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Garden Diary: October 9, 2016

The final blooms of the season of the desert rose

Last year when I brought in all the plants still in containers, I only had a small path left in the LR. This year, when I took the ones inside back out, I kept looking to see if I'd missed anything. Nope. All out. Shocked at just how few I have left to
plant out, but then, I've stopped propagating every single trimmed branch (or I'd have 3 dozen hibiscus by now!). That was hard. I hate just tossing them on the ground to rot as chop-and-drop (one of my least favorite parts of permaculture), but that's life, right?

October is planting month for perennials and shrubs, so I'm planting out quite a few of what's left in pots. I imagine by the time winter rolls around, I will have hardly anything to bring in. By next summer, I will have rid myself of still more indoor plants that I'm just not interested in trying to keep alive anymore.

Maybe it's age, maybe it's infirmity, maybe I'm just burnt out on babying plants that don't want to grow well. Maybe I've been partially cured of my ZDD. Who knows? I just know that I was much happier in SC when I just let everything die back in the winter, and replanted them in the spring. I had very few houseplants and had no container plants outdoors that had to be brought in. The biggest thing I did was cut back the Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) to root in a bucket over the winter and give away to friends in the spring. The abundance of potted plants didn't happen until I got to SW FL and started into my "I need one of everything" phase. Stupid, that.

I'm glad I'm over it. I'm now very picky about what I grow. It must have a purpose; butterfly plant, edible plant, bee attractor, ground cover, etc. I don't plant things just to have them anymore, and I'm not hanging on to old favorites like I used to. With little to no shade here at present, my tropicals that I've kept indoors have suffered, so I'll either give them to someone who has more shade, or I'll come up with some sort of shade covering next year. I have to make things work here, because I'm not moving again anytime soon.

Life changes, and we have to change with it. I will always cherish the memories of my big yard in SW Florida and my large oaks under which I could grow just aboout anything I wanted. Those are lovely memories, and I miss my huge bromeliads and fruit trees sometimes, but it was a lot of work, and I'm not into a lot of work anymore. It makes me happy to hear the mowers running outside knowing I don't have to be pushing or riding them. It's nice to not have 200 plants to bring in out of storms and cold snaps. I may only have 300 sf to garden in, but I use it to its best advantage, so it's just enough for me.

Happy Gardening!