Yesterday I was out walking and I finally smelled it. Spring is here! You can smell it blowing on the breeze, the scent of flowers, and you don't have to walk up to them and stick your face in them to smell them. The bees are out and collecting nectar, spreading pollen and scaring children everywhere. So, I figured that since nature knows things I've never even thought about, I would get the pots all planted up yesterday. It seems pretty safe that we shouldn't get too cold again until Fall. (Yes, I just knocked on wood, so any freakish May blizzards are NOT my fault.)
I've tried to grow flowers in pots every year, with varying degrees of success and I've found a few things that seem to work without being crazy high maintenance. (Crazy high maintenance plants are often referred to as "dead" around my house. If you're high maintenance, you'd better talk, meow, or groan like a Wookie (Finn) because otherwise you're going to be overlooked as I take care of all the other high maintenance things around here, including myself.)
In the front we get lots of sun all day long and I've found that geraniums will look good and bloom all summer pretty easily, as long as I keep them watered. I've got several pots like this on the stairs and a big one on our sidewalk. I was going to go with red geraniums, but then I found these dark magenta ones and I thought they would be fun. In the front is Alyssum or something like that. It smells good and I thought it would look nice with the dark geraniums. I've never tried it before so I have no clue how it will do, but if it snuffs it, the geraniums will fill out the pots nicely.
On our back deck, we get sun in the morning and late afternoon until the sun goes down, but its protected from sun during the hottest part of the day. I love impatiens on the deck. They bloom like crazy and will last all summer as long as I keep them watered well. By the time school starts, they're starting to look scraggly and leggy, but if you bloomed all summer, you probably would too. I found some in a pretty coral pink this year and added a white one to the big pot. When they fill in the pots, they will be a pretty splash of color on the deck.
Caleb wanted in on the planting fun, so I picked up some small pots in bright colors with matching saucers and he planted up some herbs (yes, I know its easier to buy them pre grown, but when you're 6, you want to grow stuff from seed). From left to right, the pots have Spearmint, Rosemary, and Basil. I've grown Spearmint and Basil from seed before but never Rosemary. I figure growing plants that he can nibble on will be fun for him and he's very excited about the seeds sprouting. I've explained that it will take about 2 weeks for them to sprout, but he checks them every few hours just in case. You never know with nature.
Finally, my all time favorite planter, the patio fish (although in this particular house, it's the deck fish). I got some New Guinea Impatiens or possibly New Zealand Impatiens for the fish - I can't remember, but its a new something or other from that part of the world type of impatiens. The growing conditions are the same as regular impatiens, but the flowers and the leaves are both more substantial than regular impatiens. These might actually come through a rain storm without looking like a drowned rat. Now all I have to do is remember to water everything and hopefully we should have bright colors all summer long!