Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Container Garden Update

Just a quick update to show off how my container garden is coming along.  Actually, these photos are from almost 2 weeks ago -- just didn't have a chance to take them off my camera until now.  Click here to see what it looked like in May, if you want to compare.


Everything came up except the pansies, although only a few straggly chives came up, but oh well.  I replaced the pansies with a flower I'd never seen before called purslane.  I picked the purslane up at Walmart on a whim, and it's a short-but-rangy plant with very bright flowers.


The leaves and stems are almost rubbery, so I'm guessing it comes from arid places and handles heat and drought well.  Considering the heat index here is supposed to be over 100 today and for the next 4 days, I'm glad to have something that will survive!


Here's how big my lavender is getting:


And look at my lemon basil!  I used some of it for the first time the other night, with some fish I baked for supper.


Here's that center pot with lantana and calibrachoas.  This is before it got hot last week -- I'm so glad I took pictures when I did, because this may well have been the most glorious the calibrachoas will get.  They've gotten pretty bedraggled the last few days, and I'm sure the continual heat will not improve them.  But the lantana is going strong still!


My dad unexpectedly gave me a really nice camera last month, and I tried out some of the fun features on it for the first time the other day.  Like this one, which lets you turn everything black-and-white except for one color:


Not sure how it happened, it being a new camera and all, but my picture size got switched to square for a while, until I noticed and switched it back.  That's why a bunch of these are square, not rectangular.  I named my new camera Diego because I was reading The Mark of Zorro when my dad gave the camera to me.  It's black, Zorro wears a lot of black, and I really love the name Diego, so it fit nicely.  But don't worry, I'm not abandoning Francis!  I still love my pocket-sized red camera too, and use it more still, to tell the truth.  Diego gets used when I have time to play and experiment a little, or want to take super-good photos.  But Francis is perfect to grab and take along to a museum or playground, or just snap a quick shot of the kids being cute.

Anyway, one more shot of the whole container garden from a different angle:


Some of the nasturtiums have started flowering since I took these, and I just saw my first marigold opening yesterday, all of which add more color and variety.

And, because I was playing with Diego's zoom lens (okay, that sounded wrong), here's a shot I took of one of our little bunny visitors:


We see these almost every day throughout the spring and summer.  This is one of the adults, but on Sunday we saw a teensy baby hop out from under our deck and nibble some clover oh-so-close to our house.  It was so small I could have held it in one hand -- just adorable!  I've read that bunnies like to roll in lavender, so if I can get mine going really well, I'll find somewhere in the yard to plant it so I can share it with them.  And then we'll have lavender-scented wild rabbits!  What's not to love?

27 comments:

  1. The pink flower is my favorite, is it also purslane?

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    1. Yup, I got yellow and pink purslanes, one of each for two different pots. They're only open during the day time, and furl up their flowers at night. Aren't they vibrant? I got them at Walmart, so if you wanted to see them for yourself, check out Lawn and Garden next time you're there, they might have them in WI too.

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    2. Just did a little research, and it's supposed to grow in all US zones, and also be edible! Very nifty little plant.

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  2. Glad your lantana is in a pot! It takes over if it's in the ground and is such a pain to keep trimmed back. Grows very very fast! At least three of my houses have had lantana, and I am soooo done with that plant! Although in a pot... that I might not mind! :-D

    Everything is looking very lovely!

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    1. I love lantana! But I've only ever had the annual kind, and in a pot. Perhaps the kind you struggled with is the perennial variety? But anyway, yeah, I'm hesitant to plant things in the ground until I'm sure they won't run rampant. You know those lily-of-the-valley by my front steps? They keep trying to escape! I'm so glad they're bordered by a garage, a stoop, and a sidewalk, or I'd never keep them at bay.

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    2. Ah, I didn't even know there was an annual variety! Mine has definitely been a quite permanent plant. Grows into impressive hedges. Very nice... just very high maintenance.

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    3. And I didn't know there was a perennial until last year, when I was reading up a bit on it. If I ever have a place I want to fell with a tall hedge and let run rampant, I know what to get, then :-)

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    4. How interesting! I was looking up lantana and the annual variety is the same as the perennial. It's only annual in cold climates where the frost kills it. If you're in a frost free zone (me), it just keeps growing. No wonder I'd never heard of an annual version! I live in the wrong climate! Hee.

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    5. Well. How 'bout that? I didn't realize that at all -- but it makes sense! So if I brought my lantana in for the winter, it might survive? Huh!

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  3. I remember when you started this! Its beautiful! Love the name of camera! and I love that feature of it turning everything B&W except for one thing.

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    1. Isn't that a cool feature? I'll be using it soon to illustrate a book review, actually. And thanks! I think it's lovely myself.

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  4. LOL'ing at the zoom lens....curious question: are you going to cook with the lavender, or just use it for homemade potpourri? And what the heck do you cook with lavender? :-)

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    1. I may try to cook with the lavender, yes. Most of the recipes I've seen call for dried lavender or lavender buds, not fresh lavender leaves. So I'll try drying some -- I plan to try drying the lemon basil and dill too.

      Google for lavender recipes and you'll be surprised at the variety you find! I found a recipe for lavender lemonade I can't wait to try.

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    2. Interesting! Now that you mention it, I have a recipe for lavender lemonade on my Pinterest. Perhaps I shall try it out. :)

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  5. Your garden is so lovely! And bunnies! Also I can tell that you have a big and beautiful home :)

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    1. Thank you! My house can be called big and beautiful, but my yard... by northern VA standards, it's fairly roomy, but compared to what I grew up with, it feels tiny. That's why I do a container garden, so I can try out new things without committing any of my outdoor space to something I might not like :-) But we have a gully behind our property that meanders down to undeveloped space a couple blocks away, All kinds of critters wander into our yard from it. We see deer regularly, and have had woodchucks, foxes, and even a coyote.

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  6. Your flowers are always so vibrant and lush! You definitely inherited your green thumb and photographic ability from your Dad and his side of the family!

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    1. Thanks! I think the real trick to raising plants is just remembering to water them.

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  7. Love the pictures! From the pictures, it all looks almost a little Mediterranean... :-) And it was so neat seeing the purslane! Some of my favorite picture books are the Brambly Hedge series by Jill Barklem. One of the mice in there is named Purslane and I've always wondered about it. :-)

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    1. Thanks! And really? Mediterranean? How interesting! Is it the lighting, or the arrangement of pots, or the deck railing? I'm intrigued.

      From what I read online yesterday, purslane grows wild as a weed all over the US -- I guess maybe it gets mowed down before it blooms, so people don't realize how lovely it is?

      What age are the Brambly Hedge books aimed at? My kids love all books about mice! As long as the mice are not endangered too much.

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    2. Hmmm. I think it's the arrangement of the pots and the variegated leaf shapes. It was a compliment--so I hope you don't mind the comparison. :-) And very interesting about the purslane! I'll have to look out for it. The books are by a British author and I wonder if it grows wild over there, too. And age-wise: the books have a bit more text, but I'd say they're comparable to Beatrix Potter. And I wouldn't say the mice are particularly endangered at all. They have some adventures and escapes, but no predators. :-)

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    3. Forgot to say, we love all the seasonal titles--as well as Sea Story (where Purslane comes in) and The High Hills. The only one that wasn't so much a favorite was The Secret Staircase. It wasn't bad, just not a favorite. :-)

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    4. Oh, and Poppy's Babies. There, I think that's it... ;-)

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    5. Turns out our library system has a bunch of them, so I'm totally going to try one out! I've requested "Summer Story" because it certainly is summer around here! Thanks! I love Beatrix Potter's stories, and my 6-year-old reads them on the sly when he thinks I'm not looking. Not sure why he does that. My girls like a few of the stories, but not as much as I do, more's the pity. Maybe they will love Brambly Hedge instead!

      Now when I look at my container garden, I'll think of my favorite Mediterranean things: Rudolph Valentino and A Room with a View :-) Not a bad thing!

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  8. Great post and lovely pictures! I now can't get the image of a bunny rolling in lavender from my mind. If I was a drawing person, I would draw a picture of it!

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    1. Thanks! And I know, doesn't it sound like something Beatrix Potter would have drawn?

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