I’ve put a lot of effort into getting both the front and back porches looking inviting, although at this point, the front porches are certainly much more so than the back porch. It’s been a bit of a chore getting all of the porch plants replanted, but I think it’s worth it. Most of the plants on the front porch are the darker, greener, leafier varieties that don’t require full sun – those tropical plants that flourish in the shade. Those on the back porch are ones that thrive in the sun, although I’m not sure that the heat of south Mississippi was exactly what they were thinking of when the tags said “full sun”. As it is, they and our front porch ferns are at the point where they need watering nearly every day.
When we first moved into our home on the Coast, I planted impatiens in the window boxes and in pots. Pretty little flowers, but I haven’t planted them since that first year. I’m not sure why, but I love begonias. I love the variety in their leaves, and I love how they fill the space that they are given. I plant them much closer than I should, and I smile every time I see them, expanding and spreading to cover their bit of the world.
My beloved begonias are shade loving plants, and they cannot survive the harshness of the light on the back porch. Last year, Sweet Husband bought me massive terra cotta pots, and we planted a couple of mandevilla plants that unfortunately did not survive the winter. This year, one of the pots has been replanted with mandevilla and others have these tall lovely things that wilt, requiring gallons of water each day.
As if the wilting tall things (sorry – don’t remember their names) weren’t a good indicator of when to water the plants on the back porch, the purslane is the second line of defense. When those babies need water, all of the blooms close up tight. If I somehow miss that the tall things are drooping, I don’t miss the riot of pinky orange blooms on the purslane.
Because the back porch is spacious – or at least too spacious for 3 large terra cotta pots – I decided that this summer there needed to be more flowers growing back there and because I had empty pots left over from the carnage of the Great Winter Ice Storm, I decided to plant those with happy miniature zinnias and white dianthus.
The baby zinnias start out a lovely bright pink – almost 80s neon pink – and then as they grow and die begin to fade to a lighter pink (you can see it there in the bottom right corner) and finally to white. It’s a happy accident that it matches both the white and pink tall things (one is white, one is pink).
What is blooming in your world right now? Let me know in the comments!