I do not have a green thumb. Truly and honestly, I’m sort of mulch when it comes to gardening, landscaping, or anything of the sort. I find this odd because I grew up with parents who seemingly loved to garden. Every weekend in Spring and Summer we were making painful (well, at the age of 10 it was) trips to garden centers that smelled like fertilizer and rotting cabbage picking out tomato plants, the perfect marigolds, and shrubs. To be honest, it was worth it because we always had a beautifully landscaped home and pretty gardens…but this skill just did not rub off on me. I mean, I appreciate a pretty flower bed as much as the next person, but gardening just doesn’t get my motor running. Which really is weird because I love being outside but honestly, I’d rather be dozing in the grass than pulling weeds…ya do what ya gotta do as a homeowner though to keep the place from looking like an overgrown mess.
Anyway, our yard could use a little TLC. The only problem is our yard is BIG…by my standards anyway (it’s an acre and a quarter)…and I more or less know zip, zero, zilch on how to make grass grow or what native plants to plant, etc. Additionally, the former homeowners had laid BIG patches of rock mulch and after researching this situation a little bit I learned that this stuff becomes hard to maintain and unsightly after just a couple of years. Being that our home laid vacant for several months, weeds and grasses grew between the rocks. Now, we just mow over it (cringe) to make it look a little more “grass-like”. On the upside, we do have some nice shrubs out front (though I have no clue what they are) that we work to keep nicely trimmed to keep things looking neat.
Now, as we get into the swing of springtime things here in Florida, I was itching (not from allergies) to have some pops of color in the front yard. I was also DYING to have some home grown herbs and, gasp, a tomato or two. However, this would mean that I’d actually have to put something. In dirt. And water it. And not kill it. And maybe even fertilize it. Gah.
This is when I discovered the beauty of container gardening. Right now, we do not have the budget, or ambition, for a yard overhaul but I still wanted a way to bring flowers and herbs into my life. Cue this handy-dandy little book:
The best part…I had found it on the clearance table at Books-A-Million for $3.00.
Based on advise from my handy little manual, I was ready to head to the Home Depot garden center for my supplies. I purchased the following to get my container garden party started:
1. Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix
2. Herbs: Cilantro, Oregano, and Basil
3. A patio tomato plant
Now, I’m such a novice and so clueless that I cannot for the life of me remember the names of the flowers I purchased or the variety of the tomato plant. So, when you peek at the pics below feel free to refresh my memory on what the heck I planted.
I chose pots that had good drainage and for a few pots we drilled our own holes and placed rocks in the bottom for drainage. Then, I simply situated the plants in the soil and gave them a nice soak with the water hose.
I arranged a few of the flower pots near the front door. This way, they get the required full sun exposure and add some color to the front yard.
I placed the tomato plant and herbs on the pool patio so it was nearer to the kitchen thus accessible for cooking. (Oh yeah! That green thing is a tomato cage. I understand it’s helpful to train the plant upwards and keep it stable and all that).
I also placed another flower pot in a covered area of the pool patio where it would receive the recommend amount of shade.
So far, so good. The plants have been thriving for about two weeks. I’ve remembered to water them, and I’m learning to prune dead buds and foliage. Fingers and stems crossed!