I have mentioned many, many times here on the blog that I am absolutely awful at keeping plants alive. I’ve killed every plant I’ve ever owned (including succulents, which are notorious for being incredibly easy to keep alive) and I’m pretty convinced that I have a black thumb.
But, for some reason, I keep coming back for more. I can’t help it – plants may not like me but I like them and I’m determined that we’re going to become besties. I’m sure once they get to know me a little better they’ll like me too.
Since I’m so determined, Corey and I hit up Lowe’s this weekend to see if we could find some new plants for our yard. We were looking specifically for some citronella (technically it’s called citrosa, I believe, but it’s basically the same thing) to help keep the mosquitos off of our back patio (my friend Audrey swears by it!) but when we saw the clearance plant section we couldn’t resist looking around.
Half an hour and $30 worth of plants later, we were feeling pretty awesome. We found two braided hibiscus trees for $5 each, a ton of pretty annual flowers that ranged from 50 cents to a buck a piece, a cute hanging plant for $3, and some pretty succulents that were 75% off. All of the plants were looking a bit worse for the wear, but we figured that since we were spending so little on them it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we ended up killing them. Our idea was that this is a good way to get our feet wet in taking care of some more plants without a ton of commitment – since most of the plants we bought are annuals, we’d have to replant them next year anyways.
When we got home we learned our first lesson in gardening – pay attention to how much shade you have in your backyard before you actually buy plants. Most of what we bought are “full sun” plants, meaning they need 6+ hours of direct sunlight every day. The problem? Most of the places we were wanting to plant in are very shaded, thanks to the tons of trees and large rose buses we have in our yard. We managed to find enough sunny spots for what we bought, but we will definitely be buying more shade plants in the future.
We started off with the flower bed – currently all that’s in there are three rose bushes, a crepe myrtle (which we need to transplant – it’s very crowded by the house and a rose bush, which is stunting it’s growth), and some dusty miller. We found a bare patch that gets quite a bit of sunlight and decided to plant some of our flowers there. We also planted some succulents along the back of the fence (they’re supposed to get pretty big, so we’re hoping they grow and cover the whole area behind the fence), and a few other random plants in different patches of the bed depending on how much sunlight they’ll need. They’re all looking kind of sad right now, but we’ll update you as they (hopefully) start to perk up and grow!
(If you look closely, you can see the baby succulents along the fence! This spot gets more sun at different times of the day, it just happened to be shaded when I took the photo.)
The next stop was the area next to our back door. A few weekends ago we pulled up some bushes from that area and were left with a pretty bare little dirt patch. This area will eventually all be turned into a patio, but that won’t be happening for a while, so we figured this was a good spot for some more flowers. Once again, they aren’t looking awesome, but we have faith that with some love they’ll start looking better soon!
We (once again) learned to double check the shade conditions when it came to the hanging plant. It is a “full sun” plant, but the only place we have to hang anything is off the workshop, which is completely shaded most of the time thanks to the second story of our house. So, for now we decided to plop it down on the dead peach tree near the back of the yard – it makes the tree look a little bit less sad and ensures the plant gets plenty of sun. When the tree comes down (soon!) we’ll have to find another place for it, but this works for now!
We put our cute little hibiscus trees on the patio so we can be sure to see them and give them some love every day. They’re looking particularly close to death, but we have high hopes that we can revive them – they’ve already perked up a little bit since we removed all of the dead leaves and gave them plenty of water, so we’ll see how they do!
And, of course, we finally managed to track down some citronella at a local grocery store and put it in a cute $10 pot from Ross. It was very overgrown when we got it and have heard that it’s pretty easy to take care of, so we feel good about this plant for sure! It’s supposed to end up with some pretty purple flowers in the next few weeks, so we’ll keep you posted on that as well!
And with that, we’re starting to feel like our yard might actually look pretty at some point in the future. We’re excited to start working out there and getting our plants to come back to life, and hopefully by next year we will have learned enough about how to take care of things that we can actually buy some more permanent flowers!
Have you been doing any work outside now that the weather is warming up? Anyone else determined to make plants cooperate with you?