Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Potted Plants, Dead and Dying

When I moved in this place last June the garden along the outside wall was wild and unruly. Because I did something to my back during the move, I let it go, but kept it on my To-Do List for another time.

I’m not much of a gardener, can only name the obvious plants, so I need to keep it simple. I found it very annoying last summer when my friend and my son and his wife would look at the garden and rhyme off all the varieties of plants growing there. I knew there were Tiger Lilies, a favourite of mine, and once the bush bloomed I knew I had a peony. Oh, and I know what Hosta looks like. The rest I was pretty clueless about.

This spring my son dug the garden out, took all the plants home, and left me one Hosta. So it didn’t get lonely he brought in three more from his garden, and I was set. I like an art garden, with statuary and lots of green, more than I like flowers. I have wrought iron trellises, an obelisk, and a gazing ball. Oh yeah, and a ceramic bird sitting on a chair.

When I want colour I do it in pots, and set them by my door. I have two stands, wrought iron, made to hold potted plants. I set them by my door, and for awhile the plants thrive. That ‘awhile’ being right after they come from the store.

I suppose it would be different if I had the kind of porch or deck that offered some privacy, a spot to enjoy a morning coffee, or my ideal, a place to sit where I could write or read. I don’t have a spot like that, where tending plants would be a pleasure because I could sit and enjoy their beauty.

I have potted plants to make the entry look nice. But I only really look at them as I come and go, and I’m very much a homebody. The problem is, pots have to be watered, where plants in the ground can survive with little tending.

I learned years ago that the potted plants you buy can’t survive the summer without being fed. The soil they’re potted in doesn’t have enough real soil and nutrients to last the season.
The thing is, I’m not out every day, in fact on hot days I never stick my head out the door. So, on hot days, when I don’t see the pots to remember, my pots don’t get watered. It’s that ‘out of sight...out of mind’ kind of thing. They must be hardy, because they’ve survived rotating times of drought, with times of flood.
I’ve pulled them back from the brink a couple of time, by deadheading and most likely overwatering, and giving them some extra feedings. But, right now, they look a bit rough. Leaves all brown and curling, shrivelled up blooms, and they’re awfully leggy. Petunias gone wild.

I’m glad I got them through to September, and with the cooler weather these plants will be reaching their expiry date. Maybe it’s time to change seasons in my garden. Out with the petunias and in with the mums.
Works for me.

I never did put the potted plants on the tree stump, leftover from when they cut the tree down this spring. I waited because I was told they were going to get rid of the stump, but guess what, they were wrong. Found this picture, I wonder where I can find a bucket like that?

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