Ten Things of Thankful – May 14th

Happy #1

It’s the middle of May already, even if at 10 Celsius (AKA 48), it isn’t feeling very spring like. But even though I’m still wearing my fuzzy socks around the house I’ve got my patio planters almost finished.

Fuzzy SocksHappy #2

2016-05-14 13.48.21The only thing my 4 matching planters need before they are complete is a bit more Tradescantia.

Tradescantia CuttingHappily it’s an easily propagated plant – these cuttings will root in no time. Fern after splittingThe 4 Kimberley ferns were actually a single massively root-bound plant until I peeled off the pot and sawed the root mass into quarters. Eleven dollars divided by 4 – only a couple bucks each!

Large Kimberley Fern Root-bound plant with pot peeled awayHappy #3

When I was shopping for plants, there were only 3 Rubber Fig available.

Rubber FigSince each of them had multiple stems in the pot I was able to split one up so I had a plant for each pot. This was the priciest plant I purchased – $3.99 each. I’ll be able to bring them indoors for the winter though, so as long as I don’t kill them they’ll be good for next year too.

Happy #4

Because of my job, I receive sample plants each year. One of this year’s treats were 3 of the Non Stop Mocca White begonia.

Non Stop Mocca WhiteI normally don’t choose white flowers (the spent blooms tend to look worse than other colors) but I adore Non Stop begonia. Getting the dark-leaved varieties was a bonus, because I knew I wanted to play with different colors of foliage and move away from the light (lime-green sweet potato vine, creeping jenny, etc.) into the darker side of things.Lysimachia - Creeping Jenny Gold

I also get to try out a couple of new plant varieties that aren’t offered to consumers until next spring, like this begonia below.

Funky - a new begonia variety for 2017Sadly some of the samples are petunias. I’ll give them my best effort, but I really don’t get enough sun anywhere in my yard for them to do their best.

Happy #5

Between the sample plants, splitting the large fern, and propagating what I can, the 4 planters for my deck will only cost me $23 each – including new pots. By planting my own I save money and because these planters aren’t as far along as they would if I bought finished (stuffed full of plants and calling your name in the garden center) they will be easier to keep watered.

Assorted Tropical PlantsEach planter has a Kimberley Fern, a Rubber Fig, a Helichrysum Silver Spike, a few Tradescantia, Polka Dot Plant and one single flowering plant – Non Stop Mocca White Begonia. I feel as if I’ve finally mastered foliage with flowers planters as opposed to flowers with foliage.

Happy #6

Side Bed reasonably weed freeMy side bed is relatively weed free and ready to plant soon with some Dragon Wing Begonia.

Dragon Wing BegoiniaHappy #7

Last year’s big efforts paid off this spring with a much easier start to the season.

Garden GhostsHaving those raised planters already built and filled made it easy to get the cool season vegetables sown early. It’s probably the first time in 25 years I’ve had my lettuce planted on time. I wish I had tagged the seeds I’ve already sown though, they’re sprouting now and I can’t remember what some of them are.

Happy #8

So far this year we’ve had fewer monsoons. When it rains we still get more of it and faster than normal, but not as much as last year. Last year we had so much of it that the yard had a bit of a poopy smell from rotting vegetation.

Happy #9

Because I haven’t had to spend very much money this year on the yard, maybe I’ll be able to look after some of the bigger projects on my list this summer. Things like bringing in gravel and possibly adding some dry-creek beds and rain gardens to help manage the water that runs into my yard from adjoining properties.

Happy #10

Rejoining the TToT community after a long while away.



Ten Things of Thankful

Author: Vanessa D.

Thirteen years ago, I was newly separated with a leaky faucet. I bought a new cartridge and came home to turn off the water while asking myself "What's the worst that could happen?" and got started. The worst that has ever happened is I've accidentally reversed the hot & cold and had to turn the water back off to fix it. Since then I've taught myself how to do as much as I can, because waiting for Prince Charming is not an option. I'm not so great at relationships, but I can handle this single thing and so can you.

20 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful – May 14th”

  1. So glad you are back. We love plants in our yard but are so behind in planting. Good deal on the dividing and planting your pots. So that pink one is a petunia which isn’t on the market? That is very interesting. Hope your veggies yield well.

    1. That pink one is a new variety of begonia. It will get trialed in various locations over the summer and be available for growers for next season. I probably won’t post many pictures of the petunia because I’m horrible at growing them.

  2. Welcome back! I have good luck (some of the time) with grass seed! lol not such a horticulturalist… we’re finally seeing some more reasonable temperatures here in New England

    1. I’m not much of a gardener myself, I’ve just been lucky enough to finally figure out which plants I are the least work to grow. I’ll water and weed carefully for the first month or two and then just sit back and let them do their thing.

  3. Hey missed you! Glad you’re back! Those pots are beautiful! We are hoping to plant the veggies soon. Just turned the plot over today.

    1. I still have the tomatoes, peppers and zucchini to plant. I’m hoping that this year I may finally experience the excess of zucchini everyone else complains about. Usually I never get enough.

  4. Oooh, I love reading about what you’re planting. Those white begonias do look pretty. I am so ready for it to get warmer…and drier.

    1. It’s damp and cold where I’m at too, but I’m difficult to please. I want it warmer – but not too warm.

  5. Welcome very back, and WOW YOUR GARDEN! It looks stunning, and so lovely that you were able to do it all without breaking the bank. I like the silver foliage best, and I am going to have to google whether or not a rubber fig makes an edible fruit (I rather delight in the idea of a rubber fig you could eat).

    1. Isn’t that Helichrysum amazing? I love the way it’s silver color jumps out in the combination.

  6. I’ve planted tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, and watermelon this year, but haven’t yet done much with the ornamentals. Your planters are so pretty!

    1. Thank you Kristi. Watermelon don’t do so well here and I don’t have enough room really for them or the squash. My parents also have a really big vegetable garden, so I usually get lots of squash from them. It’s still a bit too cool for tomatoes and peppers (I actually had to bring in my ornamentals last night for a frost warning) but pretty soon!

  7. I love begonias one and all. I didn’t realize I could just cut into the roots/soil of my root bound fern and divide it. You just helped me add another thing to my project lists! Thank you.

    1. I love begonias too May, they are such an easy plant for me to grow. Cutting and dividing the root mass on ferns seems to work well, similar to dividing a hosta really.

  8. Welcome back! I love your plants and am happy to live vicariously. I like having plants in theory, but am admittedly not much of a gardener. I may give herbs a try again this year – that was a good project!

    1. I like plants more in theory than practice too. So I just admit it from the start and pick the ones that can survive my benevolent and not so benevolent neglect!

  9. Glad to see you back!!
    I am thoroughly impressed with the planters. I am a newbie at this whole flowers and foliage thing, but clearly you are not. Love the pots you put together!
    Our yard is one in which plants must fend for themselves. We will plant them and weed, but as for watering…not so much. We’re learning which are the hardiest and planting more of those. 🙂

    1. I don’t mind babying them a bit until they’re established, after that it’s every plant for itself.

    1. Right now it’s just the plants. There are a few big things I would really like to do in the yard, but the bathroom here needs a lot money spent on it so I’m not sure when the next ‘project’ will happen.

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