Friday, March 11, 2011

Container planning starts now.

I have a lot of containers. I've never counted, but I'm sure the number is around 50- maybe more... I don't know. Doesn't matter how many I guess. I have tropicals from my grandma's and mother's gardens, and various treasures I've collected on my trips to California. I have plumeria's from Hawaii, and cacti from So Cal. Some plants' names I don't even know- and they make me so happy! My containers dress up the front and back porch, and broaden the scope of my gardening skills and aesthetic.
This time of year I always pull up the pictures from last years container gardens and examine what worked and failed, and what needs to be re-potted or moved about. Last year was pretty great for the containers. So I mostly remind myself of the sleeping bulbs and plan what is going into the vacant spaces annuals filled last year.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Black Colocasia with two tone caladium, chartreuse sweet potato vine, new guinea impatiens, and a teller white hydrangea, that is pink.

Love this bronze grass with purple wandering jew, and yellow zinnia. Plumeria is out of the bloom on the right.

Begonia with 'molten lava' oxalis.

A wild combination of persian shield, coleus, dusty miller, polka dot plant, and white caladium.
More elephant ears with caladium, zinnia, and more sweet potato vines.

So where are they all now? In my basement garden, of course:

These are not grow lights, just shop lights. Works for me. Some things go dormant, some just slow growth. I don't fertilize until right about now... and they all make it through. It's wonderful.
This flowering maple is even, flowering.

Today, I'm potting up my dahlia tubers, which are waking up in the basement already. I found container soil on sale for $1.79 a bag. I am also adding 'firebird' canna to the container that has salvia 'black and blue' growing in it. I already planted stock and lobelia seeds this week. I find both of these annuals easy to grow from seed in the basement- I love lobelia 'cambridge blue,' but buying dozens of plants is not in my spring budget- so filling my containers with the seeds now means I get my fix of bright blue lobelia when summer arrives.
I'll also be adding some fresh soil, and double checking the root sizes on some of the larger plants. This is definitely satisfying the gardening fix!
Happy soon-to-be-spring!

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