(c) 2013 - Marilyn Armstrong

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.

(c) 2013 - Marilyn Armstrong

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.

(c) 2013 - Marilyn Armstrong

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!

(c) 2013 - Marilyn Armstrong

Categories: Flowers, Gallery, Home, Photography, Spring

Tags: , , , ,

21 replies

  1. Love your fuchsias and begonias. They do make a show. Lucky you with your green fingers. My plants always seem to die so I won’t be cruel and buy any. My mother was the one with the green fingers. Growing up we had a jungle both inside and outside the house. Now she forgets to water her plants.


  2. Fuchsia a are lovely plants, such a complicated flower.


  3. Oh I wish my hanging baskets would already be that full on overgrown. I always make my own, plant little plants and by the end of the summer I finally have a full basket. I have many orchids and they do fine. They are inside in the wintertime and outside, under a gazebo or a tree in the summer time. They need light, but don’t do sun too well. They are easier to grow then you think. They offer “ice cube” orchids since a while and I wasn’t sure about it. (The orchid gets watered with 3 ice cubes ones a week). They do great….look into it.


    • I buy them already well grown. Seeds take too long and summer is short. My goal is to have a garden on my deck, not a nursery waiting to be a garden. Now, if I had a greenhouse, that would be something else.

      I’ve got two Christmas cacti and a HUGE dracaena marginata in the house. That’s enough. I’ve completed the jungle phase of my life.

      Well, I’m considering getting a couple of ferns, but that’s IT.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I buy small plants, the cheap ones for $2 for 6. But 3 or 4 different kinds, then I mix and match and plant them in 3 baskets. Hanging baskets are expensive here, no idea why. They charge around $30 for a nice one x 3 that’s $100 all together. So we put the money in our garden, buy vegetable plants, new herbs and all the good stuff. On top of 30 bags of mulch and other necessary things we end up spending too much anyway. Don’t get me started on ferns, I saw Boston ferns yesterday for $29. Beautiful..but really $29. The prices are going out of the roof.


        • They used to be really expensive here, but the last couple of years, the price dropped so you can get a big, well grown basket for $10-$12, which IS worth it since it includes the basket and the hook and all. I think the prices dropped when a lot of nurseries started to go out of business because we couldn’t afford their products. I miss the nurseries. Sometimes I overpaid just because I liked the people who ran the place.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Just beautiful! Your green thumb evident in their lushness


  5. You inspired me again. Is there anything which you don’t do? I won’t mind exchanging my garden with you for a few days 🙂


    • I was the editor of the Doubleday Garden Guild for a couple of years. I seemed to be able to grow anything and my house looked like a jungle. My son remembers growing up in a jungle. I point out it was just under 200 plants.

      “It seemed like more,” he says. “A lot more.”

      I don’t know that much, actually. Mainly what I know is give plants enough light and water them when they need it — and not when they don’t. The rest will follow.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. beautiful.. put a long shot of the deck too..


  7. amazing selection of flowers, love them all! 🙂


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