1. Behold! My flowers!
My usual flower purchasing method has been, “Buy first, think later,” which has consistently proved to be a bad idea. I inevitably end up with more flowers than container space and have to make a trip to the hardware store to buy more flower pots. This year, in an attempt to avoid that problem, I took inventory of how many pots I had to start and brought that list with me when I bought my flowers so I could plan exactly which plants would go in which pot. This worked out well, but I was disappointed that Home Depot didn’t have the exact type of begonias I wanted – ones I had last year that grew like weeds with little effort on my part.
Everything was going just fine until I started planting, when I realized I bought topsoil, not container dirt, because apparently not all dirt is made equally (container dirt, according to my mom, is better at draining). I only had enough container dirt to fill two pots, so another trip to Home Depot was necessary. My initial flower shopping took place at one Home Depot, but my second trip brought me to a different Home Depot. This second Home Depot had the begonias I couldn’t find at the first Home Depot, and even though I knew I should resist, I couldn’t convince myself to resist, so I came home with two bags of dirt and four plants for which I had no space.
I thought I could wrangle everything into the 18 pots I already owned, but I was wrong, so last week I made my annual, “Oops! I bought too many flowers,” trip to the hardware store to buy more pots. Maybe next year I’ll have some self-control.
2. This year, I bought begonias in three varieties, lobelias, and fuchsias. I did not buy impatiens because I am sick and tired of them dying on me, so I didn’t even bother. I had a lot of success with begonias last year, so I’m hoping that happens again.
Lobelias are entirely new to me. I hadn’t heard of them before I bought them, so we’ll see what happens. I took too long getting them in the ground (well, the potted ground), and some of them looked pretty pathetic when I planted them. We’ll see what happens, I suppose, and now I know better than to assume that an overnight downpour is enough to keep flowers in little plugs hydrated for 48 hours.
Fuchsias are also a new experiment for me. Some things I’ve read online said they prefer temperatures in the 80s or below, so I’m hoping that either turns out to not be the case or that the internet was wrong. Or that we have a summer where it never breaks 80. I’d be perfectly okay with that, too 😛 For now, though, they are definitely the stars of my show. I have a bunch of blossoms and blooms, and they seem to be thriving.
Any care and keeping tips related to lobelias or fuchsias are welcomed and encouraged 🙂
3. Finally, to keep the flower theme going: a story.
Due to the aforementioned overbuying and consequential need for additional flower pot purchasing, I didn’t have a chance to finish planting until this past Monday. After my run, I headed outside to plant my remaining flowers. I thought the soil looked a bit dry and decided to water them, despite the promise of rain later that evening. So I filled up my (new!) watering can (twice the size of my old one, which means half as many trips back to the faucet to fill it up!), watered my freshly planted flowers, and then decided to water all my other flowers for good measure.
When I finished watering, I noticed plastic in one of my fuchsia pots. I assumed it was trash that had blown in and tried to pick it up. To my great surprise, it seemed stuck in the soil, so I tugged at it. I saw that this was not a piece of plastic, but rather a plastic bag, and discovered that the bag contained…something. I couldn’t tell immediately what it was, but, for whatever reason, my first assumption was drugs. I was OUTRAGED. Which neighbor that shares my backyard had the GALL to bury their DRUGS in my fuchsia?!?
I pulled some more, and saw that the substance in the bag was more of a light brown than a green or a white, like I would’ve presumed with drugs. Butterflies flitted about in my stomach as my apprehension grew. At last, I pulled the bag all the way out of the pot, and discovered…
A chocolate chip cookie.
So, the good news is, none of my neighbors seem to be drug addicts, squirreling away their stash in my flowers. The mystery still remains, though, over who on EARTH buried a chocolate chip cookie in a plastic bag in one of my fuchsias! I haven’t spoken with the squirrels who live in the garage recently, but right now, they’re my top suspects. It would (mostly) add up, after all: squirrels bury their food, chocolate chip cookies are food, there’s a nearby alley with dumpsters I know the squirrels pillage, since I’ve seen them there before, and the squirrels live right by my flowers. Why the squirrel would KEEP the chocolate chip cookie in a plastic bag (not a sealed plastic bag, mind you) is beyond me, but maybe they’re smarter than I give them credit for and expected the bag would keep the cookie from disintegrating.
I threw the cookie away and went about with my life. We got a lot of rain Tuesday night, so when I woke up Wednesday morning, I planned to check on my flowers and dump out their saucers if they had filled with water. To my HORROR, this scene greeted my eyes when I looked out the window:
Because this pot was near the back and had survived all of last week’s wind storms, I can only assume the squirrels are responsible for this travesty. I don’t know how they manage to navigate the rest of the setup without disturbing any of my flowers, since there isn’t much room to maneuver around there, and I also don’t understand why they have to bother MY flowers, rather than any of the various abandoned containers elsewhere in the backyard. But, since we clearly aren’t as good of friends as I presumed and my trust has been severely violated, I moved the pretty blue pot on the right of the picture away from the scene of the crime, because that was a Christmas present from my sister and no squirrel will take that away from me!
Do you garden?