May 01, 2010

Perennials And Evergreens.

I have two terraces or patios connected to my house; a front terrace and a back one. They are both tiled and big enough to house many pots. I love to plant seasonal flowers, from spring to autumn, but my favorites are my perennial plants and my evergreens. They can grow in their pots for many years, always remaining green and luscious, giving the outdoors a feel of an exotic garden.

However, even though these are very sturdy plants and can withstand our winters quiet well, they too have a breaking point. This past winter with its record breaking prolonged subzero temperatures was simply too cold for my potted evergreens and most of them perished, to my great dismay. It breaks my heart every time I see a plant die. To me it is as alive as any animal and I love to see plants and flowers grow and flourish. While taking care of them for years and seeing them do well, they in a way become my very good friends.

Thus I have been with certain distress watching my old perennials, which over the past few weeks grew weaker, gradually loosing all their foliage and drying out. My herbs seemed to have met the same fate. Except for the hardy chives, all my other herbs sadly failed to make their seasonal come back.

Yesterday was an official day off and I decided it was time for a plant renewal, therefore I spend my free Friday visiting the local garden center.
I love walking around in these large plantations, filled with flowers, shrubs, bushes and even trees. There is always an earthy, rich fragrance of soil in the air, mixed with the scent of seasonal flowers. I can spend hours just walking around there, relishing in the tranquility and the serenity that is always so significant of these beautiful spots.

I returned home with many fresh plants and spend my afternoon doing what I love to do the best; feeling the rich soil between my fingers and bringing a sense of renewal to my garden, while I parted with many of my old friends...


Elizabeth said...

You have been working hard but the result is beautiful.

Have a lovely saturday!!!!

xoxo Elizabeth

Avo said...

Heya Zuzana!
I can just picture you as green Demeter breathing life to where life had been stilled.
Lovely montages, as usual!

-Whispers: (herbs seem to have met the same "fate")

Gal Friday said...

I am happy for you that you had all of yesterday off to mostly devote to your garden.
Too bad about the plants that could not survive this poast hard winter you just had, though.

I love the blue pots you show in your photos. I have seen similar pots for sale here(from Vietnam, I think) and keep thinking I should buy a few--to upgrade from my plain terracotta ones.

Hope the sun's shining for you this Saturday over there. :-)

Anonymous said...

I love how you did the before and after shots - Very clever :0)

Sandy said...

Hi Zuzana,
What lovely potted plants! Weeds seem to grow the best in my beds. My beds around my porch are bare. I haven't planted anything yet. Maybe I will throw some flower seeds down just to get something started - I would love to have some color. It's just beautiful here today at the ocean. It's suppose to be 80 degrees and the sun is shining. I have to quit blogging and start organizing the inside of our RV. Must get back to work and stop playing. Have a lovely day sweetie!

Teacup Lane (Sandy)

Brian Miller said...

oh love the natural make youngest asked my wife the other day why one of the pots on the porch went we will be replanting it soon to set his mind at ease. smiles. have a wonderful saturday!

Anonymous said...

My most favorite place to visit is a nursery gardenhouse. Heavenly. I too spend hours visiting all the plants, and I'm sure the owners think "just buy something already!" :)
Things are really greening up where you are, Zuzana. We received more snow this week, but the tiny plants under the snow are growing.
Wishing you a lovely weekend, dear friend!

Kata Wagner Berg said...

You are amazing. It's not that nice weather here in North but u still make them grown so nice!I understand u are proud of them! Have a great Saturday!

sprinkles said...

I was never really much of a plant person until I bought my house. Then one day I decided I needed to have some. Until my cat decided to eat them and/or lay on them. Some of them died which was a great disappointment, one of them I took to work and one of them I gave away. The one I took to work grew for several years and got quite big. It was a violet and people often commented on how big it was. I'd had it for a long time and then it died. I was so sad! And now I have another one! My kitty has passed on so I don't have to worry about him trying to eat it, lay on it, rub all over it, etc. Plants really fascinated him!

I'm sorry to hear some of your plants died through the winter. They do become like friends after you've had them for awhile.

Every summer there's a garden tour in my town, showing off how various people stage their gardens. That's what I thought of when I look at your pictures. Your house would make a perfect stop on the annual garden tour!

Anonymous said...

I love your large, blue flower pots...the color is so nice. It looks like all your work paid off. Everything looks great!

Paul C said...

I love container gardening as a complement to the landscape. Looks like you have begun quite a revitalization. Beautiful.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Your pots are beautiful! I also love gardening, but especially in my prized pots! However do your pots survive the sub zero temperatures without cracking? I have lost a few in our relatively mild winters! When I return home in the afternoon after work, I love to putter around with my flowers and plants. Watering them is so peaceful. My rosemary and sage have fared well, and I have just planted chives for the first time--in a POT!!! My favorite pot is a large, heavy purple strawberry pot! I love your blue ones and your new plants are lovely!

Absolutely Ladylike said...

Visiting a local garden center just sounds fabulous...gardening must be so much fun...I wish I would have a garden :-)

Your plants are gorgeous!

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend my dear friend.

Cheers: Evi

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Gardening - good for the soul.

Unknown said...

your terraces look so peaceful and tranquil. nice place to sit and read or listen to nature. great post. love your writing.

Sônia Pachelle said...

Olá Zuzana, descobri seu blog, e gostei muito. Aqui em Brasil ao contrário, as plantas de temperatura fria não supora o grande calor,,como as tulipas por exemplo.

Adora flores, orquídeas, rosas, geranios, margaridas, e outras.


tony said...

New life Has been given! 'Watch 'Em Grow Zuzana!

Mahmud Yussop said...

I can feel the sadness when you write about the failing health of the plants.I'm happy that you managed to outgrow from the melancholic hangover and I hope that the power of your hands will bring forth more garden glory back to your living space as they have been before. Have a nice weekend and a lovely week ahead.

Amy said...

We are in the process of planting our gardens. I am loving how our butterfly garden is coming out. I'm sure the rest will look goo too, it will just take some time.

Hilary said...

It's a shame that some of your plants didn't handle the winter's cold. I smile about the chives though.. they ALWAYS survive. Gotta love them. Your before and after photos show what a fine job you did of reviving your terrace spaces.

S. Susan Deborah said...

Here is someone who realises the intrinsic value of plants. In India the Hindu belief is that every living organism has a soul. Your spirit seems akin to the Indian sensibility. I am glad that you realise the life and worth of a plant's life. Probably your research scientist background aids that.

Zuzana, would love to know how you were as a child. Did you have pets, grew plants and had trees all around your house?

I loved this post as it not only spoke about your garden but also the philosophy of life of non-human species.


Love from Belfast,

Kath said...

Your post look very happy! I love to grow fresh herbs and they will be lovely in your cooking.

Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

amazing nature post,
Happy May!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Oh, Zuzana! I am simply crazy about your royal blue pots! I need some new ones...I have two which flank my front door...And plants are my babies...Like you, I feel emotionally attached to them...they bring such joy, do they not? Your garden must be glorious! If you are as wonderful a gardener as you are a photographer, your garden and terraces are exquisite! Can I sit a while in your garden with you? Perhaps you can point out all your favorite friends...and we can enjoy a cup of coffee...Love you much, Janine XO


i do a lot of container planting, too - and regardless of whether in the ground or in a container, it always saddens me when a plant withers away - and i will attempt to salvage even the tiniest little piece - we're having the same problem here with such a long and hard winter and i was just looking at the little crepe myrtle that is showing its exposure to the winter still -

i'm wondering if you've ever read "the secret language of plants"? a marvelous book written many moons ago but once which remains intriguing! you should grab a copy from amazon!

have a glorious day, lady!

Claus said...

It is sad when you see a flower/plant die. After taking care of them - and probably talking and singing to them...I do that! - seeing them go away is sad. But that's part of life, right? We can't expect everything to last forever. Cruel, but true.
I recognize your new plants! Both at my home!! You have an ivy plant, which I have at both my front and back patio. The other one my mom calls "cola de ardilla" (squirrel tail), which surely is not the scientific name, but how it is known around here. How curious we have the same plants :-) on entierely different continents!!
lovely pots Zuzana!

Zuzana said...

Elizabeth, Alesa, Tina, Eternally…, Sandy, Brian, Zuzu, Kata, sprinkles, LadyCat, Paul, V or C, Evi, Cosmo, Doreen, Sonia (welcome), tony, Mahmood, Amy (welcome), Hilary, Susan, Kath, Jingle, Janine, Gypsy and Claudia,; how wonderful to recognize so many gardeners here and sharing the same sentiments about plants with all of you.

For those of you who asked; yes, some of these pots are Vietnamese, particularly the ones on my front terrace. The rest I am not sure, but they are all frost resistant. In the garden centres, one might ask for frost resistant pots, they cost more but are indeed worth it. Despite months of subzero temperatures, none on my beautiful blue pots broke. However my ordinary terracotta did.

Thank you so much everyone for taking the time to stop by and for your always lovely and kind words.


steviewren said...

I planted a few yellow zinnias, red saliva, marigolds,lavender pincushion daisy thing, begonias and a dusty miller in the pots on my front porch yesterday. It rained like crazy last night, so they ought to be well watered. I hope they do well.

The squirrels have been digging in the dirt so I hope the repellent spray I lined the deck and the pots with will do the trick and keep them away this year. If not they will surely dig up everything. I battle with them every summer.

Calli said...

Zuzana~ I have missed visiting you. You always have such a life to your posts, because you feature nature and plants, flowers and your home in such a lovely manner. I too have had the same issues. We had snowflakes just last week so I am holding off until a more consistent warm spell. I was also saddened to see that my Hibiscus tree is not showing any signs of life and four of my arbor vitae's. The Hibiscus is the one I photographed and blogged on last year. Seems the nursery, in this case, the one at WalMart was selling the tropical species of Hibiscus.

Ah well, I will plant more lovelies soon.

Loved my visit~
Thank you and for your kind words at my place~
Calli xxoo

Greener Bangalore said...

WOW! the BEFORE and AFTER pic idea is fantastic!

Zuzana said...

Stevie, Calli and Greener (welcome!)..., I am so behind with my responses to you, but your visits mean the world to me and I enjoy reading what you have to say, always.;)