Sunday, May 15, 2011

Time To Get My Hands Dirty - Just A Little

Spring has been late in arriving this year. It's time to think about getting my hands dirty and begin planting but the weather has once again we are at the mercy of the weather. There have been only a few truly spring-like days, tons of rain, a few 80+ days and now a string of 50 degree days. Oh to be able to predict the weather!

The bulbs have all bloomed and faded. The flowering shrubs and trees are filled with flowers of many colors.  All of the perennials are sprouting through the earth, and with warmer weather and sunshine, will be showing off each of their shapes and colors.

After years of having a large area to tend to outside the house, I can honestly say that I really enjoy minimal gardening work these days.  Since moving into our newer community, were the landscape work is mostly taken care of by others is fine with me.  But just like decorating the inside of the house to fit our lifestyle and design, I have been working on choosing and planting the types of plants that do the same outside.

Containers are an important part of my decorating scheme for summer planting.  Just as flea market finds and other interesting items find their way inside the house, they are also used outdoors. The old milk cans will again hold different sweet potato vines that will trail from them by summer's end.  Old enamel pans will contain pots of geraniums along with a english ivy.  Metal wash tubs, placed on an old wash stand will display one of my favorite summer annuals like Osteospermum.  Superbells, Supertunias or Gerbera Daisies are other plants that will be used. Our old, hand-crank ice cream maker has found it's way to the deck (and not the garbage) for a couple of small plants along with a few old aluminum cooking pots.  This year I'm planning on giving the few plastic tubs a look of weathered metal. (NOTE: All the plants mentioned work for our climate.  It took a few years of experimenting with plants to find those that work best for us. Each are available in a variety of colors which makes them a good choice.)

Gerbera Daisies

Various Sweet Potato Vines





Just another idea for outdoor decor is to use a collection of jars filled with sand and place tea lights or votives inside for lighting around the porch and deck.  NOTE: If candles are a concern, use the battery style lights.

With temps being a bit below normal again this week-end, planting will have to be postponed a little longer, but it give me time to look for the perfect plants at the best price.

Hopefully one of the summer's trips to  flea markets or barn sales will offer the opportunity for some other unique containers for planting.

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