I can’t believe the summer is almost over already! My husband and I are prepping for our big two week vacation in Maine, and I’ve been running around doing last minute house projects! I don’t know why I thought the two weeks before our vacation would be a good time to tackle a fireplace makeover project…but I did. We’ve successfully finished re-staining the mantel, and I am almost finished painting over our ugly dated tiles. I can’t wait to share more about this project when we get back! But in the meantime, I thought I would give a quick update on how our patio garden is doing!
I am still a really “novice” gardener—I have only been trying my hand at it for the last two years, and I have a ton more to learn. Gardening can be a little frustrating for me at times, because so much feels out of my control—the weather is obviously completely beyond control, and plants don’t always do what you want them to! However, all things considered, I am pretty happy with how our patio garden turned out this year!
I am particularly pleased with how my petunias have done. They need a lot of sun, but I have discovered that I get enough sun on my patio for them to really thrive. I placed the purple and yellow petunias on the upper level of my plant stand (you can barely even see the stand anymore!), and they spilled down the sides just the way I hoped that they would. I also bought several other varieties, like the deep maroon and hot pink and yellow ones at the far right of the photo, and they have all done really well. My zinnias have also taken off for the most part, and I tried snapdragons this year for the first time. I have had mixed success with them—the ones I planted in the back bed have not really thrived and some have actually died. But the ones on the patio have done much better, and as you can see, they are blooming quite nicely in this photo. I also tried a hibiscus bush this year, which has done incredibly well, although it happened to not be blooming much on the day I took this picture (it’s the taller plant in the deep blue pot).
However, I am probably most proud of my little knock-out rose bush—not because it looks amazing or has done particularly well, but because I have at least kept it from dying! It looked gorgeous when I bought it and was blooming profusely, but almost immediately, it lost all its blooms and it looked liked something was eating it. The leaves turned yellow and many of them had holes in them. I bought this insect killer for roses from Home Depot, but honestly, it never really seemed to help much. By the middle of the summer, it looked so bad, I thought for sure that it wouldn’t survive. But I kept pruning off the dead sections, and I also switched to a different spray, containing Neem Oil, which a number of fellow gardeners strongly recommended. It definitely seems to have helped, and my rose bush is finally showing more signs of very healthy growth! Although there aren’t a ton of blooms in the photo, there are about a dozen buds just getting ready to bloom. So hopefully, I’ll be able to keep this baby alive through the winter so that it can start blooming again next spring!
Although it can be frustrating at times, I really enjoy the challenge of gardening, and I feel like I learn so much more each year! It’s such a joy to be able to cultivate the earth and see so much beauty grow out of all that effort. And hopefully with everything I have learned this year, my little patio garden will look even better next summer!