May 12, 2009 at 9:08 am (Uncategorized) (, )

I’ve been thinking a lot about gardening just recently.  It’s the time of year to start planting most things, since it’s finally stopped freezing at night periodically.  Oregon weather can be kind of amusing, because everyone put away heavy winter coats weeks ago, but our growing season is really only just now starting.

Either way, I’ve got a major handicap when it comes to my gardening aspirations.  My poor little patio gets basically no sunlight.  It faces east, which would be an excellent source of light…except that there’s a big tree (an evergreen, no less) right in front of the apartment.  I can’t even really grow houseplants, because my apartment is always sort of dim.  I’ll appreciate all the shade this summer (since it’ll keep the whole apartment cooler), but it’s awfully frustrating right now.

So I’ve got a lovely little Nandina (of the dwarf “heavenly bamboo” variety) in a container on my patio right now.  I planted it last fall, and agonized all winter about whether or not the plant was going to make it.  Fortunately for me, Nandinas are pretty hardy plants, and they’re not picky about how much light they get (although they are more showy in full sun).  I’m also lucky that the edges of my patio do get exposed to rain, so I don’t actually have to water this plant.

Even so, it concerned me that it remained exactly the same size as when I bought it all winter.  I was almost convinced it was just going to give up and die on me over the summer, but I noticed a little bit of new growth yesterday.  Yay!  So I may be a bad houseplant mommy (RIP, poor little ficus), but at least I’m not a horrible gardener all around.

Either way, my relative success with the Nandina has encouraged me to find another shade-tolerant or shade-loving plant that I can grow outside on my patio.  I’ve got an empty pot (thanks to the dead ficus), and I’m thinking I may try to find a fuchsia that will do well in the shade.  I think there are varieties that do, and the plants have such lovely flowers.

I also may try to find a strawberry pot and grow some shade-tolerant herbs in it.  I’ve really wanted to try my hand at growing some herbs for awhile, but a lot of them really need a lot of sunlight.  So I’ll have to see if I can find any herbs that would do well in shade…even better if I’d actually use them!



  1. Kristan said,

    HAHA to the ficus references! You’re funny. (And I don’t do plants. :P)

  2. Mary said,

    Plants can be fun, but it’s really frustrating when they get sick and die, and you can’t figure out how to make it stop. At least with the ficus, it’s because it didn’t have enough light (and not because I’m a bad person or something).

    What’s the most frustrating is that I love flowers, but don’t want to buy them all the time. And sadly, many flowering plants really need a lot of sun. Although I do have an orchid that my boss gave to me, and it seems to be doing fine so far. Its flower-stalk is about to die off, but it’s supposed to do that. 🙂 It’ll grow another once the current one is gone.

    (I actually think that if I can keep this orchid healthy, I’m going to end up buying more. They’re awfully pretty flowers, and there are varieties that don’t need a lot of light.)

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