New Place to Live and Garden Woes



So here I am in my third abode in 18 months, and I do not feel much like The Consummate Gardener right now.

My new place has a nice 11' x 14' courtyard, which already had a few plants in it. I put down cardboard to kill most of the weeds as I unpacked, but I have reached a standstill with unpacking, so some areas still have weeds and I have no money to build the raised beds I want right now.

To make it even worse, some of my favorite plants are dying. My Thanksgiving cactus (pictured above) has died completely, just rotted away. My beautiful staghorn fern that I babied back to life this summer got badly sunburned, so it's indoors trying to recuperate. My purple epidendrum orchid looks like it's not going to make it, and the beautiful Rhoeo that a nice FB member sent me died as well. Many of the leafy tropicals had lost most of their leaves, but are doing o.k. now that they're indoors.

My problem is lack of shade -- and lack of funds to create shade. With this heat, I can't put the sensitive shade plants outdoors, and they aren't getting enough air circulation in here due to the insane heat making it impossible to open windows for very long. The front picture window has plenty of light, but not enough to keep them from stretching.

It's so depressing watching my favorite plants bite the dust one by one, but maybe it's the Universe's way of telling me I need to put the past those plants belong to behind and start anew. Or maybe my plants just can't adapt to the climate here. Some have been struggling ever since I got here. They were so used to being outdoors all year around in SW Florida, except for a few cold snaps, and they don't like being indoors in the heat and a/c.

I'll eventually create some shade outside and put whatever survives out there, if anything makes it past this winter. In the meantime, all I can do is try to do the best I can and hope I don't lose too many more.