I can not get enough of looking at my window boxes filled with pansies this year. They are not billowing or cascading like the window boxes of high summer, but they are blooming their little heads off. And even though I tuck the basket mat back in among the curlique framing, the bird think this is their Home Depot of nest building supplies.
I made the right choice siting my Japaneses maple against the newly resided neighboring garage late last summer.
The leaves will show to great effect there, AND it didn't die despite this move before a brutal winter. This area is far from the look I want to achieve there, as the Austrian black pine was recently removed, it freed up a lot of space. Space I didn't realize would become a holding bed for all the items I had in pots and needed to be in the ground when I fell. It was an easy decision to let Handsome Son and his girlfriend heel everything in there, including lining in the just purchased tulip bulbs.
I stopped at Lowe's yesterday. I grow most of my annuals from cuttings and seed, yet I always like to check out what is offered. Where previously there were flat after flat of impatiens, other than the New Guinea onesies grown in large pots, I didn't see any impatiens being sold as bedding plants. Also, about this time the box stores are awash in roses, too, and there were nary a one. Likewise, no coleus were on display. These were not the only flowering perennials and annuals missing from the mix. There was no big flashy Bonnie Plants vegetable transplant displays. Living in near isolation the last few month spending some of that time bedridden, I have obviously missed something...
As my pansies are in square pots I can change out, I planned on planting up the summer's show and growing them on for a bit before the heat takes the oomph out of them. Asking the the garden sales person whether they had calibrachoa (to work in with the wave petunias I grew from seed) got a blank stare.
"What are those?"
"Tiny petunias..." I tried giving it the non-gardener's view.
"Oh!" She led me out to a small display of one color of Proven Winners calibrachoa.
Looking around my garden I see the dead and injured, yet I have already received more than a couple compliments on my "beautiful" garden. (Is it the nice garden tended by that disabled woman effect?) There is green grass, and some flowers. I see lots of problems as well. I am trying not to stress it, to ride the good that came out of preparing it to be on show last year. The grass grows overlong, before I can talk Handsome Son into clipping it (something it takes me more than a physically arduous hour to accomplish and he completed in a scant 15 minutes, chipping a large pot on a pedestal in in the process.).
The chipped pot is one of a set of three in various sizes. But what has become of the other two? They are nowhere to be found. If you knew the size of my tiny home and yard, you would find this as astounding as I do.
Another trend I have noticed is nary a hanging basket to be seen anywhere on porches, nor the planted color container seen even in yards of my non-gardening neighbors. Is this another new normal? A friend of mine who sells such things told me a couple years ago, they sell 75 to 90 percent of their hanging baskets by Memorial Day. Oops! So nobody buys these now?
Last year, I noted two nearby areas were foregoing having garden walks in 2013 because of the drought of 2012. Other than the dead and injured in the garden, has this brutal winter damaged some gardening psyches as well?