s still blooming, so I have to wonder if the container had something to do with it.
Death also met the pink and light purple petunias I planted in the Spring. Like the gerbera, they seemed to need more and more water, and even though petunias are sun-loving plants, wilted under the sun. That really surprised me. The only thing I can think of is that and this will sound silly, maybe – the sun this year was hotter and more intense than usual (I had no porblems last year when I planted white petunias and I put them in the same spot!) and that the plants were already weak and straggly when I bought them…perhaps they never quite recovered. I can usually bring plants back into a good state, but I never managed with these petunias. A good lesson not to wait so long to buy the plants you want and also to not buy weak looking plants, even when they’re on sale!
The vincas did beautifully, and they do indeed withstand drought and direct sunlight quite well, though they can also wilt a lot quicker than I expected. Nothing beats the portulacas for sheer endurance, though, so next year I definitely will be planting portulacas again. With lots of bright colors they will make July and August easier on the eyes.
The strawberries I raised from seed survived and even flowered, but have never given me fruit. This might be also because there probably is a pollinator missing in my microcosm of gardening – or it could be that it’s just too hot for them even now. I might buy seedlings next year though and see how it goes. It would be nice to have strawberries at home!
The grape tomatoes where going the way of the strawberries, with lots of flowers and no fruit, until I started hand-pollinating. Now it looks like I will get a small but nice crop of tomatoes!
This lack of pollinators has distressed me, and I’ve decided next year to plant flowers that will attract bees and butterflies. Echinacea is one I definitely want to try.
I also want to see if I get a vine-type plant, maybe a morning glory, to grow against the railing of the balcony and thus making it “greener” and maybe shadier and cooler!
I loved the white begonias, but next year I’ll be looking at the deep red variety. I just love how they look in the sun as their leaves take on an ever deeper red color!
If I find a miniature rose with interesting colors or flower shape I might buy one, but so far they have disappointed me. I haven’t seen anything interesting.
As for the birds, I do plan to buy a birdfeeder. So we’ll see how it goes!
- 1 Nov, 2008
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1 Mar, 2008