Many of you have been following the transformation of our backyard from a 45 degree moss zone of horrors to a flat space with a small garden, large patio and outdoor kitchen, and deck. We're loving our outdoor space, and I'm learning so much about gardening. Mostly through errors….
The most important thing I've learned about containers:
The bigger the better. Purchase the largest pots six men can carry, one at a time. Here in the South, it gets so hot and containers dry out so quickly that the larger the container, the more water it holds. Duh. I wish someone had told me that many years ago, but it wouldn't have helped because we didn't have a flat four feet of space to stick one of these big bad boys. Take my advice! Seriously, you'll thank me later.
What I've learned about roses:
Toto, we aren't in Arizona anymore….and you have to be NUTS to grow roses in Alabama. We are too wet, there is too much mold, too many pests, and roses will drive you freakin' crazy! Try growing double knock out or knock out roses, you say? Oh, I've tried….and I killed a double knock out rose tree on my patio and shrubs in the yard. Yet this stupid little patio tree rose I've had for years that survived the snow apocalypse is thriving.
But I'm a stubborn woman, and I love roses. I'm determined to fight all conditions in this rose-hating place and win. To be continued…..
What I've learned about geraniums:
Ignore them. Put them in small containers if you want, forget to water them, and they'll thrive. The ones I planted in larger containers and had a drip system installed died. Plus they were white and looked *awful*…..Don't ever buy white geraniums if you're an amateur like me. Leave the white geraniums to the pros!
What I've learned about hydrangeas:
Nothing. They have been mocking me all summer. I think there's a conspiracy among the hydrangeas to confuse and frustrate me. After several summers the ones in our front yard look healthy but are not producing many blooms. Some are pink and some are blue so I can't understand how the same variety can produce such varied colors RIGHT BESIDE EACH OTHER. The soil must be the same….but it's a mystery. Our white PeeGee's seem to be doing better than the Endless Summer mop heads. Mayhap I need to feed them more than I have been.
What I've learned about sasanqua camellias:
Nothing. They are like scary little dwarves that scream "Don't mess with me!" Ok, so I'm listening. I won't mess with you. I just hope you flower in the fall. We shall see! Stay tuned....
What I've learned about zoysia grass:
Nothing. And I really don't care to learn. Mr. Art @ Home has done an amazing job with the care and feeding of our lawn(s). I just smile and admire!
What I've learned about Confederate jasmine:
Our Confederate jasmine has grown very little if at all, but it has bloomed. I thought it was supposed to grow quickly....does anyone know?
What I've learned about gardenias:
They are great, love sun, have pretty shiny leaves, and the little white blossoms smell divine. They love living in Alabama!
The big mystery bush with the purple flowers:
I like him! I need to find out what he is. He's lovely and likes Alabama, too.
Don't commit crape murder. I think.....
Most of you might disagree with me, but for the first time this year we chose not to commit "crape murder" on our crape myrtles. They've never looked better. If you disagree, I'd like to read your reasons why in the comments. Mr. Art @ Home doesn't think it's a good idea, but I'm still on the fence about it.
I have more plans. I'd like to add variegated hostas and limelight hydrangeas to our garden next year. I'm determined to have a lovely Southern garden one day. If you have any wisdom or advice you'd like to share, please leave me a comment below. I truly need some guidance!
Until next time…