Once upon a time, I loved to garden in a big sort of way. Nowadays, this is how I garden. In pots in the courtyard. I can walk outside with a pitcher of water to quench their thirst, snap off a faded bloom or two and I'm done. If something dies, out it goes, it's history, mulch in fact. And then I can either buy another flower to replace it or not. I am heartless.
Over the weekend, Tim kindly took me to Lowe's so I could make a few selections to put this little summer "garden" together. They were having a 5 for $5 sale. Hard to pass that up. Of course when such a sale is going on, you know the flower options will be limited. Not just limited in variety but also colour. In a way those limits make selections easier. (reminds me of my Dad telling me that in his younger days when buying a car you could have any colour you wanted so long as that colour was black) I was surprised and pleased however, to find a type of flower that I recognized! Zinnias!!! I put back the flowers I was originally considering and scooped up as many Zinnias as I could find!
Usually I wander around Florida garden centers mystified, reading the little tags and wondering about the plants. The flowers and shrubbery here are, for the most part, entirely different trees, shrubs, plants and flowers than I've even known before. Totally unfamiliar. And that makes it hard to plan, hard to make choices. Reading about them will only take you so far. Personal experience is the key. And while if I want a garden, even just a little potted one, I have to start somewhere, it's nice to start somewhere familiar.
But I wanted to stretch a little bit, try something new, so the little pink ones in the back, those are Florida flowers. Something called a penta. Or perhaps Penta. The only thing I know about them is that the tag says they need at least 8 hours of sun a day. Shouldn't be a problem. I don't even know if they come in any other colour than pink, although I assume so. We will see how things go with the Penta. I am hopeful.
Both the Zinnia and the Penta are Annuals. So assuming that they survive the entire season, next year, I will need to buy new ones. The little Chrysanthemum in the front is a left over from autumn. Way back in October, I bought two. One died almost immediately. I felt terrible but pitched it anyway and replaced it. They both survived the winter and two severe prunings but recently one of them decided it had had enough and gasped it's last. This one still lives. We will see how long it hangs in there.
So far, my little container garden suits me just fine. It's fun to change up the sort of things I have growing, different colours, different flowers or maybe different containers. I can have more of them, or fewer, or none at all if I wish. They could be annual or perennials, flowers or herbs, or vegetables for that matter. I could add statuary or gazing balls or a fountain perhaps. A windchime or a whirligig could be a nice addition. And since it's such a small garden, any change, no matter how small, makes a big difference.
Butterflies still like it, just on a much smaller scale. I haven't seen any hummingbirds, but plenty of lizards and they seem to like it just fine too. Squirrels and bunnies hop through, check on things and then hop back out. The occasional visitor who steps into the courtyard is always pleasantly surprised. They usually stop for a moment and look around before breaking into a smile. I can see them visibly begin to relax which is quite the compliment. It is slowly becoming a charming little oasis, this little miniature container garden of mine.
I hope to add to it. Maybe larger containers that can sit against the walls. Perhaps I'll branch out into perennials or flowering shrubs. I never know exactly what I'm going to do. Which kind of makes every day a surprise.
Meanwhile, I think I will go enjoy my newspaper sitting under the umbreela in my little courtyard container garden. I can read the exciting articles aloud to the lizards.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.