A week in the life of a container gardener:
Saturday: There seemed to be some nasty weather coming, so Gracie and I didn’t spend much time out in the garden today. We cleaned up a bit, trimmed some plants, and watered, although the plants were mostly moist due to the rainy weather we’ve had of late. Before we left for Disney I pulled out all the tomato plants, so now we have two HUGE planters sitting empty, with still-good soil. Before we headed out of the rain, I quickly planted sunflower seeds in one of the planters: Peach Passion, Vanilla Ice, and a few Elves Blend seeds in the front (all Botanical Interests seeds…)
Sunday: Beautiful weather. Gracie spent Sturday night with my mom so it was me solo in the garden. I started out by transplanting a small nasturtium seedling (Whirlybird, so I have no idea what color they will be- but all of them I have planted so far seem to be a dark yellow, which I am so bored with!) to the eggplant planter, which has room and sustenance to support another nasturtium, as long as I keep it compact. I’m hoping for a pink. We’ll see. Then I planted some Music Box sunflower seeds in the empty nasturtium pot. I moved a few things around and moved my Angel Wings rose out to the back patio- I grew it from seed, and it rapidly grew into a three foot BUSH which I have to constantly trim. I figure if I move it to the other side of the screen door, it can grow as much as it like and provide for the butterflies.
I planted another large pot with some Teddy sunflower seeds and put them in the sun, and then planted a few small pots with some seeds I picked up at Home Depot/Lowe’s earlier last week- Chinese Lantern (never grew it before… but it looks cool), Morning Glory (take three… can’t get these to grow), and Black Eyed Susan (take two from seed- my other one died while at Disney but had mealybug issues).
My hummingbird/butterfly garden is taking off- so far I have some yellow shrimp plant, some salvia, and some penta, the newly added rose, as well as a crazy cool Black Eyed Susan vine that has grown like crazy around the railing up to the lanai and produced lovely yellow flowers. I love it so much I got a red version and planted the seed in the large penta pot.
I also found an incredible creature on the red pentas- a gray hornworm. It was beautiful (SO cool) but I researched and found it was destructive, so we moved it the GIANT bush on the side of the house.
Later on Sunday: Tom and Gracie went out front to fill the bird feeders and also trim back the coleus and my tea rose, which finally took off! My transplanted lantana is also doing really well after a week or two of struggling.
Monday: First thing I did was give repotting my bonsai tree a go. Tom got it for me on Mother’s Day 2011. I think the repotting went okay- I had a terra cotta bowl slightly bigger than the little planter the tree came in and moved it, and then tucked some fresh soil in the nooks. I’ll keep an eye on it.
Then there was trimming. Lots of trimming. LOTS of trimming. I decided to “hack the crap” (Tom’s words, not mine…) out of the shrimp plant, which had turned into a 5′ tree (still in a pot) sometime in the last year. Now it’s a manageable 2′, and suddenly the back corner of the lanai looks open and sunny again.
After an hour of pruning, I planted a few more seeds. I gave sweet pea another go, and planted a medium-sized planter with zinnia (Envy, which is an apple-green, and Sorbet Mix, which is mixed pinks and oranges). I plan on putting the zinnia straight out of back in the little hummingbird/butterfly garden as soon as the sprouts are tall enough that the birds won’t pluck them out of the soil, which they did with the last two batches of zinnia seeds I planted.
Tuesday and Wednesday: Both easy days in the garden. It’s been raining a lot, so there was barely any watering to do. Watering takes a tremendous amount of time on most days, so when there’s none to do, it’s an easy day. Of course, too much soggy weather makes for very unhappy plants and seeds that don’t ever come up, so… hopefully the sun will come out soon.
Thursday: Another soggy day. I discovered that my dear cat Chester dug up the Zinnia planter, so I filled it up with fresh soil and planted more seeds. This time I wasn’t lazy and crossed the top of the planter with some super sticky Durapore tape. I tape up a little grid so that sun and water can get through and the seeds can grow up, but kitties can’t get into the planter.
I spent most of my time out there just checking out the plants for damage, dryness, pests, but basically taking it all in. There are a few things come up (sunflowers!), a few things blooming, a few things slowing down. It’s good to have a few days with no hard work, because it gives me a chance to reflect on what’s actually happening out there.
So, what’s a week like in *your* garden?