Tuesday, May 20, 2014

2014 Container Garden



Here it is!  My container garden for the year.  I thought I'd posted about this last year too, but I guess not.  I love growing things, but the soil around here is so poor you can't just plant things in the ground and expect them to grow.  You have to enrich the soil and stuff.  I miss the Midwest!  No wonder all the pioneers were in such raptures when they got Iowa.  Such wonderful, instantly-ready-to-grow-things dirt.  But anyway, we've solved the issue by building a raised bed garden for our veggies, and putting a container garden on our deck so I can grow flowers.  Actually, I have daffodils and hyacinths and other things growing in the ground too, but annuals and veggies don't seem to thrive without a lot of crazy stuff done to the soil first.

I actually planted this a couple weeks ago, but just didn't get a chance to post about it until now.  These pics were taken the day I planted everything, hence all the dirt and water everywhere.  In the leftmost pot, I have lavender.  I've tried growing lavender from seeds for two years and failed miserably, so this year I bought a plant and we'll see if that works better.


This is a closeup of the lavender pot.  It's just a terra cotta pot that I painted with these wonderful "patio paints" I found at the craft store.  They dry quickly and don't wash off!  Very fun. 


I got these amazing stackable pots new this spring!  They were originally $60 for a set of three layers like this, which I thought was a bit exorbitant, but I got one set 50% off, and the other 60% off a week later!  Very pleased.  This set by the lavender has lemon basil on top, then chives in the middle, and dill on the bottom.  I've been growing a mint plant in a container for a couple years, and decided to try some more herbs.  We'll see what happens!

In the two pots to the right of this, I planted seeds for marigolds and nasturtiums and pansies.  Those are all edible flowers!  Going to be interesting experimenting with that this summer.

The center pot has flowers I bought from the store too -- I like to start out with some color already there in my containers so I don't have to wait all spring for things to sprout and grow and bloom.  So I put yellow lantanas and a pretty yellow-and-white striped calibrachoa hybrid in that pot.  They're so cheerful!  My lantana last year got enormous, and I'm hoping this year's does too.  The calibrachoas should spread out and drape down the sides of the container, a look I just love.

Calibrachoa "superbells" hybrid

Lantana

The two off-white containers to the right of the center are the same things as the ones to the left.  And then the brown three-layered pot on the right is totally planted with verbena seeds I harvest myself from plants I had last summer.  I've never tried harvesting my own seeds before, so I'm really excited to see how these do.


I also harvested nasturtium seeds last fall, which got planted in these three pots.  My three kids each got to paint a pot too, and I put them on this nifty little plant stand to add some levels and interest to my garden.  The six-year-old's is the highest, then the four-year-old's, then the two-year-old's.  Isn't it fun seeing the progression of painting abilities?


Last year I only had those middle five pots.  And that was wonderful -- I got such joy from the beautiful flowers that grew there all summer and into the fall.  This year, I'm really excited for all the additions!  This section of my deck is all filled up now, so I don't think my little container garden will be getting any bigger for a few years, but that's absolutely fine with me.  I'll try to post an update when plants are up and getting pretty!

12 comments:

  1. What a fun idea to do with the kids. I can't wait to see your pictures of them when they have all bloomed.

    I love flowers, too, but we have such awful luck with plants in the desert. If it's not the scorching sun, it's the raging wind. And the soil is basically dust. : (

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    1. One of the main reasons I garden is to pass along my love of good tilled earth to my kids. We don't need to raise the veggies, but the kids are learning to get a lot of satisfaction from seeing things they planted grow up and be tasty or pretty.

      And yeah, I'm totally unsuited to living in a desert. I'd rather live on the frozen tundra. Either place, I'd have an indoor garden for sure!

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  2. Beautiful! Last year I grew basil, which was a great success, and tomatoes and cucumbers, which I planted too late so I never actually got to harvest any (except a single cherry tomato, which was tragically delicious). This year I'm starting earlier and just doing basil and tomatoes. I'm still super new to gardening but I hope I actually get to eat some tomatoes this year!

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    1. Thanks! We do tomatoes every year and I love how scrumptious they are. I hope yours grow much better this year! Nothing like a freshly picked tomato :-9

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  3. Wow, you've got the magic touch with container gardening! Since all we have is a lanai, it's the only gardening I can do but I have somewhat of a brown thumb:(

    Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I do love that version of Marie Antoinette and yes, Tyrone really rocked those tights:)

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    1. I should find and post a pic from last year's -- I was really pleased with it. The first year, I miss-combined some flowers and they weren't as great.

      You're welcome :-)

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  4. Your container gardens looks beautiful already. I have not had any luck planting lavender either. Maybe I should try buying the starters.

    The weather in Upstate NY has been beautiful, but at sometimes the temperatures still drop, so until it remains steadily warmer nothing goes outside yet. I love container garden and need to get started on mine but from indoors until I can put them outside.

    I ordered lots of seeds online that are organic and nongmo for my vegetable garden. I am really excited about it and look forward to seeing the results.

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    1. Thanks! And yeah, I think maybe lavender is just quite tricky, as I've had other friends have trouble with it too.

      I usually wait until Mother's Day to plant, as that's pretty safe in Northern VA. I also usually start things indoors from seed, but this year we were on vacation and then sick for most of March and April, so that didn't happen.

      Good luck with your own garden! How are your roses doing so far this year?

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    2. This past winter was very hard on my roses. The knock-out rose bushes had to be cut down really low as a result. At least they are still alive and have started to tale off again. One other rose bush I think may be dead. My Mom cut it down real low for me, but so far, it is not doing anything. If nothing grows by the end of June I am going to have to dig it out of the ground.

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    3. Two words for you: banana peels. Have you tried this? Save up the peels from several bananas (I put them in the freezer, but some people dry them), then chop them up in your blender or food processor. Work into the soil around the base of your roses like you would any kind of soil enrichment. I thought this sounded very weird, but I tried it around my sole rose bush, which had not done well over the winter either. It's gone insane! I counted 12 blooms yesterday, with more than that coming soon. This from the bush that gave me like 12 blooms total last year. I'll try to post pics of it later today!

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  5. That is a great idea!!! I never thought of doing something like that before.

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    1. Thanks! If you're interested in doing something similar, there are tons of books and websites about container gardens that you might find helpful.

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