Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getting my hands dirty

On today's never ending list is the garden, more specifically the container gardens.  Every summer I create a series of container gardens to cover the driveway between the house and the nominal one car garden shed, known to the county auditor as a garage.  (Never mind that I've never had a vehicle in there, I don't think one would fit even if it were empty.)  The container garden is where I get to try all the plants that we tend to label as weird.  They may be unusual textures or shapes, many are definitely tropical and uncommon in the northern US.  This year's color theme seems to be trending towards red, white and blue.  Mainly because I love black and blue salvia and the hummingbirds that it attracts, then I started adding red wave petunias or true red geraniums and complementing them with silvery textured foliage or white flowers.  And interspersed with elephant ears of various types. 

But all of the containers have to be planted and there are getting close to 20 or so.  The planting "bench"/ staging area is also on the driveway and I have literally been shoveling potting mix into containers from the 25 gallon bins of potting mix and compost that overwinter on the drive every year.  I believe I counted 13 or 14 bins before I started filling containers and I've only emptied about 6 as of last night.  I fill a container, plant it and if it is small enough to be easily moved, set it to one side to be arranged in the final grouping.  If the container is large and there are several that I could actually curl up in, they are set on pot feet in what I hope will be their location for the summer.  All of this takes time, and when I have a large enough chunk of it, I can get a rhythm going and really make progress. 

Hopefully I can get the containers planted over the next couple of nights and move on to infilling the small areas available in the perennial beds with annuals for summer long color.  The theme in the front yard appears to be leaning towards yellow and black/purple with the bicolored petunia baskets on the porch and the chartreuse gladiolas in the new planting bed.  I'm thinking that yellow snaps and maybe purple petunias will fill in the holes nicely.  The backyard is a riot of colors from the perennials, so I think that I'll fill in the few gaps with something that will attract more hummingbirds or butterflies.  I also need to rehang a couple of hooks on the fence and deck posts so I can rehang the baskets that are supposed to be there.

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