Green pets

  This is the time of year  when brightly colored, beautiful and alluring seed packets, perennial packages and summer bulbs begin to appear in super-stores. They promise  a lovely, green and growing creature that will amaze your friends, brighten your surroundings and bring you pleasure. You probably how some questions about this promise.  Will it grow? If you take care of it, most likely it will grow. Will it look like the picture on the label? This question is a little harder to answer. You need to remember the photo on the label is of a plant grown by an expert, chosen as the best one available, photographed(maybe with a zoom lens so the flowers look much larger than they really are) by an expert and maybe even retouched. Yes, it will mostly likely be the same kind plant.  Will it be the color shown in the photo on the label? Maybe not. Remember what you see on the label is a photo that was then printed. It's very possible that that bright blue is really more of a washed out purply pink. How fast will it grow and how big will it get? Check the printed label for both pieces of information. That cute, little, green baby may grow into a jolly, green giant in no time at all. 

  Next important piece of information: is it an annual, a biennial or a perennial? Annuals are one season plants they often produce lots of brightly colored flowers. Perennials are plants that live more than 2 years, if well taken care of, many more years. Biennials are plants that live for two seasons. These guys are rather tricky and because the first year they just grow leaves, you may be buying plants that are 1year old and ready to flower or first year plants that won't flower for another year. No matter how much you love and care for your annual or biennial plant it will NOT turn into a perennial.

  See what I mean about plants needing you to  invest ? You read labels, you gather information,you learn new things, you're already making an investment. Think about this plant as a green pet. Why do you want it? Do you have time to enjoy it and take care of it? Do you have a place to put it? Plants are alive. They need light and water. They need a place to grow.  Having said this I will tell you that I have very little success with houseplants, so I don't usually grow them. A friend gave me an orchid as a gift last year. I always thought orchids required lots of special care and extra work. This orchid is reblooming( a sign it's "happy"). I asked an orchid fancier about it. She said that when an orchid has the right light, the right humidity, the right soil and the right ventilation; it thrives on neglect. Right,lol!