Keep It Contained
Here we are again at the beginning of another summer. We had a really rainy May and the flowers loved it. Unfortunately, so did the weeds.
I have a small yard, but it still seems like a lot of work. As a gardener who is blind, I’m presented with some interesting challenges. Keeping things evenly watered is not as easy as it seems. We don’t have a sprinkler system so we use sprinklers or hand water the plants. Usually, my husband’s theory is “If the plants want to live in our yard, they should learn to take care of themselves.” This makes me the caregiver. I have learned to plant perennials that seem to survive mostly on their own. It is a good thing because, unless I feel every inch of dirt or every leaf, I really don’t know if the sprinkler or hose has found every inch of the garden.
Weeds also have a way of sneaking up on me. I know the areas I really have to monitor, (like under the bird feeders), but sometimes I stumble, literally, upon a weed that is three feet tall. How did I miss that for all this time? Maybe it was meant to live there and I should leave it alone. I also want someone to explain to me how every type of weed seems to find a plant that looks amazingly like itself and moves in right next to the wanted plant. Maybe we could just learn to like weeds; they’re not so fussy about being watered.
I do have a solution for gardeners who are blind. We have many decks and I have learned to love container gardening. I don’t have much sun so I can’t do vegetables, but most herbs do really well in containers, with partial sun and even a lot of shade. It’s fun to collect the containers. People love knowing what they can always get you for your birthday. (I have a May birthday so it’s perfect.) I like light-colored containers that contrast with the deck. I tend to use a lot of pink, yellow and white flowers. For sighted people, they show up nicely even into the evening; for low vision people there is a chance of seeing them and making it easier to find the containers.
- Inpatients, petunias, and geraniums will give you lots of color all summer long.
- You can use things like Ivy and Coleus to give contrast and texture.
- A big pot of green and red lettuces will give you color and a quick salad.
- Keep them in a shady spot, don’t let them go to seed and you will have lettuce until the middle of the summer.
- Don’t forget a great big pot of Basil.
- It produces heavily when tomatoes are in season and makes a perfect combination for everything other than dessert.
- With a little peach-infused balsamic, even dessert’s covered.
The other fun thing about containers is that you can move them around. I often move them to surround the seating area close to the lake to add color to an evening party.
I feel like I have total control over my containers. If you have read much of my blog, you probably realize that I can be a bit controlling. I do love my perennials and I look forward to every stage of their growth, but containers really add color to my life without adding stress.