Monday, June 2, 2014

Flower Pots 2014

I have completed one of my favorite springtime exploits.  We have planted the annual flower pots for the year.  I planned on cutting back, ended up planting more than I originally decided on, and there are pots all over the place.  The greenhouses were kind of picked over this year and it was hard to find some of the specific things I wanted.  It was even hard to find geraniums and impatiens which are greenhouse standards around here.  Speaking of that, if anyone spots me at a greenhouse for the rest of the summer inform the owner so I can be turned away because I am on a self imposed plant buying freeze. 
So, here they are.  I planted most of them last Monday or Tuesday so a week later all the plants are still alive.  Last year, many of them died and left holes in the pots and we never knew why.  We took soil from a field at the farm so maybe it had residual chemicals in it or something.  This year we mixed leftover soil with cheap store bought potting soil  It seems to be helping. 
Those are petunia, moss rose and random sun plant that I can't remember.  I can't wait for them to fill out and actually look pretty and not sparse.

The troughs!  When I was a kid we always had several cats at the farm and we used a planter like this for their catfood.  They would line up at their trough and crunch away.  These have combinations of sun preferring plants.  Actually, all the plants on the back deck are sun plants because it is very sunny back there. 

That little purple plant is a begonia.  I always thought those had to be in the shade but the tag said that this particular variety could handle sun.  So far, so good. 

It's not summer without marigolds!
And now, the feature presentation and the bane of Justin's existence and a work in progress that we hopefully got right the first time this year...flower towers!  Last year we tried these after being inspired by a Lowe's commercial and the first attempt was a bust.  Every time we watered them mud oozed out the holes around the flowers and the plants at the bottom died from lack of water.  We ended up starting over and put a plastic pipe with holes drilled in it down the middle so they could get water.  Then we left them for a week over the 4th of July and forgot to ask our neighbor to water them and they ended up dying anyway.  The original instructions used petunias but I am trying impatiens this year because the front of our house faces north. 

I really hope they work because I love the tropical look of impatiens!

Here are a few shade oriented planters for the front steps. 

For the past several years I have tried to replant an old hanging basket instead of buying one and they never look that good so this year I just bought one so we could enjoy a full flowering pot all summer instead of waiting for little six pack plants to fill out. 

Another trough...
I love this curly grass.  I think I had a picture of this on here a few days ago.  It's called "Juncus" and it is the cutest thing.  It kind of reminds me of my hair!  It's unruly and textured and a fun change from the usual spikes that I use. 
And now, you will see a shame.  My beloved agave plant that I have kept alive for four years survived the winter dormant on a cold windowsill.  I couldn't wait to get it out in the sun which I did before we left for Memorial Day weekend.  If you recall, that weekend was hot and sunny and when we returned we found that our neighbors had noticed that the plants we had just bought at the greenhouse were wilting.  They watered them and took the hanging basket to their house where they nursed it back from a certain death.  The agave had brown and black spots all over it's largest "leaves" or whatever you call a cactus's branches. 

Well, apparently, they can get sunburn!  A hot weather plant that can survive for months without water in the hot desert sun can get sunburn if it has been out of the sun all winter.  I looked it up and there is not much to be done about it.  The healthy branches will keep growing, and you can see that most of the branches still are healthy and the big one in the middle actually unfolded since the bun happened! now I have a very healthy agave with a layer of leaves that are ruined.  I feel so bad for it.  It was such a unique plant.  I hope I can get these branches off without hurting the rest of it. 

Justin had been working on clearing out some overgrown landscaping so we can do something new.  He removed a large bush which revealed this gigantic hosta plant that I really like. 

That thing is as big as Ben!

There is quite an assortment of scrubby looking bushes and shrubs.  There are a few potentilla shrubs which are cute with their little yellow flowers but I could do without them.  At the farm, there used to be a potentilla on either side of the steps into the house and to go in you had to walk between them.  They were always teeming with buzzing and hovering bees and I was scared of them. 

I afraid your days are numbered little shrub!
Ben has been loving being "outsides" more these last few weeks.  I bought this plastic gun that blows bubbles in the $ aisle at Target and it had a small container of bubble solution.  We used that up pretty quick and last night I tried to make my own bubble solution.  It worked, but it wasn't as good as the store bought kind.  The bubbles didn't really float.  They just dropped to the ground.  Also, they didn't have the pretty translucent colors.  I will have to try a different recipe next time.  Or maybe I will just spend a few dollars and buy one of those bulk sized containers of bubble solution. 

He's gonna get it!

Here is a picture of the house!  I don't think I've ever put one on here before besides the link to the listing we first bought it!


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