2015 - Growing Pains Garden
In 2015, we were still gardening in our previous condo's tiny terrance. This year though, we had a little bit more purpose: we wanted it to be a cozy nook to encourage outdoor lounging, and be simply, lush. So we laid down patio tiles, bought proper seating, and a mishmash of planters ranging from large pots to 6" containers. It looked like a functional garden, but didn't quite act like how I wanted it to because of some considerations.
Blossom End Rot
For one, we planted way too many Roma tomatoes in our container, thinking buying a 4-plug set meant "plant them all" - what we should've done is kept 2 and gave the rest to friends. This was also the year I experienced blossom end rot, bringing on a disappointing tomato yield. It figures though, on vacation I left our container to dry out so much that it actually blew over when we came back! I really enjoyed Gary Pilarchik video on blossom end rot if you'd like to know more about how to prevent it in your own garden.
Perennials vs. Annuals
What I also did was not pay attention to perennials and annuals. I treated everything as an annual and just assumed everything would die before after summer, not knowing that I could've easily transplanted the perennials to my mother's garden (who'd happily receive them) or overwinter them myself. What a waste in hindsight! I atleast knew however, that tropical plants like the bougainvillea and passiflora had to be brought in for the winter so I did just that.
I still wasn't doing was heeding the sun requirements on the label: full sun, part sun, part shade, full shade? I still pushed the envelope and planted caladium a little brighter than they wanted and buried a lupine in deeper shade than it'd like. If you'd like to know more about how to read plant labels, I recommend Epic Gardening's post on it here!
I remembering being so proud and happy of this little space that year. It was such an experimental phase of my gardening, what I call the "honey-moon phase" where every plant I bought was fresh and new and I wanted one of each. Although I was happy about that year's planting, by autumn I remember looking at how all the plants were crowded in two corners without rhyme or reason, a bit chaotic (which it definitely was) and knew that next year I would maximize the potential of this little patio. I was after all, binging tiny home videos at the time and was feeling particularly inspired.