Let’s be real here…

Or probably more appropriately titled… How to kill all your plants. In one easy step.

I have a lot of things in common with my mom and grandmother but one is how we deal with being upset. If we are having a bad day, we all make it better by going to buy flowers: cut flowers for vases or pots to plant outside, it doesn’t really matter. My husband knows that if I bought flowers it was a bad day.

When I was in the process of moving into my house I had a very close friend going through a really tough time and it hit me hard as well, so when my parents came down they helped me plant a few flowers in my yard and set up a couple of planters full of annuals to cheer me up. And each spring I plant new pots full of pretty annuals that are visible out of my kitchen sliding glass door on the side patio. The shelves the plants are all on came from my grandmother’s basement and are the perfect way to spruce up this plain concrete patio on the side of my house. (I plan on painting them some fun color when it gets cool enough in Texas to spray paint again).

So here is what they look like at the beginning of the summer (I think this picture is actually from last year, but they look pretty similar every year).


Some of the flowers I’ve had good luck with in this container garden in Texas are:

  • purple wave petunias (top two baskets)
  • Sweet Williams–usually come back every year on their own which is awesome
  • Vincas always do pretty well in the heat (white ones on the bottom)
  • Zinnias, which actually do much better in the ground, and are one of my favorite flowers to cut and bring in the house
  • Mandevilla– the pots on either side of the gate
  • Not shown but usually do well: Pentas and Impatiens

Ones that don’t fare so well:

  • Those two gerber daisy’s shown below? Never bloomed again, and wilt FAST from the Texas heat
  • Mom planted some sort of baby’s breath looking flower this year, didn’t even last through June
  • Snapdragons pretty while they bloomed, but didn’t do well in the containers flowers

And then for the part which relates to the title: I am part of a small group that meets once a week, and this week one (of the many) topic{s} we talked about was the tendency we have to ‘put our best foot forward’ or to not show weakness. And I think blogs definitely play into that. I always love reading a blog post where someone explains that not everything is a well put together home, and in fact some of the happiest are anything but clean, perfect spaces all the time. (I know mine wasn’t growing up… thanks to 3 kids and ALL our friends)

So I never want to pretend that I have it all together or that my house is clean all the time (I can just hear my college roommates/parents laughing out loud at this statement). So here’s a post to show you just how wrong things can go in my world.

Last week was a crazy week in my world… I traveled for work and my youth director husband had his big camp (which I went to as an adult sponsor). So we were both gone for the better part of a week. Normally I have someone to come into the house to take care of Lexie and water my plants, but all my normal dog-sitters were also at camp… so we boarded her. But in the rush I completely forgot to get someone to come by and water the plants and that 4 days of 104+ Texas heat and no water=dead plants.

So here is the terrible after… what your plants SHOULDN’T look like. I’m still trying to rescue a few of them, but I think for the most part I’ll wait a bit and plant some fall flowers in their places. flowers-dead1 flowers-dead But on a brighter note, this guy below got the same water deprivation treatment… and decided to bloom in a gorgeous orange bloom. I bought this one as an already planted planter, so I have no idea what kind of plant this is, but I loved the surprise bloom!

flowers-2 So let’s pretend the pictures above are just really great ‘before’ pics for how awesome they are going to look in a month or two when I get new plants planted and convince my almost black thumb to turn a little greener.


  1. That lone pretty flower is a Cannas plant and they are drought resistant, which is why it bloomed when you quit watering it…A good option for a sunny dry spot in Texas.

  2. I have a little area in our house just like yours on the west side of the house. West side meaning it gets the most intense sun but also lots of shade. I have 2 Meyer Lemon trees. They have the most amazing blooms and smell great when they bloom. Last year I had my best “crop” having about 7-8 lemons. This year I think I have 7. The second one has not bloomed yet but I think it can take a year or 2. We will see next year. I also have a Bay Laurel tree and use the leaves for cooking. Usually these trees only grow in California but because they are so protected they will grow in an area like yours. Last year I tried an olive tree very biblical. It is still really small. It is a challenge every year to get something to flower here. This has not been a good year. I also have one of those bougnavilla’s They work great. Like the heat and little water. Good luck!!!

    • amusingmjblog says:

      Marsha, a lemon tree is a great idea!! For the most part the pots have done well when I remember to water them! It has been a little tricky to figure out what works there and what doesn’t a lemon tree will DEFINITELY be on my list! Thanks!!

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