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Rain Is Good For Growing Things

If the human body is 70% water, then surely the plants in my little "garden" are approaching humanly grace on account of all the rain Minnesota's been receiving this spring and summer.

You might remember my foray into gardening last summer – my first, true attempt at keeping plants alive – and how excited I was that I not only had pretty flowers to look at, but also fresh basil to use in Clint's favorite chicken recipe.

Well, THIS summer I've stepped up my game.

Not only do I have more plants and variety, but I actually put all of them – except the monster on the front stoop and the hanging baskets – into their own cute pots (some of which I found on a recent antiquing trip with The Girls). I brought over the cute little shelves residing at the Mini-crapolis house to use as supports for all my cute, new plants, but after a few days' worth of rain the pots were so heavy I had to remove most of them. No biggie. I still think it looks cute.

So, what do I have in my little garden this year? Clint of course got me a couple of huge "ready-made" pots that I like – those are mostly petunias, mixed in with some other cutesie stuff (threw away the little name tags :). I even have the very popular and (this year) brand-new black velvet petunia. They're very pretty and actually look like velvet! But the rain we've had tends to mush them a bit and beware – they "bleed" a dark purple and will stain your hands when wet.

I also have geraniums (those haven't been doing very well this year), daisies (spreading like crazy), vining black-eyed susan, calibrachoa (in orange! they're so cute), a couple different varieties of coleus, red-leaf lettuce (donated by my good friend from her garden), basil, cilantro and chives. Whew. I might not be very diligent with dead-heading this year,  but in spite of that most everything is fact, I'm thinking I'll have to split some off and add more pots because they're doing so well they might start cannibalizing everything. It's a good problem to have :)

Another good way to "stem" the flow of growth – especially with leggy petunias – is to chop them back and create little flower arrangements. It's fun to cut the different flowers and throw them into cute vases for around the house.

And of course there are the herbs that need to be used in cooking! Last year I put my 2 little basil plants into dainty pots that I then placed on the windowsill inside. While they grew and were healthy, they just didn't yield enough growth to use very often. I also tried a pot's worth of oregano but I just didn't like that one as much.

This year, all herbs are outside and are not only thriving, I can barely keep up with the production! Again, a good problem to have. My 4 basil plants look like they're on steroids; I've cut back my chives and cilantro at least 3 times already and they just keep coming. It's fun to have my own little "herb garden" for once!

I'd say this year I'm measurably better with my plants – with a lot of help from Ma Nature – and am enjoying the ambience they impart to the deck. (Just this past weekend Mom and I sat out there with our morning coffee and smelled nice, looked lovely and is as close to a real garden as I can get in a town home.)

PS: Let it be known that Blogger was NOT playing nicely with my images. Not my best work in organizing photos on this blog.