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

New Patio Pots – DIY or Buy?

Over the weekend I had a super ambitious plant to DIY my own fiberglass pots. I spent hours on Google, searching for how to’s (there are surprisingly few specific to making planters) and watching YouTube videos on how to fiberglass. I even bought the resin, fiberglass mat, and 2 cans of spray paint. Total cost?

Over $70!

And that would not have been the full cost, because I still needed some sort of frame work or mold to fiberglass over.

So I gave my head a shake and went to Wal-Mart. Where I bought four 20″ chocolate brown plastic planters for $9.96 each. At that price, I’m left to wonder if it was even worthwhile to spray paint my patio pots last year – a can of spray paint is $7.96. Spray Painted Patio Pots - FlakingSure it made my pots look great last year, but it only lasted for one season.