my not so green thumb

Disclaimer:  When I was writing this post, the pictures in the draft were configured differently than in the final product.  You might have to work a bit harder to decipher which pic goes with which comment this way. This is what happens when I am too cheap to buy the upgraded blog template. Sorry.

Every year I look in the Better Homes and Garden magazine and dream of creating a backyard sanctuary.  Cobbled paths lined with perennials that insure color all summer long, fountains and cute little benches are what I dream about.  The reality is that I have a small rectangular lot smack dab in the middle of the city.  To add insult to injury the one and only shade giving tree in our yard  needed to be cut down last summer.

Given what I have to work with, I have spent the last few years adding something here and there.  My biggest problem is that for me planting is and always has been a crap shoot.  I have a 50/50 chance of seeing my perennials back in the spring. Thus far, I have found no rhyme or reason for why they do or do not come back. Take the following pictures for example; I planted the same size and variety of plant in the same soil and look at the difference.

The one on the left is pitiful while the one on the right is thriving.  The next picture on the lower left  is what has become of a coriopsis that I planted at the same time last spring as the pictures that you see here.

The picture on the right is a thriving perennial that I planted two years ago.  It has come back twice as big as last spring.  So given my track record with plants,  what is the solution short of dropping the big bucks to get a garden designed by Gertens?

Given my lousy luck with perennials, I was hesitant to start vegetables  in the ground.  My sister raves about how nice it is to go out to the yard just before dinner and pick her family a salad from her garden.  I enjoy salad myself, so to that end I have planted a table top container garden.  I have one tomato plant and two containers of mixed lettuce varieties.  I thought a table would be a smaller commitment then digging up a portion of the yard.  Also, this prevents me from having to fence the Peter Cottontails of the neighborhood out.  Rabbits don’t climb or jump vertically do they?

So below is my first shot at a table top container garden.  Next to the picture is my beloved rain barrel.  I have already had the pleasure of filling my watering can from it’s generous supply of rain water.  I will post pics throughout the summer to celebrate my success or lament my failures.

2 thoughts on “my not so green thumb

  1. Yeah—it’s spring. Perennials are a crap-shoot and not entirely due to the greeness of the gardener’s thumb but a combination of soil, location and plant health. Can I confess I’m lusting over your rain barrel???

  2. I believe that you can purchase rain barrels at home improvement stores. I really would like to have at least one more. I would place it on the opposite side of my house. I could potentially get through a summer growing season without ever turning on my hose to water my plants. My very environmentally conscious sister also reminded me that I could use the rain barrel water to flush the toilet if there was a breakdown of the city’s water supply system. I’m choosing not to go there.

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