Gardening: What Worked Last Year & Plans For This Year

I was looking forward to April because after about the 15th, I could get some pretty blooms to fill in where nothing came back from last year. 

But life always happens. This time vet bills. So I will have to be more prudent.

Here's some of the flowers/plants that worked well for me last year...

Just look how lush everything was in early fall. Purslane I get because it can withstand the heat when just about nothing else will. 


Plus you can snip off a piece and stick it in dirt and it will usually grow. 

If you want a better chance at getting the snipped pieces to survive, don't go out and buy rooting hormone. Pour a bit of cinnamon on a paper towel and roll the ends of your snipped piece in the cinnamon.

I have some golden pennies already growing in the pockets of the driftwood, and some mint is coming up there as well.

Thyme has come up, and some oregano. Herbs are pretty hardy plants. My rosemary didn't make it however. 


I had very good luck with these apricot-colored cone flowers I got from the nursery. 

I've learned that the bigger the pot you buy, the better chance that it will survive in the heat. Because it has a better root system established.

I sure hope this pretty perennial comes back this year.


I didn't have quite as much luck with the white cone flower. I didn't get many blooms from it.


This is the crazy mutant morning glory that seemed to come with me from the little blue house in some of the pots. It has a strange multi-colored leaf.

They are coming up ALL over the place. Every day it seems I check the pots and even more have sprung up. 

Once again, I have purchased a packet of the lovely blue morning glory flower seeds I so love. I don't seem to have luck with the blue one. Though I nick the seeds and soak overnight, following the directions on the packet. But I'll try once again.

I also have some zinnia seeds and moon flower seeds. Moon flower came up for me last year. So pretty, the huge white flower that comes out at night only. 

But none of the zinnias I planted came up. I'll try them in the big periwinkle garden and see if I have better luck.


Here was the patio last year. I had to toss the chair cushions on the right. They fell apart in the rain. I guess I'll need to be more careful about bringing them in. Wish I had a gazebo or something to put them under.

The cushions were $59.99 each at the At Home store here two years ago. So I'd need two. Not sure if I'll be getting those or not. 

The big colorful sun fell and broke, and a lovely reader/blogger bought another for me to put there. 

One of these days I'd like to get an outdoor rug to put in the seating area. 


I'd like to get a few more irises. Only three survived the move and haven't bloomed since. So if you live in the Tulsa area and are planning to divide your irises this year, I'll bring you some hosta in exchange.

I can't tell yet whether my daisies survived the winter. 
I certainly won't be needing more mint or lemon balm. It seems to fade back when it gets pretty hot.

I'd love to put some sort of water feature on the patio. But I suppose it would have to be solar-powered, because I don't have electricity out there. 

A few of my tulips came up, but keeled right over. So I guess I needed to plant more in the fall. I was thinking they'd come back. So I have no tulip blooms to photograph this year.

I always get sweet potato vine every year, an annual, because it looks so spectacular in the garden with its chartreuse leaves. It's already out at Lowes here.

Your perennials will cost more, but will usually come back next season if they are native to the area. 

Annuals are good to fill in gaps with color, but they only last one season. However, they put on a pretty good show for that one season.

So what changes and additions are you planning for your gardens this year?



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36 comments

  1. HI Brenda! You do have the green thumb and your patio looks so pretty from last year. I wish I had more sun. We have so many huge trees in the back it'll be all shade when the leaves come out. How are the little fuzzy faces this morning?
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

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    1. Not in as much pain, thank goodness. Thanks for asking!

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  2. Your patio is soooo pretty!!! Here in Florida.. we have to keep the heat in mind as well!! But I so love "Pretty-ing up the pots" on my patio!! Thank you for all the tips!! and... Pretty new header btw!!!! Have a great weekend!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Gardening in containers makes it so easy to shift them around if they get too hot or need more sun.

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  3. Your patio is beautiful.. Best wishes with your garden this year.

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  4. I'm planting a zillion zinnias this year and will love every moment of their beautiful blooms! It takes so little to make me happy ;)

    Mary

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    1. Me too. I just adore zinnias. They make the prettiest cut flowers!

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  5. I can't believe your cushions fell apart - that really stinks! I keep my cushions out all year and they are fine....bizarre! Your patio looks so lovely. Hoping your coneflowers come back - those apricot ones are lovely!

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  6. Your patio always looks so lovely, Brenda, filled with colourful plants. You are so good at both growing them and putting them together in ways which make them look even more beautiful! I was given a tin filled with seed packets at Christmas so I have planted them in seed trays and hope they will thrive ready to go into my little cutting patch this summer. I look forward to seeing your flowers blooming again this year too.
    Helen xox

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    1. I like the sound of that: a little cutting patch!

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  7. I planted orange impatiens for the Sun...yes, for the Sun! They did well if the hot full Sun. My annual Ivy, English Ivy, maybe, lived in a pot all winter, so I don't have to replace that. I have had great luck with annual Blue salvia..."Blue Bedder" or Black and Blue. They are annuals that might very come back in your pots. I had one on the SW corner of my zone 5-6 garden come back this year. I love them because they bloom all summer until frost, and they grow to be huge...or you can pinch them back. I put one in a pot, and put the pot in my perennial garden where I need summer color.
    Good luck!

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    1. I've never had great luck with impatiens. But the blue salvia is one I will be looking for!

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  8. I too struggle with the Heavenly Blue morning glories while many other thrive for me but I plant them anyways as they are such a gorgeous blue. Your zinnias may still come up it is a bit early for them. Here anyways and I am in Zone 8.
    I sent you an email so check your inbox when you get a chance. Happy Gardening!

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    1. I did and thank you so much! I'll wait in happy anticipation for my irises from you!

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  9. I have some flower seeds I plan to plant soon. I hope to get some pretty blooms this year. You really do have the prettiest patio garden!

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  10. I will try some Purslane. I need anything that will hold up in the heat here. I am going to try planting Morning Glory seeds along the fence around my potting shed. I had wonderful Morning Glories surrounding my house in Bahrain. If they could thrive in the excessive heat and humidity of Bahrain, they should be able to make it here on the Texas Gulf Coast. Good luck with all your garden plans. I will be looking forward to more pics.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

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  11. Your patio looks so cozy and inviting. My back porch is a mess and I need to get busy. I am putting in a request for flowers for mother's day. ha! I don't have much of a green thumb...but I do love flowers around my porches during the warm months. Best not to plant until after May 1 according to a great aunt I once had. Have a good weekend Brenda. I hope the pups are feeling better. And those vet bills...they can get a person down! I know what you are talking about. Sheila

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    1. Here they say best not to plant until April 15.

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  12. You are really a good gardener. I don't have very good luck with container plants long term. they have to be in the ground for me to feel like they'll come back. You obviously give them the attention they need and it shows!

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    1. I'm lucky because I could never ever afford a gardener!

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  13. Brenda, I know every penny counts these days, and I was wondering if you do Swagbucks? With minimal effort (about 10 minutes a day), I make enough to get a 20 dollar gift card every month, but if you do more ( take surveys, etc) you could probably make more.I know when I was really into it, I'd make about $50, and sometimes over a hundred. I normally get Sephora or Amazon gift cards,but I know Home Depot and WalMart participate, so you could get a little extra money for plants!

    My email is iansgirltammy at gmail if you want to use it for a referral, or if you have any questions. It's totally free.

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    1. I've heard of it. I will check it out. Thanks!

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  14. I made my own outdoor cushions with all weather fabric from Joann's that was on sale, plus I had a coupon. So I saved a lot of money there and the cushions are holding up wonderfully in all kinds of weather. You might want to try that, Brenda, to replace yours at a cheaper price....
    I hope the pupsters are feeling better today!

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    1. They seem to be doing better. Aren't crying anyway.

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  15. That's crazy about the cushions...for that price I'd say I want a refund ...even a year a later. I will send you some moon flower seeds in late Summer....my dad is a genius at growing them. Do you know what worked so well for me last year that I thought wouldn't? Morning Glory Vine Seeds and 4 O'Clocks. I bought them both for 25 cents at Dollar General. I didn't think they would do anything. I threw them out and boom a month later they were everywhere.

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    1. And I work so hard to get morning glory seeds to come up and flower!

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  16. No outdoor garden for me, so I will have to enjoy looking at your beautiful photos. xo Laura

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    1. But soon you could create your own little indoor oasis of plants!

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  17. What a beautiful oasis you have created :)

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  18. What a beautiful oasis you have created :)

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  19. So beautiful, Brenda! I hope the pups are doing well!

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  20. Brenda--buy a couple of packets of zinnia seeds and drop them in your garden at the beginning of fall. They'll probably do better if they're in the ground when it first begins to warm up. Then you'll have little seedlings early. You can also do that with native coneflower seeds. Once those get started they'll be perennial, but they hybrids like the pretty apricot one you bought last year don't often make it more than one season. Good luck with your garden!
    Eva in Longview, Tx

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  21. Brenda, you have a great space for your garden! I had no idea about the cinnamon for rooting plants. I usually plant veggies and herbs in my garden boxes but this year I plan to do flowers instead, a lot of perennials ... the vegetable garden is "work" every year and I want something a little less maintence and hopefully lest cost once I get the flowers going. I plan to use as many seeds as I can. I haven't researched the ins and outs yet.. I need to get on that. I like to plant the middle of April too. Sounds like you are off to a good start. I hope you can find some thrifty cushions for those chairs... looks like a lovely spot for your morning coffee or tea.

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  22. Brenda,
    Your garden and patio has always looked lovely no matter where you were living.I plant mostly annulas in my post and the perennials in the garden itself but maybe this year, I will try some perennials in the posts as the annuals do get expensive. Maybe I will try growing some from seeds but with temps. here in the 20's and a dusting of snow, I will not be able to do that until the middle of may or so...
    Hugs,
    Dbe

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  23. Bring in slips of sweet Potatoe vines, put them in water and they will root. That way you don't have to buy new plants. Mine last all winter outside here in Florida, but if we get a freeze warning I take cuttings inside so I am never without my sweet Potatoe vines.

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