Saturday, May 22, 2010


Today I bought this table at Grandiflora. It was on sale. I like how the legs have metal that looks like branches and leaves. It's a little uneven. I need to find a small object of the right thickness to put under one foot to keep it form wobbling.

Bacopa, begonia, fuchsia, and marigold

Planted these two begonias, with some pale blue bacopa on the sides. I could have been more generous with the bacopa, I guess. I bought these all a week ago. In the past I have planted lobelia with the begonias. I like lobelia, but I've had bad luck with it. It always dies about half way through the summer. Usually, what happens is there are a couple hot days when, due to just feeling too tired after work, the plants don't get watered. Some of them get droopy, but when I do water them they recover. But the lobelia just up and die. The bacopa can take more of my not so benign neglect.

I like to get brilliant red begonias. I saw from the tags that those I bought this year are the same as the ones I had last year: "Go-go scarlet." How's that for a color?

Below are four pots of fuchsia. I have four hanging pots of fuchsia every year. I used to buy well-started pots, but they were expensive, usually $20 a pot. So a few years ago I bought these hanging pots, with a metal underframe but a woven twig exterior (which by the way every year I think, This may be the last year I can use these because they look like they might fall apart--but they haven't quite fallen apart yet), and fuchsia starts to put in them. Every spring Haggen has fuchsia starts for a dollar each. The baskets were about $10 each, if I recall correctly, when I bought them some years ago. So a total cost year one of $52-$56 and each year since then of $12-$16 versus a total cost of $80.

Come to think of it, I think I bought these fuchsias last week at Hi Hoe. But anyway, this evening I sat down on a folded towel on the deck in front of these four pots and the box full of starters and put four each into each pot. When I got to the third pot, I realized I had only bought three each for each pot. Oops. So I filled three pots. I had three other fuchsias, of a different type and color, I think for the barrel where I later chose the "autumnale" fuchsias. So I put those three into the fourth pot. So when they do eventually flower, one of them will look different from the other three. Oh, well. They'll all be pretty, I trust, and uniformity is not a higher virtue than beauty.

The downside of this economical way of getting fuchsia pots is that the starts take weeks to grow out over the edges and to bloom. When I bought the expensive, well-started ones, they were abundant and blooming from the time I brought them home. Tonight, after I planted and fertilized them, I cut them all back a bit, hoping that will make them fuller. They looked a bit scrawny. So here's hoping they grow lush and lovely.

It's kind of a dark picture. I don't like to use the flash, because I think it changes the colors of things.

And I put this marigold plant into the middle of my herb barrel as a slug deterrent. Marigolds are pretty, but they're not fragrant.

I like the word "fragrant." The word "smell" can have good or bad connotations, and the word "odor" tends (in my mind) to range from neutral to negative. "Aroma" is a good thing, but I associate with food and coffee. "Fragrant" sounds like flowers, perfume, or incense.

Speaking of coffee, when I came indoors that aroma was pervasive because I had made a pot of coffee before dinner. To walk into the house and smell coffee is gezellig.

Planting progress

I got a late start this afternoon, but I planted this calla lily and surrounding fuchsias before having to come in and feed the dog, who was making his wants known. I will now have to walk him, but then I hope to do some more planting.

These fuchsias have colored leaves. They were called "autumnal" something. I didn't end up with a pot that had the flower name in it. I'll try googling. Maybe this is it.

It is a cool day out, almost autumnal in feel. Fortunately, I know it's only May and the warm weather will return. We seem to have some kind of storm system on the West Coast the last few days. Wednesday started out beautiful, then rain and crazy winds, and ever since it's been varying many times a day--cold, warm, sunny, rainy.

My sister down in California seems to be having cold weather that corresponds to ours. Sometimes our weather is similar, even though we are 1,000 miles apart. Similar meaning, trending warmer or colder, but of course it's usually warmer down there than up here.

Correct plant name

Correction: The groundcover I planted is called Veronica "Miffy Brute." Strange name. Pretty plant.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out on the west side

Along the side of the house, where there are steps, I planted some ground cover. I hope it works. It is supposed to spread and create a "mat."

I chose a variety that seemed to be called "Veronica," followed by two other words, one of which was "blue." It has blue flowers. I hope it does spread and both crowd out weeds and also look pretty.

Right outside my kitchen window, I planted two French lavender. Although it is not hardy enough to survive even a mild Western Washington winter, I buy some of these every year because they smell so good. The idea here is, if they thrive, every evening when the zephyr blows gently through my open window, it will waft in the lovely fragrance of this lavender. How romantic is that?

I first bought this kind of lavender a couple years ago. I was at Hi Hoe Nursery with my sister-in-law, and she had picked up a starter plant. I was not attracted by its looks, so I didn't take one. Then, while she was talking to me, my sister-in-law gestured with the hand holding the little lavender. Even that small movement sent the sweet smell over to me a couple feet away. I was so enchanted that I bought some for myself and have done so each year since. This year I bought these two to plant in the ground by the window, and two others for pots on my deck.

Getting started

Local folk wisdom is that after Mother's Day you're safe from the danger of frost. Mother's Day was pretty early in May this year, but I went on my plant-shopping spree almost a week later.

I'm getting started on the great work of the summer deck. Here are lots of little starter plants in flats, waiting to be transplanted into their containers, plus some of said containers.

I have some of the pots placed where I want them. I still have new furniture that needs to be put together. It won't be all green plastic chairs anymore.

As the saying goes, sometimes you have to stop and smell the dirt:

Actually, a moment earlier, he put his little paw in the container and dug a scrape or two, but I didn't get a picture of it.