For all of my adult life I’ve moved frequently so my gardening has been done in containers and pots. I’ve seldom witnessed planting perennials in the ground and seeing them emerge from the dirt and flower in subsequent years. I’ve enjoyed the bulbs and seeds that others have planted in the yards of houses I’ve lived in and the bulbs and seeds I’ve planted over the years are hopefully still flowering long after I’ve gone for the pleasure of others but I’ve not had the opportunity to plan and nurture garden beds over a length of time.
For the past several years I’ve not even planted in pots due to a move two summers ago and putting our home on the market last year.
However, this year is different….this year I’m settling into a home that I plan to be in for a while.
This year I got my hands into the dirt and came away with the earth under my fingernails.
When I was in grade school The Weekly Reader was something I looked forward to; my favorite part was trying to guess what was pictured in the column that featured an object photographed up close. I didn’t know what macro photography was back then and certainly couldn’t conceive of a world with smartphones and apps that brought it to my fingertips 24/7, but that early fascination with those images has certainly brought me, in part, to how I see the world today. Many of my daily Instagrams are up close and personal.
This week I visited dear friends in Louisiana and was delighted to find Elephant Ears (Colocasia) growing by their pool.
They were majestic and intriguing from afar but it was getting close to them that really held my interest.
In many aspects of life, not just the visual, the real story usually lies in the layers and minutia that exist beneath the surface. It takes time to slow down enough to discover those layers but it’s always worth it.
Being a military spouse has given me some challenges in the plant growing department. I seldom live in a climate two years in a row to figure out what works but for this assignment we’ve stayed put for three growing seasons and I’m starting to discover what thrives here and what will make it through the long, hot summer.
There is definitely something to be said in support of heat and humidity in Louisiana. So far my plants are loving this summer’s conditions! Thought I’d bring you a quick visual tour of my attempts with gardening here at the Brant House on Barksdale Air Force Base. I need to do a little bit of replanting and filling in where things have failed but all in all it’s been a successful growing season so far. If I’ve uploaded them correctly all before pictures should be followed by a “where we are now” picture.
One of my favorite additions has been the tiered herb garden in galvanized tubs, something I found on Pinterest. And my favorite space this year is the area the herb garden lives in, right outside my laundry room door. This area was all concrete and starkness all of last summer and just a few months ago. Now it’s one of my favorite spaces outside the house.
Here’s to living somewhere long enough to figure out what to grow where!
Favorite Things….this week’s P52 Photo Challenge
I’m being literal with this week’s challenge. My first inclination was to post pictures of my grandsons.
However, they aren’t things.
Flowers are things. And this time of year I get such pleasure in watching them grow and thrive.
These are flower shots taken in Louisiana this past week.
I hope they make you smile as much as watching them grow and blossom makes me smile.
Things That Grow….this week’s P52 Photo Challenge
To follow-up the front porch childhood memories of my last post, I’m starting this post by remembering the flowers on Clifford Road. Besides Mom’s gardenias the smell that takes me back there most readily is lilacs. We had a huge bush that grew by the back steps and every spring Mom filled the house with vases of the fragrant purple flower. Dad was forced to sneeze through the season but he never threatened to eliminate that bush nor kept her from bringing them inside. Purple was Mom’s favorite color. Violets and lilies of the valley grew along the side of the house underneath the bay window and peonies lined the driveway. Roses grew in several places. Mom’s dad was an avid rose gardener and I’m sure the roses were a comfort to her.
As I’ve been walking around the Del Ray neighborhood just outside of DC I’m awed by the abundance of flowers and plants in people’s yards. It’s obvious that people have literally rooted themselves in these homes. They have nurtured their yards and their landscapes have been years in the making.
This is in direct contrast to most military bases. The people who live in the houses on a base seldom stay long enough to figure out what grows best. I know I never did. I longed for a garden and gorgeous flowers but I usually moved into a home one summer, spent the next attempting to figure what grew in the climate and that particular soil, then was already moving on by the next growing season.
I became adept at container gardening but putting things into the soil was hit and miss.
I love flowers and I love seeing them grow. They make me happy. And so I continue to try.
This time around I’m more confident. Because Jim is on his second assignment at Barksdale; I’m in my third growing season. The last time I lived anywhere for three consecutive summers was in Michigan from 1982 through 1986.
This is what I planted a few weeks ago. I can’t wait to see what thrives this season. From the past years I’m pretty confident that the ferns will succeed, as will the geraniums, petunias, hibiscus, mint and coleus.
I’ll follow up with the after pictures sometime in September. Until then I will enjoy the growing!