It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

In Spite Of The Cold Rain

In spite of the cold and the rain we got quite a bit done this weekend. Phil and Anna played the woodcutter and his daughter out in the back forty. Bet and I did lots of work on perennial beds, revamped most of the containers, weeded several beds including the garlic bed (potatoes keep coming up in it) and worked in the house.

Planted out my Jack Sheehan Fuchsia on the little hillside in my "mountain garden" not really a mountain or a native plant but the hardy fuchsias require sun unlike when they are planted in hanging pots. The girls and I were inspired last year when we discovered the hardy fuchsia garden at Point Defiance Park. The Northwest Fuchsia Society has a great page listing all the hardy fuchsias for this area (see List o Links). I was under the mistaken impression that all hardy fuchsias had small flowers, the ones I see for sale are never very appealing to me.

But the best thing this weekend was revamping my containers. I love container planting which could seem a little strange considering that I live on a hundred acres and probably cultivate about an acre in flowers and veggies. I grew up just blocks from Wapato Park in Tacoma. I spent a great deal of time in the park, back in the day when children were free to go just about any where. I loved that park and one of my favorite things to do was to hang around the huge planting areas just inside the front entrance when they were replanted. There was a big circle in the middle of the road, I suppose it was a round a bout, and two big beds on either side of the entrance road. Several times in the year the workers would come with new blooming plants, take out the spent blooming plants and replace them with the new. In the late spring out would go the spent tulips and daffs and in would come petunias and marigolds, then in late summer out would go those and in would come zinnias and asters, then those were out and in would go the bulbs for next spring with winter pansies on top of them. It was a magical transformation. I was always delighted when I came to the park and the beds had been renewed seemingly overnight but my favorite was watching it all happen. And that dear reader is why I love my few little container plants. I do not have the planting budget, not yet anyway, to change out beds of that size so instead I swap out containers.

I love the big pulp pots from McConkey Co. (see List o Links) they cost a tad over a buck a piece, are pretty durable and at that price I can get the whole pot potted up and ready and raring to go before I bring them out. In some applications I kind of even like the look of the pulp pot itself, but on the front rocks they really stick out because of the color difference so I just slip the pulp pot into a plastic pot I bought from Wal-Mart (no link needed) they fit like a glove. Then when they're done, like the tulips yesterday, I pull the pulp pot out and if it is still holding together it lives out the rest of the season tucked out of sight in one of my nursery areas. I left the tulips out longer than usual this year because the pansies were still going strong and the geraniums have been rather slow to get going, but I needed something to do (instead of planting seeds that will rot) and so I stole the pansies and tucked them in the window boxes and the geranium pots for a little color while we wait for the geraniums to get going. Then at the end of summer when I get out the blooming mums and the geraniums and other summer pots go into retirement I can easily tuck them in somewhere to winter over and hopefully spring to life the next spring.

This year I had one terrific success! The pics in this post show my crowning achievement, my holding over five Gerbera Daisy. Last year was the first year I had success bring them even to the end of summer and then for five (almost half) to survive the winter hold over I figured was pretty stinking good. Check my profile it says I am not an expert. I found out early enough to save some lives last summer that the Gerbera Daisy hates dirt and mud on its crown. So I went out and lifted them up above the soil, unlike how they were when I purchased them. I can't wait for the other three to bloom out. I have confidence that they will in spite of two of them having become a kitty napping ground recently.

Well the work doesn't get itself done, till next time dear reader, have a good day.

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