There is nothing quite like being inside a garden center, greenhouse or plant nursery this time of year.
It’s a bit too soon to plant in-ground gardens yet (Memorial Day weekend is generally considered a safe starting date in south-central Alaska), but potted plants and hanging baskets are heading out of the nurseries in droves.
Actually, having now shopped; if the people crowding the vegetable isles of the garden centers are any indication, whole flats of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, chives and other greenhouse-started vegetable are also leaping off the shelves.
Hopefully, they are heading to home greenhouses or other protected areas to slowly harden off (get accustomed to outdoor temps during the day while protected by plastic or tarps at night) until it’s safe to plop them into the ground.
Gardeners who jump the gun up here MAY (no pun intended) be successful if they are lucky, but are as often devastated when a late frost – it just takes one night – kills off much of their hard work.
My goal is not to fill a garden, but to create a couple of cheerful pots crammed with an assortment of herbs and flowers known for their ability to discourage mosquitoes. That they are also pretty and smell great is icing on the cake.
So, what did I come home with? More than enough for two pots, as often happens. But hey, they not only serve a purpose; they also smell wonderful and give Roada such a homey vibe. 🪴🌼🪴
Of course, the most important plant in any summer travel pot in Alaska is Citrosa, also known as Citronella or Scented Geranium. I bought two – one for each pot.
I also picked up a Lemon Balm plant for each pot – not only do mosquitoes tend to steer away from these lemon-scented herbs, but just a brush of your hand through the foliage has the whole RV smelling like you’ve just finished cleaning.
I added Rosemary mostly because I love the smell, but it is also named as one of the herbs on the “mosquitoes don’t like it” list – so, win/win.
Lemon Thyme adds more lemony goodness/bug-repellency, and as it grows, it will spill prettily over the edge of the pot.
Speaking of spilling prettily down the side of my pot; I couldn’t resist the sunny, golden leaves of these Goldilocks plants (also known as Creeping Jenny). These have no other purpose in my pot than to look beautiful.
The Goldilocks will brighten up one pot, while the finishing touch on the other pot will be these cheerful, brilliantly yellow (and yes, mosquito-repelling) Marigolds.
Finally, with assorted plants , pots and potting soil at hand, it’s time to decide what combination goes in which pot. The goal is to complement each other while standing out with unique differences.
I think the draping Goldilocks and lemon Thyme in one pot and the upright Marigolds in the other will be just right. Now to get my hands dirty.
OK, what do you think of my gathering and gardening results? Am I ready for summer camping season?
Yes, I know by August they’ll be twice this size and ready to burst out of their pots. That’s the compromise for wanting to start the season with already pretty pots. I usually need to do some judicious pruning mid-season, but it’s worth it.
Trimmings don’t go to waste either. They get cut up and made into a potpourri of scented herbs. I keep them in a little covered tub near the dog gear. I will crush the herbs in my hands and then rub my hands over the dachshunds before we go for walks – it’s an effective all-natural mosquito repellent. Of course, I can do the same by plucking leaves (especially Citronella) off the live plants.
I also chose new pots this year, meant to complement the tan and brown shades of my RV exterior. Of course, it’ll look nicer when I have the pots sitting on my big blue and tan washable ground cover.
Oh! The area mat! The one that was helping keep the mud and dirt out of Roada during those cold, wet trials! Geez, I almost forgot – I rolled it up and stored it away, wet and muddy. It needs washing! [Envision me pulling my big plastic-woven ground cover out of the RV garage and hefting it up over a ladder in the yard.]
Thankfully, I had only needed to partially open it for the trials, so only these two folded sides needed washing – opened fully, the ground cover is 4 times this width, needing two large ladders to keep it up out of the dirt while I power-wash it clean. Hey, it had seemed like a good size when I bought it. 😄
WAIT! I almost forgot Phred! Phred (pronounced “Fred”) has accompanied me and the dachshunds every summer since my travels began. She definitely deserves to be in the picture. 💗
OK, NOW I’m ready to go.
One thought on “My RV Travel Garden”
Awesome way to start the season! Bright and cheery – and a much needed day-brightener heading into spring/summer! I’m with you all the way on the mosquito repellants!
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