Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pacing Myself

Last week I sat down and wrote this post, only to stop short at the title. After a half hour of trying to name the post I decided to close it and walk away. I have no idea what the block was about, late in the day, needed coffee, whatever. It bothered me to leave it unfinished. But, since then I went through more photos and put several on my Flickr page.

One of my recent favorites added to Flickr

I have links on the side bar (upper right of this page) to my Flickr, Pinterest, and Facebook pages. They are the colorful circles at the top. Since I've been slow to resume my blogging, if you come to my page and don't see a new post, scroll to the bottom of the page. That's where you'll find my favorite websites and blogs listed. 

As for my original post:
Today I went to the store and walked through the nursery all the way to the back for a bag of potting soil. I then walked out, past the red geraniums, then on through the door back to do some shopping. It's not like me at all to grab something and run, I did have work at home, so I couldn't dawdle. But, despite my usual urge to buy one of everything, I think I am starting to learn to pace my self. 

I needed the potting soil to plant the tomatoes I bought a couple of weeks ago. They are sitting in a flat with some 4" potted flowers that I haven't planted. I think I may need another plant or two just to fill in, but I know better than to start shopping when I still have plants unplanted.

I managed to get away with this because of a freak rainstorm that threatened to drown my plants. About a week ago at 4 am we had a downpour louder than any I've heard. I didn't think about my plants until later the next day. Most were fine, but the two flats of new plants I'd moved into a shady spot got hosed down by a gutter 2 stories up. There was more potting soil on the deck than in the containers.

I filled up the containers with potting soil, then had a week of cool, rainy weather, thus I am just now potting these plants.

This habit of leaving plants in their flats isn't new. I love plant shopping, then get them home without any real plan of where they'll go. This year I'm not as organized as I'd wanted to be, but I've tried to use vertical space and leave the floor of the deck clear for walking. My goal for container plants was to have a seasonal mix of veggies and flowers. This time of year is easy, I've got lettuce, kale, and peas growing. My challenge is to rotate out the summer veggies, and follow up with a fall container.

Mix of veggies and perennials in a container on my deck

It's only the end of May, but I've had my first major plant failure already. I have loved the Blue Himalayan Poppy since seeing it at Butchart Gardens over 10 years ago. I see photos of it on Pinterest all the time. So I was pretty excited when I found them at a nursery here in town, and I bought one plant (with buds) for $10. That's a lot for me to spend on one plant, but I love these flowers. I set it on the back deck, made sure it got a sunny spot and stayed watered. Within 6 days it was obvious that it was dying. All the leaves turned black on the edges. I was disgusted. I actually wanted to return it, but decided to suck it up and call it a loss. Less than a week after I bought it - dead. I had to assume the plants were diseased, but didn't call the nursery about it.

Starting to die just days after buying this plant.
So I'll stick with plants like those nasturtiums shown above. They got blasted with rain water, roots left exposed, and they still look great. Tough, simple flowers.

Since writing this post I've been trying to get all the nursery plants potted. I'm using a water retentive potting soil this year. It costs (a lot) more than regular soil, but I'm hoping by August I will not have to water my containers twice a day just to keep them alive.

I've also rearranged the container I showed above. The grass (Carex) was taking up too much space, when I tried to remove it I needed a pitchfork to get it out, the roots went to the bottom. I replaced it with a tomato and another cucumber - for Kabrina.

Oh, I decided to keep the title I'd discarded, since it really was about pacing myself.

Gratitude is my word of the year.

Today I'm grateful for:
Working at home, having flexibility with a schedule
Eating lunch on the deck in the sun with the dog
The baby birds I heard in the bird house
Having a (5') back yard that looks awesome with no work
and special birthdays (5/30).

No comments:

Post a Comment