One of the goals on my 101 in 1001 list is to learn how to keep flowers and plants alive & have some in my house and yard.

Now, I wouldn't say that I've sprung a green thumb yet, but after planting my first flowers in March, I've managed to keep them alive (for the most part) and learn a bunch along the way.

Remember these cute hanging baskets that I planted three months ago?
I've absolutely LOVED looking out my office window at them. I learned a big lesson though. In my eagerness to buy resilient flowers that would do their best not to die, every flower I got was the kind that not only could withstand direct, hot sunlight... but needed it. At the time I really didn't understand how different types of flowers need more and less sun. Well, my house is north-facing and completely shaded. So the hanging baskets didn't do so well at first. Once I realized they weren't flourishing in the shade and really needed sun, I started taking them down and setting them in my front yard so they could get their much needed 12 hours of sunlight a day. Many of them recovered and appreciated me for it. Unfortunately, though, they spend more time sitting on the grass in my front yard than they do hanging on the house. So next year I will be sure to get flowers that need no direct sunlight. Lesson learned!
These are some of the pretty nasturtiums that I grew from seeds. I love their bright orange color:
As for the part of my goal that involved having plants indoors - I've done ok there too. Remember this cute little guy I purchased in March because I fell in love with the pot?
Well, I followed the instructions and watered him once a week with enough water to fill up about a fourth of the pot. And he started to die. Turns out the instructions that I so faithfully followed set me up for failure. I realized that I must be overwatering him, so I let him dry out for about a month and he's recovering nicely. Turns out he really only needs to be watered every 2-3 weeks with very little water. He hasn't necessarily grown at all, but he's alive and kickin' and brightening up my living room to this day:
We'll see how long the outdoor flowers last as the Arizona summer heat gets up into the 110s for the next couple months. It's really hard to keep anything alive here through the summer. But I'm excited about what I've learned and can't wait to plant again next spring!!
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