Sunday, September 28, 2014

Little Lime

Hydrangea "Little Lime"

Little Lime is the name of my newest hydrangea.  I've always been a hydrangea fan; their blooms make fantastic focal points for flower arrangements.  And there are all different types, including those well suited for containers.  Little Lime is one of them.  It's a dwarf version of a plant the produces lime green colored blooms that gradually turn pinkish as the cooler temperatures of fall arrive.  It's hardy to zone 4, grows 3 to 5 feet tall, blooms from July through September, and flowers on current year's growth.  

I bought this hydrangea at my local nursery.  I also know it's available by mail order through White Flower Farm (and probably plenty of other online plant retailers).  
Little Lime with Xanthosoma in back

I'm going the conservative route and won't prune it until the spring when new growth starts to sprout so I can really see what survived the winter and what didn't.  With hydrangeas, if you get too aggressive with the pruners, you may prune yourself right out of blooms the next year.  That would be a shame.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

Sunday, September 14, 2014

More Visitors

Visiting Finch
It's been a great summer so far and a good season for Flat Bottom Flowers.  The bees were in abundance this year, which is always a good sign.  I had a couple of other frequent visitors as well including hummingbirds and finches.  The finch shown here took a liking to my basil.  I had to shoot it through the glass door because I knew if I opened the door, it would fly away.

I had another visitor as well though finding himself in my garden was probably never part of his plan.  I went to the garden center last weekend and bought some onions, lettuce, and a few cool weather annuals.  I also bought a couple of pots (like I need more--but there are worse habits; that's what I tell myself anyway).  I got home and put everything out on the deck.  A while later I went to sort everything out and found this guy in one of my newly purchased pots; he must have hitched a ride back with me.  I keep calling him a frog but I guess he's really a toad because he has a dry appearance.  The difference is that frogs have a wet, slimy appearance. Whatever.  Welcome to your new home.

Hitchhiking Toad
Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Big Picture

These pictures don't show my entire container garden, but about two-thirds of it is captured here.  It's difficult to get everything in the frame and I didn't want to lug heavy pots from one end of the deck to the other just to get it all in one picture.  What's missing here is a huge Japanese Maple and a rose bush that gets bigger every year.  Also one of my most prolific cherry tomato plants is not shown--neither are various mixed plantings.  But you get the idea.  It's been a good season so far and I'm not finished yet.  I just planted some onions today as well as lettuce and annuals that grow well after the dog days of summer are behind us.  

Now is a good time to be on the lookout for perennials that might go on sale at your local nursery or big box store.  You can get them potted well before frost and while they may not look like much now, you'll be rewarded next season.  Just be sure you know what hardiness zone you're in and choose accordingly.  

Still lots of planting days ahead if you live in a milder climate.

Bookshelf:  Container Gardening Books