Every spring The Man and I visit our local garden center to pick out the pretty plants that are doomed to die. We mention to the person helping us that we should purchase our plants then upend them in the parking lot because they won't survive our loving care. They laugh and so do we but actually we're not kidding. The Man and I don't have a knack for gardening.
Last year, with the patient help of Debbie, the Garden Lady, we selected alyssum, lobelia, and lisianthus. Heat and shade-tolerant plants. Supposedly easy-peasy plants. At the end of the season, just before the first frost took them they looked like we had just planted them. They didn't flower or flourish. They just sat there in the dirt. Waiting.
Last week, Liz, this year's Garden Lady, asked us if we thought it was the soil, overwatering, or under watering. I said, "All of the above." She glanced at my geraniums with pity and moved away to help another customer.
I'm happy to report the geraniums are looking pretty good in their new flower pots. We were encouraged and visited Home Depot this week for more easy peasy plants: marigolds and zinnias.
The next day we discovered the zinnias not looking too well. It was embarrassing to note that we killed them in less than 24 hours. A record if we don't count the time we broke a basil plant in half on the car ride home.
We decided to plant them anyway even though Home Depot has a dead plant return policy. The zinnias did perk up when we planted them in the sun. They don't look as good as when we brought them home but we're still hopeful.