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Tue, 06/19/2012 - 09:28 — Sarah Martinez
An instant summer garden
Have some fun experimenting with annuals!
Years ago, when my husband and I finally moved from a cramped studio apartment to a two-bedroom duplex, we were thrilled to have a yard to play in. The “garden” consisted of a narrow, neglected bed along the front walkway, which wrapped around the entry landing.
During our first Spring in that home we broke up the compacted soil and worked in some compost. And then…nothing. The soil was ready for planting, but life got crazy—as it tends to do. It was June before we had the time and money to revisit our project.
We assumed it was too late and too hot to plant anything. But we went to the nursery anyway to look around. As luck would have it, there was a sale on big, heat-tolerant annuals in 6-inch pots. Jackpot!
We went a little wild in our selections. OK, we went A LOT wild in choosing plants. But, boy, we had fun! Our cart was packed with Lantana, Purslane, Mexican Heather and Vinca.
When we got home we set to getting our new acquisitions in the ground. The result was an absolute riot of color. It didn’t conform with color-wheel standards or any advice you’d read in garden magazines. Let’s face it: Nothing matched and our color combos kinda clashed. It didn’t matter though. It was bright, happy and fun!
Our humble little bed became a showstopper in the neighborhood. Though we didn’t realize it then, the plants we chose were perfect for current conditions. Watering and a little fertilizer equaled a thriving flower patch. And the cheery display helped us get to know our neighbors as they asked about what we planted and how we were caring for it.
It’s always the right time to get out in the garden! Summer is the season for fun, in my book. Annuals, in particular, are a great way to have a good time and experiment. Don’t sweat it! Heck, get a little crazy. Throw some colors together in a pot or bed just because YOU like them. I’ll bet you’ll create a showstopper, too!
This foray into gardening started my love affair with Purslane. The low, spreading habit discourages weed growth. And the colors are awesome!