Real Home

My Not So Green Thumb

True me:  I love greenery.  Big, colorful really fragrant flowers outside in a garden and green, leafy plants inside the house.  I love the natural beauty and all the different varieties of both.  Reality is, though, my thumb is not as green as I would like it to be and my plant survival rate isn’t as high as I would like it to be — yet!  Maybe the point of a blog is to be an expert at what you choose to talk about but, if my focus is to be true to myself and encourage others to do the same, I’m going to talk about the things I might want, hope for or love but haven’t quite conquered yet.  🙂

So Spring has arrived and, with it, almost the time to start thinking about my attempts at gardening this year.  I’m excited to see that the fruit of some of my efforts from last Spring and Summer are starting to break ground but, even though it’s still early, I can also see that others are pretty hopeless.  I’m OK with that, though, because I don’t expect to learn everything overnight, or even in one year or season, and I’m giving myself the room I need to grow in this area.  This season will be the third that my family has been in our current home and it’s my first real attempt at my own garden.  I hope to step out a little more each year than I did the last until I get to a comfort level  with my own skills that produces the results that I’m happy with.  What I’ve learned so far in the time that I’ve dedicated to gardening is to take small steps at a time and start simple. Last year, I focused on perennials, the flowers that will grow back from season to season for as long as they last or until I decide to pull them up and try my hand at something else, maybe a little more challenging.  I tried to stick with a few options and not get in over my head by trying to do too much but hopefully my selections will be a good foundation for whatever I decide to add in the future.  Here’s some of what I started with…

Hydrangea  hydrangea_2

One of my most FAVORITE choices!  Hydrangea grow from stalks to full bushes and will produce beautiful blossoms year after year as long as they are cared for the right way (note to self…).  They come in a variety of colors that can actually be controlled by how much acidity you add to your soil.  Remember the litmus tests in science class where you could change the colors by how much acidity or alkalinity you added to those little strips of paper?  Same idea…  I see leaves popping up from last year’s plantings and I’m excited to see how well they come back this year!


I found this little gem at a garden center and fell in love with it.  I love the little dome shaped blossoms and they produce such bright, beautiful colors!  Bonus is they are low maintenance and grow quickly and in abundance.  Just give ’em plenty of room because they will spread!


Roses        roses-5

When I started to consider what types of flowers to plant, roses were a bit intimidating to me.  I’ve heard that they are “high maintenance,” have to be placed in just the right situation in your garden and other such requirements that initially made me want to get a little experience under my belt before approaching them.  Finding a couple of small bushes for a price I couldn’t quite turn down was incentive enough for me to make my first attempt, though, and I must say it paid off!  I planted the two bushes side by side and they actually produced a good number of buds for the entire summer.  With our early spring weather this year, the leaves have grown in nicely and I hope they are even more productive.

There are so many ways to make your own garden yours.  Just a  couple of containers of the same flower nicely placed on your porch or in the yard can add a nice pop of color to your landscape.  There are so many options to choose from and even a little effort can go a long way.  This most basic discussion doesn’t even scratch the surface of all there is to share about gardening but I’m excited about my progress.  This journey is all about discovering my own abilities and tapping into the things that I enjoy to the extent that it is personally rewarding to me as anything that you choose to engage in should be to you.  The idea is to try new things and be open to new experiences, whether it’s gardening or something completely different. I could, of course, pay someone to do much more than I’m able to do myself but I feel quite a sense of pride and accomplishment in getting out and getting my hands a little dirty to add beauty and curb appeal to my own home.

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