Sunday, August 2, 2009

Do you want to know a secret?

I am learning just along the way like the rest of you. I saunter through gardening books like a new cook devours a recipe book for the first time. My hair on the back of my neck tickles when someone asks me the name of a plant I don't know. Oh, don't get me wrong I know a lot of stuff but compared to some I am an elementary student. One can spend their entire life primping and prodding rose bushes to achieve that perfect bloom. Another can spend years on trying to perfect their hosta collection. I have a friend that is a hosta expert. She actually had to stop telling people her whereabouts out of fear that her prized possessions (this being hosta mind you) might be carried away by some trowel armed lunatic. So when you get frustrated because of the mucky weather we are having or because your neighbor knows the name of the plants that you don't forget about it. Gardening is supposed to be a hobby; not a stress inducer. Unless you want to join a Fancy shamcy gardening club where everyone is competing to know more than the next just chill out and enjoy being outside.
Advise of the day:
Plants are borrowed. A plant is not a candy dish given to you by your mother; a plant is a living organism. Like humans plants have a shelf life. So in every aspect treat them as such. If your plant expires it isn't like you smashed it into smithenes. It was it's time. Sure you might have helped it along but lest not forget you were only borrowing it for a period of time.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Containers, Containers, Containers

I love containers gardens. I don't think I have ever seen a container planted that I didn't like. I like to think of containers as little yards that are self contained. As long as you follow a few simple rules you can have beautiful, successful containers year after year!

1 Make sure you pick plants that need the same amount of water. An example is that you wouldn't want to put a new Guinea impatience with a portulaca. Portulaca's love to be dry and New Guinea have been affectionately called "little drunkards". I think you get the picture.

2. Make sure that your plants have the same sun requirements. If you are planting a sun container don't add in an impatience plant.

3. VERY IMPORTANT is that there is a drainage hole and that there is stone on the bottom. Good potting soil is key to healthy plants. If you want to save money fill part of the bottom of a pot with stone, a pot or packing peanuts.

4. Try to put the tallest plants in the center of the pots. Different heights are fine, just don't choke out another plant. Different colors and textures make the pot more interesting.

5. You don't have to having hanging ivy or flowers in every pot. You can make some plants hang a little more by planting them on a slant so they already are spilling out a bit.

6. Herbs are great for planters, just don't over crowd. Remember read the tags.

7. Keep your pots well watered and they do need more fertilizer than plants that are in the ground.

8. Last but not least purchase quality plants so you have a good head start.

A suggestion about planters. Don't put a lot of different flowers in a busy pattern planter. If you have a Mosaic planter don't put a lot of different color flowers. Let the planter be the focal point with the flowers as an accent.

Do not clump together a lot of different planters. Clumping planters looks great but it looks too busy when you have a lot of different flowers together. Consider just doing one or two types in different pots.

Have fun!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Window boxes are gardening at it's finest!

This second story window box has Tapien verbena which
are very drought tolerant to handle those days you
forget to hang out the window and water!

Notice how the french blue adds so much interest
to this window box palate.

Sweet potato vine adds great interest to this
cottage window box.

Below is a shade window box with lots of hybrid begonias.

Blue lobilia and sweet potato vine make up thisterrific window box. Don't forget that the lobilia can't take the heat the summer so either plant in quite a bit of shade or don't plant unless you live in cooler climates. Don't ever let lobilia dry out.

Nothing says window box more than geraniums. These are typical Zonial geraniums
that are not a hanging annual. Notice how well they work in this application. The reason they work so well is because the window's are very low. The red is great against the buttery yellow home.

King Kong coleus, french blue petunias and double impatience make this planter just pop. These petunias are not "vegitative" such as Wave petunias so they will require alot of dead heading. The great color is worth the sacrifice.

Million bells and white lobilia are a great combination in this window box. This box would do great in part-sun. I like the way they kept the color only in the center. It give the illusion that the pink flowers just jumped as an after thought.

Window boxes

are an easy way to add alot of color with a small investment!