This was the year our patio was going to be a work of art; a wonder that would stop traffic because of its awesomeness. Martha Stewart would ask to feature it. After spending hours researching to select the best plant options, my eyes are crossed and my brain fried from contradictory terms.
I had to consider hardiness zones. The hardiness zone for Texas is totally inaccurate as they do not have a zone for “hell” which is what most of North Texas is from May until October. If you live in an urban area, add ten degrees. Plant growers do not have a clue about Texas weather, so serious gardeners should only consider plants that survive in desert or combat conditions.
One has to consider the size of the plant and determine an appropriate size container. The plants I first fell in love with would grow to behemoths, so I had to discount them completely.
Should I select annuals, perennials or evergreens? This gardening project had the makings of a giant pain in my rear.
It seems to me an “annual plant” should by definition, bloom annually. Noooo, it goes to plant heaven after one season. That means I will have to replace plants every spring, summer, fall and winter if I want year round splendor.
Perennials should reappear every year after resting briefly. Dead Wrong! They bloom for a week or so then go underground and hide. They are among the living for only three or so seasons.
If that isn’t confusing enough, we add biennials to the mix. They spend their first year growing, bloom the second, then die.
Evergreens undress bit by bit so you don’t notice they are losing leaves. Deciduous plants go bare for winter.
Hummingbirds and butterflies do not have the same dietary preferences, so individual plants are required to attract both. I have no clue as to whether they would consider sharing adjacent dining accommodations.
I have a ginormous migraine. I do not care what the blinking neighbors think about my patio. If they mention my unusual landscaping, I will tell them I am conserving water. I plan to have a glass of wine and admire the Johnson grass on my patio.
Categories: Biased, Unbalanced and Politically Incorrect
I am a lifelong Southerner, short story author, and essayist. Home is Dallas, Texas.
My essays have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Writing.