Welcome, one and all, to the Gardening Edition of Everything Else. In today's tiptoe through my tulips we're going to cover my unending desire to grow things. My garden's sure to please many, from stern environmentalists (I grow my own food and seasonings!) to avid xenoscapers (I grow true Florida Natives!) to the conspicuously environmentally wasteful (it's a container garden, and some of it will croak in the next frost!).
History of My Current Garden
As longtime readers might recall, I no longer own my last garden. It was 10 years old, well-established, completely perennial, and featured Florida native trees, flowers and bushes, along with spices and flowers of almost endless assortment. Someone who saw my ad on Craigslist paid me about $200 to dig the entire assortment, trees and all, up to sell at a local nursery so the next tenant (my landlord) wouldn't get the fruits of my labor.
What the garden would've been worth if I had sold it off piece by piece is unknown; I'd venture to guess maybe thousands. That's never what got me about selling it wholesale, though. What got me was I knew I couldn't take it along (no room at our next place), yet I couldn't bear to part from it.
To this day I ache for our tiny plot of Confederate Jasmine, saw palmetto, palm trees, lantana, roses, azaleas, Mexican heather, amaryllis, Stella D'oro lilies, spices, mums, daisies, zinnias, salvia, stonecrop, cacti, Leland cypress, all kinds of ivys and vines, along with most of the plants seen and described below - yes, it was truly a jungle out there. Replacing some of it - often with plants identical to what we once owned - has helped dull the ache - but not enough.
( zomg, longest tl;dr evah...maybe )
Due to no longer having a sense of permanence, since life can change so suddenly - and often when you least expect it - we've become somewhat-reluctant container gardeners. It has good and bad points. Good: the garden travels with us; no more sitting on my back porch, tears in my eyes, watching strangers rip a piece of my heart right out of the ground. Even better is I can move each plant to where it gets the best sun or shade.
Bad: Florida's hot sun; a Florida container garden needs to be soaked at least once a day. Mine's under awnings so almost never gets rain unless the angle's just right. We fight wilt the other way people fight bugs, mildew and cankers. No amount of mulch helps (and yes, we use Spanish Moss for mulch - I pick it off the ground - it's free and looks better than cedar or pine chips).
Even worse is plants grow, thus they grow out of containers. Rootbound riots regularly occur until affected plants are duly re-potted. We go through a lot of pots, and a few plants - the peace lily (not pictured), the blue dazes (not pictured), the yellow croton (not pictured), and the palm (not pictured) are already in pots large enough to raise small children in, but still needed even bigger pots like yesterday.
( Of growing plants - and people who endure them... )
( zomg, more plants... )
Here, have a petunia.
This petunia has an interesting story: it was originally in a hanging basket (pictured) but died out about two weeks ago, at which point my mom cut it almost to the roots and put the basket on the ground, half in shade. Which somehow saved its life - it hasn't looked that good all year, seriously. :)
If you're noticing lushness and a lot of weeds, that's sort of on purpose. We favor the English cottage-garden look, which isn't as hard to pull off in Florida as it sounds. Just pick the right plants (the more vine-y, fluffy, frilly and softly-colored, the better), don't pull all the weeds (which often turn into gorgeous things almost no one can identify) and use Miracle Gro™ every two weeks if the weather's not too hot (it can burn roots in too-hot conditions).
That's it for now but you can see a few more of these pics on my Photobucket.
And no, there's no sage in my garden's current iteration, but now that I think of it...