A Barrel of Flowers

A Barrel of Flowers

Several years ago I started a summer blog about a thriving floral and vegetable garden that I had fallen in love with.

That garden was in my head.

The one in my backyard died a slow and painful death.

It wasn’t the kind of death you would wish upon anyone.

I didn’t do it on purpose. It just kind of happened.

Looking back, I now understand I should’ve started the plants inside the green house and then moved them into raised flower beds. They’d have probably done much better. Of course, I didn’t do that because I had gotten a cheapy green house from my family for Mother’s Day that year. So, I was going to raise veggies in pots inside the green house, during a 90-100+ degree summer in Colorado. I was going to succeed at this if it killed me.

It didn’t kill me.

But, it did kill all my plants.

It was a frustrating summer.

I haven’t attempted vegetables since. But, I’ve continued to try my luck with flowers and let’s all just be thankful I’m not in charge of anything nature takes care of for us because even the flowers have been one disaster after another. Sure, they all look amazing in June. Then, the summer heat hits and bakes them into oblivion. Or, like last summer, the sprinklers broke and we had an entire July of back to back to back to back vacations planned.

I came home to flowers that remembered they were dust and into dust they pretty much returned.

Most years, I try and try and they all die anyway. Sometime around mid-August I tell myself fall is close enough and call it a season. I go back in my house and nurse my floral wounds and tell myself time heals.

And it does.

Because every year, spring rolls around and I keep planting flowers that I’ll inevitably kill.

It’s a vicious cycle.

So, this year, I’ve held off on the expensive flowers for my beds and opted to take my chances on bulbs. Did I choose native full-sun-we-can-resist-billion-degree flower bulbs? Probably not. I got them at the local grocery store because they were perennial bulbs and they were on sale.

What I am sure I did correct was:

1. I have not planted flowers in my pots yet because I’ve been burned by May before.

All is right. All is vibrant. Suddenly some freak late May snow storm comes screaming through here dropping us from 85 to 32 in less than 24 hours. Causing me to scrambled to cover pots or move them inside. What I can’t save gets frostbite and may or may not recover by fall. If it makes it, it basically makes it just in time to die anyway.

2. I bought a bag of native wildflower seeds.

I tossed them in an old barrel we usually plant marigolds in. The barrel has seen better days and now it looks like it came right out of an 1861 farm. The wildflowers will look perfect in there. Worse case, the flowers die and then they match the barrel.


So, for now, they’re doing okay, but in the words of the Carpenters, we’ve only just begun.

It’s almost June but we have a snow storm coming in two days.

And freezing temps.



It thwarts my gardening aspirations.

So, we’ll see what happens.

The snow will come and go.

June will come and go.

I have no idea how things will turn out mostly because I have no idea how hot it’ll be or how reliable our sprinkler fix was. It could be good, it could be bad. We could be welcomed home from vacation by a thriving bunch of color; or we might come home to flowers that remembered they were dust and into dust they pretty much returned.

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