This year is the first time I’ve grown items for cooking/eating. I got basil very early in the spring from a friend. Two of the young plants died, but the survivor is thriving. They started out in a big pot; when I went to re-pot the last one, I realized that there was a smaller pot upside down in the big one, so I had been over-watering quite a bit. My rosemary, oregano, and lavender are from the farmer’s market downtown. I bought them for about $2 apiece, and they’re doing quite well. My bag smelled so good when I walked home that day. I think it’s worth it to grow herbs just for the smell.
My mom gave me my tomato plant. It spent the first half of the summer in Omaha; since I forgot to bring it to Lawrence after my first summer trip home, I left it there until I finished my job at the College World Series. There was one tomato ripening when I got it to my apartment; after I picked it, there were some heavy winds and rain that caused the stems to bend quite a bit. I didn’t have anything to hold them up. My parents came down, and my mom had the idea of snapping a thin branch off the somewhat intrusive bush next to my patio. It worked perfectly; I’ve picked one more tomato from it, and there are two green ones waiting to ripen.
My vinca are bright and cheery; my snapdragons, petunias and calibrachoa are yellow and muiltiplying. I’ve finally gotten my pretty purple (osteosper)mums and my opal innocence nemesia blooming again.
My ornamental pepper is one of my favorite plant choices of the summer, and my fuschia, after teasing me with buds for weeks, is finally starting to bloom. Ben gave me a jade plant that I keep inside on my office windowsill, and I bought another broad-leafed succulent at the farmer’s market. They are both growing steadily.
My mom and I planted two pretty flowering succulents. They are both thriving, but I only saved one of the tags: rio orange purslane.
It hasn’t been all perfect. I did have trouble with some of my flowers early in the summer. I wasn’t watering them all twice a day when it started to get really hot. Since I started, most of them are doing quite well. I really enjoy caring for my flowers.
I also planted some very pretty yellow flowers (gazania) before coming back in July, and they haven’t bloomed yet. I looked them up online, and it seems that they are a very drought tolerant plant, so I think I’ve probably been overwatering them. I’m going to see if I can get some of them to perk up a little if I water them less. My tuberous begonia isn’t looking so hot, either. I kept accidentally knocking the new blooms off, and I picked some dried-out looking foliage off of it. I don’t think that was a wise decision; it’s been looking worse ever since. I’m trying to leave it alone. I’ve also moved the pot to a place that gets more filtered sunlight, which is supposedly the kind it likes best.
I bought a bird feeder for my patio when I came back in July. It was on sale, and I’d been wanting one, so I went ahead and splurged. It was well worth the $12. I love it. It took a little while for activity to pick up, but I had cardinals coming regularly within a week or so. One evening, I was working on my laptop, and I heard a cardinal chirping outside. When I looked out the window, two cardinals–a male and a female–were perched on the feeder. They’ve been back together several times since then. They are my absolute favorite. I like to think they are on a little date.
Within the past week or so, the sparrows have been coming to the bird feeder, as well. They are pretty cute, and much bolder than the cardinals. They will hop around for seeds that have fallen onto the ground, even when I’m sitting on the patio. They try to stay on the other side of the wooden railing, but after they’ve gotten their feet wet and realized all I do is try to snap their picture, they hop underneath for a quick peck at the seed inside the patio.
I never realized the bird feeder would require so much sweeping. I remember the day the feeder started to really get activity, because I went outside to water my plants one morning and thought a squirrel had tried to reach the feeder, knocking seed all over the ground. I realized that the ground was mostly covered in discarded shells, though. It’s been like that ever since. I don’t mind; to me, the extra cleaning is worth it if I have birds to watch. This morning I had to chase a cat away from my patio, though. I suppose the consequence of attracting so many birds is attracting things that like to eat birds. I managed to shoo it away, and I’m hoping it isn’t wandering about regularly. It was a pretty cute orange cat, but I prefer the birds. :)