a week in the life of a container gardener – mid June, 2013


pool’s eye view of my garden – this is basically the view I “garden” from. I see a lot of things I don’t see when I’m standing up and working *in* the garden.

Saturday, June 8th, 2013:

The sun came out! Tropical Storm Andrea took her time blowing through Southwest Florida, and we got a week of straight rain and storms. On Saturday morning, there was blue skies and sunshine, so I took advantage of the good weather and spent a lot of time in the garden.

I basically did all the prep for the summer season- I cut down most of the tomato vine (all in bad shape), cut back the geraniums, repotted one of my hibiscus and the eggplant, pulled all the nasturtium, cut back the shrimp plant and the coleus, and then Tom came out and we repotted one of the passiflora- it was *very* rooted out in the pot and it took us about 10 minutes of SERIOUS work to get it out of its pot. It was a big job! We rehomed it in the largest planter we have, in the back corner of the lanai, so I’m hoping it will now have plenty of room to spread out, both root-wise and wine-wise.

After about two hours of work in the garden, I went for my swim, and when I was getting out of the pool, Tom came out with a box from Park Seed- they had a promotion the week before for a free rose plant with *any* order, so I ordered a coral floribunda rose plant (on sale for $5!) and a few packs of seeds  (orange ice geranium and  canna).

So the roses arrives saturday and they were bare root, so we followed the instructions and got them right out of the box and into a bucket of water so they could soak overnight.

On Sunday, June 9th, 2013 we planted the roses. I have never worked with bare root plants before, so it was a little anxiety inducing. The instructions that came with the roses said to make sure that the roots were not bent or jammed when the rose was planted, so I used the two, huge nasturtium planters (good thing I pulled them out the day before!) to pot the roses. I’m eager to see if they take.

After getting the roses in the pots, I misted all my plants (the hibiscus had aphids on them) and cleaned up a little more. It’s going to take several days to “recover” the garden from the storm- there wasn’t much damage, but the plants are SUPER soggy and there are leaves and blossoms constantly dropping off the plants as they dry out, plus plenty of mud drying into dirt.

my "swamp" hibiscus finally bloomed and I'm really happy with it!

my “swamp” hibiscus finally bloomed and I’m really happy with it!

Monday, June 10th, 2013

I basically just checked in today. The plants are still super moist from the rain last week, so besides misting for pests, there wasn’t much to do hydration-wise (the thing that usually makes up most of my gardening time). I took the trimmers and did a little more pruning, pinched back some flowers, and moved some things around. The light changes every day (or so it seems) and I have to sort of adjust for the changing season. More delicate plants need to be put into the shade because the sun literally BAKES everything when it is shining. But some of the the plants can’t be totally in the shade because they do need a certain amount of sunlight every day, so it’s of a balancing act for the next few weeks and I’ll be making small adjustments every day.

I’m also battling mushrooms. I don’t know what it is, but garden mushrooms GROSS me out, especially the bright orange ones. I know it’s only the start of mushroom season, but they seem extra-abundant this year.

In happy garden news, there a tiny, tiny, tiny little lizard out there among the plants. I have a suspicion that two of my “regular” garden lizards (ones who have been living on the lanai for over a year now) are the parents. The little guy always seems to be tagging along with one of them.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013:

More rain last night, so no watering needed today. I misted a succulent for mealy bugs, and just poked around at everything and did more pruning. I moved a few more planters around outside the lanai, and filled a bunch of planters in anticipation for the arrival of my canna and geranium seeds (they may be in the mailbox as I type!) I keep going back and forth on what to plant where, and when. I know that I’m pretty loaded with plants now, but I have  bunch of seeds I *want* to plant, so it’s always a bit of a “choose your adventure” in the garden.

In other news, Milo, our little kitten, is finally getting old enough that we can let him come out on the lanai (it’s totally screened in, but we do have a pool, so we have to be super careful) when we are out there. He likes to go BEHIND the planters- he’s small enough to squeeze in anywhere and everywhere. However, he doesn’t seem interested in going *into* the planters, so that’s a good thing. I know going out on the lanai during the day is a big deal for our other two cats, so I’m excited that Milo will get to get some sunshine and fresh air, too.

Wednesday and Thursday, June 10th and 11th, 2013:

Due to the threat of severe weather on both days (and loud thunder!) my gardening was limited. I did get the canna seeds and the geranium seeds planted, and I also pruned an older rose I have that has grown to about 6+ feet. It wasn’t intended to be a container plant, but it was REALLY struggling in the landscape, so putting it in a planter was a last ditch effort to save it. And it came back… now I just need to keep it manageable!



Comments 1

  1. Misti wrote:

    I really love your pool view! So nice!

    Your swamp hibiscus, what species/variety is it?

    I love your week in the life entries, they are fun to read!

    Posted 14 Jun 2013 at 6:19 pm

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *