Summer Garden

Gardening for those of us who don’t naturally have a “green thumb” can be a daunting situation. But luckily, this is the type of challenge that can be pretty easily overcome with the right know-how, a little patience, and some good old-fashioned manual labor.

Now that summer is (unofficially) here, it is the perfect time to change out the flowers in the garden (from winter to summer blooming ones), add some fertilizer to the lawn, and put nutrients (like Miracle Grow) on the plants and flowers.

Over the weekend I went to our local nursery (Grigg’s Nursery in Carmel, CA), that offers a wide array of options, from luscious shade-dwelling plants (like Camellias) to bountiful flowers that thrive in full-sun (such as Gardenias).

{The flower selection at Grigg’s Nursery}

Whenever I have questions about which plants will do well in my climate/terrain (without major maintenance and tending to), I turn to these books:

Since I was replacing the “perennials” in our flower box, I decided to go with a durable plant that does not require a lot of water or tending to, thrives well in partial sun, and will last a long time (from many months to a few years). I chose a Pelargonium (otherwise known as a Geranium). These are “flowering perennials loved for their round flower clusters and long season of bloom from spring into fall.” (Source: Home Landscaping California Region, pg. 174)

{The Geranium options at Grigg’s Nursery}

How do ‘Perennials’ differ from ‘Annuals’ you might be asking. “A perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years; the term encompasses a great range of plants, including bulbs and trees.” (Source: The 400 Best Garden Plants, pg. 114) Whereas, ‘Annuals’ are planted more frequently, since their blooming/life span is significantly less (a season or two at most). These flowers are great to fill-in spartan areas of a garden, or to place next to the perennial plants when they are in a dormant (non-blooming) phase.

{The red colored Geraniums I chose for our flower box}

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