Tis the season ... to plant flowers!
I am decidedly NOT a gardener, much to my mother's dismay. She has beautiful gardens and likes nothing better than turning over earth and planting all manner of wild varieties of plants. I, on the other hand, do not dig in dirt unless it is sanitized potting soil in a contained environment like a planter or windowbox where I am sure there will not be anything creeping or crawling or slithering. Nonetheless, the minute the weather turns warm, I can't wait to set up my pots of herbs and flowers on the deck just outside my kitchen door. I love having fresh herbs growing just steps from my stove, and I am delighted to be able to sip my morning mug of tea surrounded by flowers and birdsong and the antics of our many resident chipmunks.
Finally, it is mild enough here in New England to fill our outdoor plant pots and windowboxes with flowers and herbs. Join me for a trip through our favorite local wholesale greenhouse ...
There is nothing like seeing acres of flowers in one place! Even ordinary annuals like petunias and impatiens, and geraniums look enticing in such masses.
Love these bougainvillea trained into topiary 'trees'.
Speaking of tropical plants, no summer patio seems complete without constant bright color from climbing mandevilla vines or the very similar but bushier dipladenia plants. And, of course, palm trees like the ones shown below always add an air of luxury (think Tea at The Palm Court at the Plaza ... ) or at least the fleeting impression that you are somewhere more tropical and exotic than New England!
And then there are all these interesting varieties of succulents. I am possibly the only person who has successfully murdered a jade plant ... I managed to overwater it in my zeal to try to keep it alive, which is the one thing that apparently you cannot do to it. More manslaughter (or plantslaughter) than murder, I guess. Hmmm. Anyway, for MOST people, succulents are great because they don't mind a bit of neglect. They are supposed to dry out between waterings.
Succulents mixed into a planter or windowbox add great texture and variety.
Foliage plants in unusual colors like this Persian Shield in shimmery purple add variety to the garden.
My car filled with things I *might* be able to keep alive for the summer!
Including these "Endless Summer" hydrangeas underplanted with some white impatiens that may or may not survive and ivy that will eventually cascade over the edges of the urns. These hydrangeas are supposed to bloom all spring and summer long so they seemed perfect for my entryway urns - once the season is over I can plant them in the garden and hope they reappear next spring ... we'll see!
And one of my herb pots with chives that reappear every year (YAY), thyme, and a couple of varieties of sage so far. I am still on the lookout for ever elusive tarragon plants, and I think I will add some mint as well since it enhances so many nice summer beverages.
And the other contains huge quantities of basil and a fair amount of rosemary, with these adorable yellow and white striped miniature petunias mixed in for some fun color.