Monday, March 31, 2014

Sprintime ritual

I know spring is here because today I went to the nursery for plants for my porch and deck pots. Greg, who keeps my yard in shape and has a much better eye for things, went with me to advise what to buy and what to avoid--like delphinium which, although gorgeous, won't survive our Texas summer. I always have a big pot of fountain grass in one corner of the front porch; when we asked, they said they only had the purple, not the green, which I said was fine. Greg contradicted me--that corner is dark and needs the lighter plant. Last year I only got one frond. I'll go back when they get green fountain grass and hope for better luck.
We bought herbs and shade plants because my house faces north and doesn't get much sun. For the deck, which faces south, we bought a tomato, some lavender, and the beginnings of a vegetable garden. The pot plants will look a lot better when they fill out in four or six weeks--now they're just struggling babies.

The coleus will replace a Wandering Jew that had been in this pot for years. So many things succumbed this winter--the Jew died early, but as little as three weeks ago, lavender, oregano, and sage were showing tiny shoots of new green. Then we got hit with one last arctic freeze, and that was all it took.

I always get coleus and caladium mixed up, so I hope I have them right here, but we bought a caladium--I'd never seen one this bright green and full--to replace a small oregano plant at the shady end of the porch. I'm particularly pleased with the begonias and sweet potato plants we bought for the pots at the top of the stairs to the porch. Last year we had sweet potatoes and something leveled them off.  Hoping for better luck this year.
I'm excited about my vegetable garden--with a wild Indian of a dog I haven't been able to grow anything in the back yard. Last year Greg planted some rose bushes which he said would grow strong, tall, and full. They would have if Sophie didn't knock them down as she ran back and forth to bark at a possum on the wires way above her.
I saw an idea on either Facebook or Pinterest--slit open a bag of potting soil and plant seeds in it. So we did--lettuce, spinach, pea shoots, and I forget what else. I'm looking for onion starters. Greg put the bag on an old table we don't use and dragged it to the middle of the lawn to get sun. Yet it's safe from Sophie. Pictures to follow when the seeds sprout.
What a nice day! Spring makes everything look better.    

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