I lived in Oklahoma for 5 years, and failed at every flower I planted. Our porch planters would burn, our gardens would flood, our sunflowers would be eaten by locust. It wasn’t that it was impossible to keep living things alive, just that one actually had to tend them, and I couldn’t. I was too busy keeping humans alive, and, well, washing laundry.
I just wanted flowers that would follow this rule of thumb:
So enter a move back to the great Willamette Valley. One of the traits of western Oregon is that things just kinda grow on their own. You’re constantly pulling out maple seedlings and blackberry vines and dandelions, trimming back the roses just to have them overtake your window the next time you turn your head. So as far as flower were concerned, I finally had hope.
(This is not a knock to Oklahoma. All y’all out on farms with wildflowers galore. I’m not talking about you. I’m talking about my barren little military subdivision roasting in the sun.)
Okay, now granted, here in the Garden of Eden – excuse me, I mean Oregon – I still killed my geraniums which in the Land of Rain is kind of hard to do. But.
Look at this:
Begonias. My new best friend. You’re looking at the planter right out my front door, and yes, I will acknowledge that the fuchsias and impatiens are also holding their own…but…these begonias! They are like a jungle!
They just keep growing! Here we are in Fall, and they are about two feet high in some places, wrapping my porch with absolute vibrancy. Every morning I open the door to air out the nighttime stuffiness, and see these through my screen: