So what is new with all of you? We know we’ve been absent for a while, but moving cross country, and away from home, can knock you off your feet pretty easily! Looking back on our first few weeks here, I can feel a difference in my attitude and my outlook, it’s getting better but I still don’t feel normal.
We have good days and bad, and we miss people at home and everything familiar about it. We are trying to set up a life here, and beyond going out on frequent friend dates, that means getting back to the normal activities, like this!
So do you remember that really nice garden plan I came up with last winter? I was pretty excited about it; I was looking forward to see how my work the previous year panned out, and how my plants would expand, and of course filling it up with new plants. Pretty soon after that, the chances of us moving to Seattle were on the rise and luckily I didn’t go through with the plan of ordering all those seeds and filling my life with foxgloves, otherwise I would have had to find homes for many, many flowers. That is the risk in apartment gardening I guess.
In addition to saying good bye to my garden that I’d worked on for three years, I also had to give away, and find homes for my collection of house plants. I may or may not have cried when that happened.
In Seattle so many things are different, including the gardening. The Summer just doesn’t get as hot and the winters are not as cold. Those pretty spring flowers bloom on forever, because the heat doesn’t come out and scorch them to death. Things that will die in the mid-Atlantic will stay alive through the winter here. Let’s just say that I am excited about the possibilities. One thing that is lacking are those hot weather fruits, notably tomatoes, these apparently aren’t that great in Seattle.
However excited I am, the circumstances at our apartment are different from the last one. We’re in the city so I don’t have access to the actual ground, and we aren’t really sure how long we will stay in the apartment so things need to be temporary. Our apartment has a porch, which is great, and I feel so lucky to have it. These limitations lead us toward doing some container gardening, and me needing to step back from full-fledged landscaping plan, to thinking about a few pots at a time. What can I say? I think big.
I’ve never done containers outside, and the limits of them sort of make it more overwhelming; there is less open land to just try things out, your one decision makes a big impact. The plants in Seattle are different from what we’re used to, plus we have mostly full sun, which is very different from the last garden. We decided to go on an exploratory trip to a nursery. Back in May, we went to a program by Amy Pennington, a tv host and author here in Seattle, and asked for a good nursery recommendation, she recommended Swanson’s. A few weekends ago we reserved a zipcar and headed over to Swanson’s Nursery, which is an upscale, quality nursery in Ballard. It was a nice atmosphere, with plenty of options. I wouldn't go to find a bargain, but the plants are healthy and there is a lot of staff on hand to help you if you need.
It’s funny, you always want what you can’t have, at the last apartment I always wanted plants that would grow in full sun, even though we were lacking in that resource. At Swanson’s I was drawn to the shade plants.
I almost forgot the part I am most excited about: the sedums! If you’ve ever been to Northern California, you see these outrageous succulents that are huge, and amazing. It isn’t as striking as Northern Californian, but Seattle has its fair share of hardy sedums. They are just so interesting, with great shapes, and colors and textures.
I had trouble making choices here, are you surprised? What are your go to methods when choosing plants for a container garden. Check back on Thursday and I’ll share my selections and thoughts on plant combinations.