Cultivating a Culture of Gardening™

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Day 240 - Just Plain Ol' Purty

Purple petunia, Crimson Parasol Mandevilla, New gold Lantana, gold sedum, asparagus fern.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Day 239 - Meet Obe Wan Kentainer

'Hilo Beauty' Alocasia, Red trailing impatiens, 'Golden Moon' Torenia, Lysimachia 'Persian Chocolate'
Funny thing about this planting - it was supposed to have more lysimachia but somewhere along the planting process I was called away to do something else and didn't realize that I had forgotten to add the extra lysimachia until I came back to take the picture. So this container has a Aniken Skywalker ponytail. At least for now.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Day 238 - Day 204 Revisited

In those cooler days of Day 204, my Crossandra hadn't started blooming yet so here's that day's planter now with the bright yellow crossandra blooms.

Crossandra bloom


Day 237 - When Plants Reflect Life

A little over a month ago I brought these planters home from the greenhouse. The center plant - a variegated Manihot or tapioca plant - was a new plant for me to use in container plantings and they had seemed to be desperately struggling. After arriving in the greenhouse in pristine condition from Greenleaf Nurseries, they fell under the fascination of my morning watering guy who was determined to make sure this beautiful plant did not dry out. Knowing that all this attention could drown this plants' hope for success, I instructed the planting crew to go ahead and assemble the inserts [these are the pressed pulp pots that we use to plant many of our container plantings in at the the greenhouse, where we allow them to fill in, then plop them into the designated decorative container] using the somewhat over-watered Manihot. Bottom line - these poor plants went through some rough handling in the replanting process, resulting in them completely defoliating within hours of replanting. And this in turn led to my morning watering guy (even after repeated instruction in correct watering requirements) determined to bring this plant back to life with more water.

So the struggling stick-looking Manihot with their newly planted small plugs of coleus, calibrachoa, and verbena that surrounded them came home with me, to sit on my back wall - to soak up the heat and sunshine, to be given time alone to heal with proper attention needed for healthy survival.

The plugs have flourished, the Manihot is determinedly putting out new leaves though a few bare places remain. Time, and care by those that understand what is needed, help to bring recovery.

This past spring has been a season of abundant good things - graduation from high school for #3 son that came with accolades, awards, and scholarships; wedding plans for #2 son with all the joy and busyness that brings; the enjoyment of having #4 son willingly work alongside me in my vegetable garden and seeing his excitement about growing our own food; a week of enjoying #1 son's family (including the adorable grandson!) who live so far away; and on top of all that, fulfilling the incredible opportunity for me to write a book on container gardening.
But this past spring also has been a season of hardship - learning that the precious friend of #3 son has Leukemia and watching her battle with the effects of treatment; sending #1 son back to the middle east for his third tour of duty with the Marines; the tragic death of #4 son's friend and the effect it has had on our school and community; watching the devastation of tornadoes around the country; and even the life-changing accident of my co-worker's husband, which in its ripple effect, meant more time I needed to be at work and less time to be writing the book that I so eagerly want to finish.

Abundance of good things - like life-giving water that is flooding me with blessing- and the rough trials of life that left me feeling stripped bare: like the Manihot I am finding rejuvenation
in the warmth of Christ's love, in the knowledge of His faithfulness, in the friendships that walk with me, and even in the caring for others who are hurting.

And we keep on growing.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 236 - Sooner or Ladder I Knew I'd Need Some Help

I finally gave up climbing the corporate ladder

or at least climbing the ladder that corporate provided for me to get my job done. Luis, my right hand man, convinced me that he would plant just as well as I could - and he would move the plant a half an inch over if I asked him without even a hint of an eye roll - if I promised not to get up on a ladder/get all lightheaded again.

I am now safely planting these containers that are a little bit closer to the ground.

Bouganvillea 'Golden Jackpot', tropical plumbago, sweet potato vine, verbena, Phlox Intensia Blueberry, red vinca, golden duranta.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day 235 - Angel Earrings (a perfect name for this Fuschia)

This fuschia makes me smile every time I see it. Mixed here with Summer Wave Torenia, Butterfly Impatiens, Colocasia Black Beauty


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 234 - Some Days Just Go To Pot

and what fun that is!
Phlox Intensia Blueberry, Vinca, Coleus, Patchworks Impatiens, Lysimachia Persian Chocolate

with Borneo Giant Alocasia and Sweet Potato vine

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 233 - "Take Me To Your Leader"

Plants are sometimes as entertaining as children because you can't always be sure what they are going to do. (Though I have found that plants are a good bit easier to train. Unfortunately, my sons never read my blog or else I'd say something about how plants are easier to pick up after also.)
This Banana tree's growth habit makes it look like a space alien proclaiming, "I come in peace. Take me to your leader."

But like children, each container, though made up of the same plant material, looks a little different. Musa 'Siam Beauty', Duranta 'Gold Edge', Ivy geranium 'Taj Mahal', purple verbena.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 232 - Three Plants, Three Planters, Three Cheers!

Canna, Coleus, Sweet potato vine


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Day 231 - Guest Containers From a "Budding" Gardener

My friend Heidi Delvaux sent me pictures of her containers that she just did. She had me thinking there that she wasn't sure what she was doing, but I think she did real good!
Love the combinations of different white tones that she threw in there with the dusty miller, the snow princess, and the licorice plant.
Heidi said this was an old ham pot that she used for this great combination of white and green.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 230 - Since The World Didn't End Today...

...I get to add another container picture (from Buffalo, NY) to my 365 Days of Container Gardening. That was close - I really don't like unfinished projects. Though I do have a container gardening book project extended deadline that is proving as hard to fulfill as this end-times prophesy. What was I thinking!?!?!?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 229 - The Clubhouse Is Getting Its Spring Dress On

Tomorrow the Laurelbrooke clubhouse gets its spring deckboxes put up. These are pictures from last years deckboxes. I'll take pictures of this years tomorrow and post. One homeowner asked that I use more yellow this year like I did in '09. She said that last years had too much red and purple.
I know. The anticipation is probably driving you crazy.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 228 - Don't Underestimate This Pretty Pink Planter

This has been a tough week and somehow even maintaining this blog seems somewhat trivial to what has been going in the lives our friends. But sometimes the toughest times can show us what is truly beautiful.
Sego palm, pink mandevilla, and Blizzard ivy geranium - turn up the heat, turn down the water: give them a hard environment and watch the beauty spill forth.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 227 - In Memory of Michael

As our school community, family, and friends grieve the loss of 17 year old Michael Daniel today, I couldn't help but pause as I was clicking through pictures when I saw this. If you'd ever seen Michael play soccer, you'd know his distinctive mop of dark curls that seemed to have a mind of their own as they flew in all directions. Maybe it's the sadness and the need to have something to make me smile, but this planter just reminded me of Michael's hair!
Michael fell while skateboarding this past Sunday night and has been fighting for his life for the last three days. Tonight his fight ended, and this friend to my son, this son of my friends, will be greatly missed.
And Michael, we will all miss seeing that mop of hair go flying down the field.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 226 - From My Backyard to Yours

Yes, I find a place for containers everywhere.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 225 - Just Doin' What I Love to Do!

Ivy geranium, plectranthus, euphorbia, and sedum - to think that simplicity and ease of care could look so good! I watered this planter only 3 times a week - only during our upper nineties heat wave did I water an additional day during the week.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 224 - A Re-tire-d Planter

I recently received this planter from Flat Tire Decor to trial and report back my thoughts. My first reaction was, "Bravo to someone who is looking to creatively repurpose any disposable product." My second reaction was, "My proper southern momma would shoot me if she knew I was planting anything in an old tire to display at my house." I haven't told her yet.

Comments heard while planting this in the greenhouse: "Cool" "Weird" "Will it deliver itself?" (obviously from a starving comedian) "Great idea" "Interesting" "Where did you get that?" "Can I have one?"

This is actually planted with a small red hibiscus but the bloom is hiding so I added the red car. Also planted with Tiger Eye Rudbeckia and Plum Calibrachoa

Observations - absorbs a lot of heat so not ideal for a full sun location;
this is a cute little planter;
holds water better than I expected;
this is a better use of tire products than the white painted "tire planters" popular in trailer parks and Steve Bender's back yard.

Bottom line: good idea, keep at it!

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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 223 - The Coolest Blue I Know

there is just something about this tropical blue plumbago that just seems to cool down a hot summer day. paired here with a wooly chenille plant and a variegated vinca vine.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 222 - It's Hot And the Growing is Easy

Duranta 'Gold Edge', Sun Parasol Crimson Mandevilla, Homestead verbena, Setcresia


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 221 - Container Gardening That Makes You Go Hmmmmm

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