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apricot hibiscus

my first red hibiscus bloom!!

the first bud on my other red hibiscus

bougainvillea, a present from my hubby

same bougainvillea from another angle

my mandevilla flowering vine, a birthday present from my bestie

the same mandevilla vine from another angle

another view of the red hibiscus

My tale isn’t a bad one, it is really about trial and error and learning from my mistakes and ignorance of plants, zones, hardiness, soil conditions etc. There is so much to gardening, it is scientific if you want it to be, it’s creative and nurturing and it can give you a good workout. Gardening is whatever you want it to be. All my pictures above are my lessons about not knowing what you are buying. An excellent example are my hibiscus, I love all three of them, but if I had known that they truly belong in a much hotter climate, I wouldn’t have purchased them. Each winter, I bring them in but my house isn’t very suitable as a greenhouse, so it’s always with crossed fingers that I tend to them during the winter as they lose their leaves and look pitiful, they brighten up in late May when they go back outside. I have been keeping them alive for five years now, so I am doing something right. The same goes for the Bougainvillea tree and the Mandeville vine, those two are tropical plants, so when they come inside for the winter, their leaves completely drop off and I am left with two corpses for the long winter. The Bougainvillea is now in its third year and I haven’t gotten a blossom from it yet, so hopefully this summer I’ll be lucky. The Mandeville is new from last year, so I’ll let you know how it likes it up here in Blandford. The key to keeping these southern plants alive is luck, patience and over the winter, taking care not to over-water at all. You just want to keep the root system alive, you needn’t worry about the leaves, even though it is so sad to see them denude themselves so rapidly.