Last spring this was a beautiful scene from my deck planter, peas climbing up the mesh trellis, lettuce growing among pansies left over from winter. I was so proud of this combination and I had great plans for a successive summer and fall planting. At least in my head.
This is that planter at the end of August.
It's not bad, I had succumbed to a few annuals when plant shopping and they mixed up nice. The pansies from last winter have dwindle to one. A lone tomato plant is on the right. The Master Gardeners left free plants at the garden, so I grabbed this one. "Goliath" supposedly over 3' tall never made it over a foot.
While I did plant morning glory seeds (which never grew) I didn't have a plan for the plants that would replace the spring cool weather plants. When they started dying off I was busy with the community garden and came up short on what I could do to fill in the planter.
The same thing happened with the railing planters. I was very proud of the lettuce, chard, radish mix. But should have been a lot more liberal with the nasturtiums.
All the radish, but 3 bolted and when the lettuce was done I wasn't ready with a replacement. So I finally took them down off of the railing and set them under the flower baskets for easier watering. This looks bad, even worse it's what I see from the house.
The photo below shows my upper deck in all it's splendor: flower baskets after the geraniums have puttered out, the railing planters with token nasturtium, and my container with trellis unused and one tiny vegetable plant. It's really not what I imagined in spring.
The 3 things that I can see in hindsight will have to be addressed next year.
1) I need a plan with 3 plant ideas for spring, summer and fall.
2) The community garden took priority and I just ignored the seasonal progression here.
3) I stopped spending money on plants, which means I stopped shopping at nurseries, even to browse. I can go crazy at a garden center and do more damage there than in a shoe store. But, if I plan ahead and decide on which plants I want in these containers I can budget for them and make a series of smaller purchases. It sounds good anyway.
You might have noticed the plant on the table to the right. This year I bought a "patio" tomato, not really knowing anything about it except that it is compact. Now I know that it is quite ugly and whoever designed a tomato for a patio might remember that it should look good.