Sunday, July 29, 2012

oh how they grow

I've been sneaking in a lot of extra "flower walks" this weekend. One, because I missed my plants while we were on vacation and I feel like they grew and changed and got all grown up while I was gone. Two, because after surgery, I might not be up to doing a lot of walking, and so I want to "store up" lots of flower time to tide me over. I'm not sure if it really works that way, but I'm hoping so. Three, because incidentally, the gardens were all in serious need of weeding...which isn't nearly as fun as just looking at the flowers...but still lets me spend time with the plants outside.

 Anyway. So you know how I'm like your go-to garden, seriously. I am. For some of you, anyway. Can I just say that that's been one of my favorite things this summer?? I've gotten maybe five tons of emails (plus in-person questions from real-life friends) asking for garden/flower advice and diagnostics (some of you even send pictures!!!) and this has tickled me to no end. Then you had to go be all encouraging with my "Plants 101" post (lecture) last I've decided to give you yet another unsolicited helpful lesson in gardening...don't worry, though- it's a quick one.

Today's lesson: Don't be afraid to start small. The great thing about plants is that THEY GROW.

Case in point: Last summer we decided to dig up a new flower bed along the side of our house. Up to that time, all that was happening over there in that side yard was that our unruly weeds would grow up really tall and tacky (and stood out nicely against our tan siding) and...yeah, that's all. And since every single person who leaves our neighborhood had to see that hot mess every time they drove by, I felt like I owed it to the world to give them something better than dandelions to look at. Here's the thing about me and Matt and gardens and such: we pretty much just play things by ear. First we spent a day or two digging and tilling up the ground (because it was a lonnnnnng and rocky patch). Then we had to go find plants...but we didn't really have a plan for what we wanted to plant, we just wanted it by ear. We wanted some bush-type things that would grow tall eventually. We wanted some color. And...we didn't have a lot of money, so all of the above would need to be cheap.

So we went to the store, we read plant-tags and got some cheap-but-hopefully-pretty flowering bushes (variegated weigela), a knock-out rose, a few random annuals (so that we could change them out year to year as the other bushes grew and filled out), and transplanted one of the INFINITY Rose of Sharons my mom gives me (seriously, I probably have 30 of them. At least they're gorgeous!). It was a lot of work, and at the end of the weekend, our new bed was...extremely underwhelming:

I mean, it was better than That was a lot of work for a few teeny tiny plants that you could barely see unless you were 2 feet away. But it was all we could do-- bigger plants cost more money, and since we "needed" so many of them...smaller was what we could afford. So this is what we ended up with.

But remember the key point here: PLANTS GROW. And if you live in Georgia and you do a half-assed job of taking care of your plants...they'll grow FAST.


I mean, would you look at the difference there??! Those are all of the EXACT SAME PLANTS-- I haven't done anything to them (other than water them)...there are some different annuals, sunflowers, etc. in there now, but you can't see them in the far-off shot...all those bushes and flowers are the very same weigela and rose plant I planted last summer. They're HUGE!!!

So let this be your encouragement to just try planting something-- and even if it's a little less than WOW at will probably grow and grow and grow and be super awesome in the future. And now class is over. You are dismissed. 

Unless you want to see a few more flower pictures, that is. Then you can stay for our after-school club.

 We have okra!!

 This is a new bed along the back of the house...we dug it and planted it in mid-June...exhibit B for DAGGUM THESE THINGS GROW FAST!!!

This knock-out rose plant we rescued from the discount rack at Lowe's in June. At the time of purchase, it was basically two half-dead sticks in a pot (we seriously debated whether it was worth the $3 gamble)...and now it is growing and blooming and GORGEOUS!

In conclusion: I love flowers.

PS. Can you tell I had a love affair with making collages on PicMonkey this weekend? The time-lapse garden pictures, the new header...I blame it on needing to feel like I'm doing SOMETHING while watching Olympics non-stop...


  1. I really am so impressed! You should move here and be my gardener... for free, of course :)

  2. I always like before and after pictures.

  3. Thank you, Plant Lady! This makes me feel better because we had to rip out our photinias and replaced them with holly bushes earlier this summer... I was concerned about them being so much smaller than the photinia bushes were, but hopefully they will grow quickly!

    Also, I have sad news: I have been diligent about watering my new flowers (the vincas) and STILL one of them is totally dead and a couple of the others are showing signs of giving up :( So, you really do need to move here and help me!

  4. I love that you love flowers. You are slowly inspiring me to love my garden a little bit more. Also, how great does your blog look at the top??? Love it!

  5. I LOVE how fast plants grow. When my parents helped me plant a bed this spring I was a little sad that we likely wouldn't be here next summer to see the results. But you are so right and the plants grew super-fast and now that bed looks really amazing.

    I also love to spend time with my flowers (I think I'm turning into my mom!) watering them and talking to them.

    Even weeding can be fun when I see how awesome the beds look afterwards. Keep sharing pictures of your gardens because they are beautiful.

    And I really like your new header. In fact it took me about a minute to get to the post because I was looking at the new pictures. I love the angle of the wedding picture and you look really sassy in the hydrangea picture :)

  6. That is awesome! And gives me hope for the flowers you helped me plant, some of which seem to be struggling with all this heat.

    Love the new header too!

  7. Love the new header. We have no idea what to do with our flower bed.. and think that maybe we are moving in at the wrong time to do anything this year?


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