Tuesday, June 01, 2010


How was your weekend?  Did you do anything special?  DD decided she needed a break, so she took an extra day off and drove down Fri. night to spend some time with her old parents. She brought her chihuahua/terrier/whatever mix, Isabella, and Tandi and Bella played hard together.  All Tandi has done today is sleep.  It's rough turning 6 and having to deal with a 3-year old "cousin", you know.

This is the weekend of the annual Garden Jubilee in the city next door.  They shut down Main Street for several blocks and vendors line the street.  In an attempt to placate  folks who don't want to have to park and walk so far, they didn't shut down enough streets for all the vendors, so when the street part ran out, the sidewalks were nearly impassible.  DD stopped to look at a necklace and nearly got run over by a mom with a stroller. I felt badly for the sidewalk vendors, but after one block of this, DD and I abandoned that end of the Jubilee and headed back for the wider areas. 

She bought 2 Venus fly traps to put in her office, as her building has an inner courtyard with vegetation, and insects are making their way into the offices.  Since she is also a walking banquet for mosquitoes, she bought a plant (I don't remember its name) that has multiple pitchers that lure mosquitoes to lay their eggs, and then the plant digests them and the baby blood-suckers never develop. This one she's going to hang from the tree by her front door, as it likes filtered sunlight, and that's where her mini-garden is. The gal travels with insect repellent and Benadryl.

Lowe's was the main sponsor, and they had a landscaper from Southern Living giving small lectures both Sat. and Sun.  I wish I'd taken more pictures, but most of the ones I took were to remind us where we wanted to visit a second time, and they weren't good quality.  We lingered over some lovely wreaths, and some beautiful spinners--one with a holographic hummingbird whose wings fluttered as the disc spun in the wind. Luckily they're local, so I might check out their shop later in the season.  There was a man from north Alabama with wonderful benches and chairs made from old boards.  Some of the chairs had cutout seats for planters, and some benches with high backs had hinged seats for storage.  I was this close to buying one, but then I came upon something I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't buy it.  I did get the man's business card, though, and am hoping maybe he'll be back for Belle Chere in July, or the Apple Festival in September.

So what could I not live without?

Is this not adorable?  The baskets didn't come with it, and may not stay if I can find something I like better, but they're okay for now. The celosia most likely won't stay there; I just needed something to give me an idea of what would work in that area. Does anyone have suggestions for what to put in the baskets?  I'm thinking some trailing flowers or vines for the upper baskets, and something mounding or maybe tall in the back basket, but am open to suggestions.

I put it in the "rose bed" for now, because that's where it is most easily seen.  I also took the Dusty Millers out of the rose bed and replanted them in a couple of different areas, and put the chives with the roses.  Odd scents together, maybe, but supposedly aphids hate them.  The Dusty Millers were supposed to be annuals, but they came back this year, and the lavender has grown so much, the DMs were getting crowded out. There was a gardening show I watched once, where this 11-year-old boy had a beautiful garden that he had created.  What I remember from the show is one piece of advice he gave: "If something is not working where you've put it, don't be afraid to move it.  It's likely going to die or struggle to live if you don't, and if it doesn't like the new place, move it again. It's only a plant." Wise words from an experienced gardener. 

I saw an iron arch I'd love to place between those roses someday, with stepping stones leading into the yard.  I want several flower beds, and paths leading between them, but all that will occur over several years.  Still, you have to start somewhere, and besides, can you see an arch all decorated up for Halloween?  Leading into a graveyard or haunted garden, with bare vines hanging down and bare rosebushes, and various statuaries, with  paths beckoning you to venture just a little farther in.  And maybe an abandoned tricycle, with dead flowers, or better still, a head in the basket, could be around one of those little turns.

Hey, it's only 5 months til Halloween! I've gotta get started soon. And the more items that can do double duty, the less I have to store.

Here's something I picked up for $5.00:

It stands about 2.5 feet tall when it's in the ground, and right now I have it in that narrow rocky area between the sidewalk and the house, where nothing is planted. 

(Old picture from last month)

It shows up well against the blank wall of the house, but I have finally figured out what to do with that strip, and this is perfect with my idea, which I will explain a little later.

Yesterday was spent working in the yard, pulling weeds, moving plants, planting celosia around the mailbox, planting a big pot with bunches of coleus, and I put a single jalapeno plant in a pot near the front sidewalk. No vegetable garden this year, but I do have upside-down tomatoes I need to put in their containers this week
Here was my big project for the weekend:
Please excuse the newspaper--I haven't mulched yet.  But isn't that fun? A second one of these is the project I think will fit well in the narrow strip by the front walk, and with the curvy ladybug "trail", will be quite an eye-catcher against the blank white wall of the house. I may move that tall phlox you see at the front left of the Tipsy Pot Tower, because it will grow to be nearly 4 feet tall, and that will partially occlude the tower.  Best to move it now before it gets too settled in its current spot. Next year I will put a taller tower in, because I can water upper pots from the porch, and it can be seen better from the street, but I will keep a shorter one next to the sidewalk.

There was so much more I needed to accomplish, but I was out there for almost 7 hours and the back just wouldn't take much more. Besides, my clothes were starting to bother the back of my neck and arms, so I knew I'd gotten a little sunburn. So I went in to shower and had my new favorite summertime beverage while fixing supper:

Crystal Light lemonade with a sprig of mint that's growing on my own back deck.   The only thing better would have been the raspberry-flavored. 

And someone else to do the cooking.


MightyMom said...

the only thing better would've been a MINT JULIEP!! geez. you're in the Carolinas for crying out loud!!!!! ;-)

now, where's the tutorial on that pot thing.....

oh and I vote petunias for the trike.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I too love that tipsy pot arrangement, and would appreciate a tutorial on it. My issue though is that we live in a windy area, so how stable is it?

I agree those wave petunias would be perfect for the top two baskets on the trike. Also how about putting old wicker baskets in there lined with plastic, as that would look truly authentic?

Before I go I wanted to say a big thank you for the editing ideas on the forward. Since posting it I have altered it slightly to take into account your ideas.

Gill in Canada

Gill - That British Woman said...

I found a link to it, and would love to try it: http://www.gardensandcrafts.com/tipsypots.html

Gill in Canada