On scorching summer days like this when, like approaching winter snow, you can actually smell the humidity that bathes the air, and it’s simply too miserable to do anything, it’s a great time to assess the failures and successes of this season’s garden, thus far.
Though the above photo is blurry from taking the shot through glass, I think I’ve come close to capturing the colour of this wonderful “violet” geranium. It really does have a much deeper burgundy hue, but this is as close as my camera is going to capture it. The inside of the petal starts out a deep coral and gradates out to a deeper wine colour at the edges. It is a very prolific bloomer, heavy with buds. These were a late find, and therefore had a slow start — once they’re a little larger, I’ll take more pics. This is one geranium I’ll be sure to plant again.
The red verbena I put in two containers did not like the wind. And our deck gets a lot of wind. May was a particularly windy month, but our apartment building sits directly across from a large, open field and our side faces the prevailing wind. You can see the beginnings of wind burn on the tips of these leaves and eventually, they just turned crisp and brown.
Even this hardy geranium went from a lush plant full of beautiful blooms, to this spindly and pathetic looking thing, regardless of regular watering, full sun, etc. Again, the leaves turned brown at the edges and I’ve picked the worst ones off. When it’s windy, it gets a full blast.
So, one lesson learned is to do my homework and find some plants that are a little more tolerant of the conditions on and around the deck. So many of my containers have been disappointing this year — what the wind didn’t destroy, the earwings finished off! What a bonus year for those ugly creatures! They devoured all of my basil and have turned the larger leaves of my ‘Trusty Rusty’ coleus plants into lace. :-?
There are some successes too, of course. Everything is just coming into its own right now, but some of my planters look just fine to these eyes.
Trial and error, that’s what it’s all about, I guess. The bed by the rhodie will be enlarged at the end of the summer and I hope to fill it with perennials. This little spot of colour was haphazard, to say the least. And speaking of Miss Rhodie, with a little TLC and an acidic feeding, she has really taken off and has put out at least 8″ of near leaf growth. I had nothing to worry about, I guess.
Another lesson learned — raccoons will eat *anything*! Two nights in a row, we heard a ruckus on the deck, and when Charlie explored with a flashlight, there was a raccoon, shaking the wrought iron pole that the bird feeder hangs from, trying to scatter seed onto the ground. The second night, he sat his fat ass on the railing and took stones out of the bird bath and threw them at the feeder, trying to break the “glass” sides, I suppose. You have to give it to them for ingenuity! Failing at that, he then tried to flip the metal top off the feeder and made a heck of a racket! Last night, we brought the feeder inside. (Charlie said he was FAT, by the way, and that his a$$ hung over both sides of the railing. He must be finding more than seeds to eat!)
Hmm. I just watched a sparrow try to take a bath in the saucer under the orange geranium pot. I watered and fed all the pots this morning with Miracle Grow — he had a good splash (and I suppose, a drink) in the saucer. So, will I look out tomorrow and see a foot high sparrow?