Almost every year that we have lived in this house, I’ve put flowers out on the deck, usually hanging fuchsia and bright begonias.
I started “veranda gardening” in Jerusalem where I had no yard in which to plant anything, but I had a lovely porch. It was an unofficial contest, to see who could grow the most lavish flowers on their porch.
I was limited by the west-facing orientation which mean I got the full power of the sun from about mid morning until sunset. Not many flowers can withstand that much direct sun. Even cactus will wither if not frequently watered.
Here, our sunshine is somewhat offset by the shadows of trees and the house as the sun moves around. We have the full sun in the morning, but it’s shady by mid afternoon. Perfect for fuchsia.
Hummingbirds love fuchsia. I love hummingbirds — and fuchsia. If you are quiet and patient, you can sit, sip you coffee or lemonade. You can watch the hummingbirds drinking from the fuchsia. Red or violet begonia, too. Haven’t seen the hummingbirds yet this year, but summer is here, so soon, I expect the birds.
Several local nurseries have closed. Most place now stock a very small number of fuchsia and they are sold out in less than 24 hours. I snagged two this year, my favorite dark purple and red.
You have to water your deck garden flowers every day unless it rains overnight. Sometimes, that’s not enough because the sun is strong and fuchsia are not sun-loving … and don’t like getting dried out.
Under good growing conditions, they become huge and flower all summer long. Sadly, in this climate, you can’t keep them alive through the winter unless you have a hothouse in which to keep them. The winter is just too long and too bitter. In less harsh climates, they can be nursed through to bloom again in the spring.
I have always wished for a hothouse. To grow orchids and tropical flowers that won’t survive here on their own. I keep hoping for a little lottery win.
I’d glass-in my deck, leave it open in summer, closed and warm through winter. Then you’d see how green my thumbs really are!